Friday, Sep. 14, 2007 - Norway - Drive with Berit & Sjur Slogvik - Nedstrand, Jelsa, Gullingen, Røldal, Odda, Åkrafjorden

This day would be touring day. Sjur (Einar's cousin who also lives on another segment of the old large Slogvik farm) and his wife Berit offered to take us on an outing to the east and northeast.  


First order of business this day was a great Norwegian breakfast in the home of Anne Nora & Einar. Here Einar pours coffee for Berit. 

With clouds threatening, we drive east to Nedstrand which is still in Tysvær kommune

The ladies wait in the car & the guys check out a classic Chrysler while we wait for the ferry.

After brief stops at Hebnes & Folddøyna, we reach Jelsa in Suldal kommune. The crossing was rainy & Keith's attempts to photograph the big Ombo island was unsuccessful.

Keith and Sjur check out the yard and entrance gate to the Jelsa Church which is, of course, closed this day.

So they take a little walk over toward one edge of town. Keith's 7th great grandmother & several generations before her were from Jelsa.

Several historical buildings here are usually open for tourists, but this is a bit past season, a week day and a rainy one at that, so they are closed.  

We are looking for the old school house and can't remember which building it is in.  We must be careful about peeking in windows.

Here it is!  Complete with desks, blackboards, and ink wells.

Beyond the quay and breakwater, the sky is showing blue and we are hopeful of sunny weather for the rest of our drive.

Sadly, rainy conditions persisted limiting much photography. This is just a sampling of the many marvelous views captured along the way as we drove the back roads northeast from Jelsa 

A small country church yard in the Ulladalen- Hjorteland area invited us for a visit with its peaceful quiet setting.

Berit and Peg enjoy a stroll through the pleasant cemetery grounds at this serene little stop.

The unusually wet weather contributed to much active waterfall experiences. Little and huge waterfalls seemed to be everywhere on this stormy day.

Gullingen is a ski resort & therefore high on a windswept hill. And therefore cold in this weather. We stop at this fine little road shelter for our picnic lunch.

We quickly move the lunch indoors which were heated and although not luxury, were clean and spacious for an entryway to a WC.

We continued north and found ourselves continually in awe of the amazing waterfalls so plentiful in this rugged county in this weather.

Røldal stave church in Hordaland is one of only 29 remaining old style wooden churches once estimated to number nearly 2000.

Røldal is a popular camping area in the summer and ski center in winter.  It is noted for receiving the most snowfall of any area in Norway.

The new main highway with long tunnels was under construction. No problem, Sjur wanted to show us the scenic old road that winds up & over the mountain. Røldalsfjellet & snow!  We knew it was getting cold & at this high elevation --- you guessed it . . .

Snow in September and we had this summit to surmount.  We did not stay too long on this very narrow mountain road. Still, the views were breathtaking & necessitated several stops.  We hoped that we would not meet a large truck also taking this detour.

Here Sjur points out the older ancient road on the other side of the valley.  It was only wide enough for one horse. For more photos of this road, see this Norwegian page.

We are now just below snow level and can see by the switch-back winding road how far we still have to go to make it off this mountain.    

This day this was the detour route because of road construction.  We would have taken it anyway because of our interest in the lay of the land.

Getting down off the mountain we come to the marker for the famous story of the postman Gunnar Turtveit who was buried for 56 hours in an avalanche during the winter of 1903. He dug himself out with his postal horn.

Yet another majestic and awesome waterfall as we drive towards Odda. There also must be some story about that huge bolder sitting alone out in the farm field..?

Knut (Hildal, that is), this one's for you. See "Knut Visits Mad River & Redwoods" in 2001. He is a friend of Keith's from the Norway List.

In driving rain, we come over a rise and get our first view of Odda & the southern tip of the Sørfjord coming down from the famous Hadangerfjord.

No time to call friend "Knut from Odda" - we are running late & only had time to loop a few blocks before backtracking and heading back toward Tysvær as the storm picked up in intensity. 

Arrangements had been made to meet Tysvær Cultural Officer Ingvar Frøyland & his lovely wife Gunvor at the Åkrafjordtunet's restaurant for dinner. They were on their way out to their "summer place" for a weekend get-away. A fine meal & enjoyable conversation with good friends.

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