Day 10: Atlantic Road
Today was our last day with the rental car and we aimed to make the most of it! Our plan called for us to wake up in Andalsnes and drive over 400km to Trondheim. As usual, we stocked up on breakfast food and hit the road at 8:30am. Thankfully we were on our way before most of the cruise ship people ventured into town (pretty sure it was the same boat we saw in Geiranger yesterday).
From Andalsnes, we considered two possible routes to head north, both of them involving a ferry. The route we picked had another Stave Church nearby, so we took a detour to find it. Since it was built in the 1100s, it was close to the water and a bit off the main road. In the time it took us to walk around the church, light drizzle turned into a heavy rain, so we got back in the car and continued the drive.
Instead of taking the shorter drive to Trondheim through inland highways, we took the Alanterhavsvegen scenic route following the Norwegian Sea. Officially, the route starts in the small fishing town of Bud, but the views leading up to it were pretty great as well. The rain had stopped and was holding off, which was very helpful and appreciated. The first stop, Kjeksa, provided a viewpoint of Hustadvika Bay, shipping lanes, and the ocean.
Although not a listed stop on the scenic route, we came across an farm from the 1800s. While no longer functioning, it has been preserved for visitors to stop by and see a typical Norwegian farm.
Across the road from the farm was another point of interest called Askevagen Bay. After a little backtracking, we found the viewing platform and gazed out over the sea. In the past, kelp from this area would be burned to use for medicinal purposes, such as making potent iodine. Burning of the kelp has since been banned, but it is still used for commercial pharmaceutical purposes.
As we continued along the ocean, we arrived at EldhusÃƒÂ¸ya Island. There is a walking trail on the island, but the real attraction is a series of nearby bridges — including Storseisund Bridge, which is the largest bridge along the Atlantic Road. Perhaps you’ve seen it in a car commercial?
MyrbÃƒÂ¦rholm Bridge isn’t as stunning as Storseisund, but it’s prime fishing location (and great view) makes it a popular spot. We didn’t try to catch anything except pictures.
Shortly after the bridge, the scenic route concluded, and we continued to Kristiansund via Atlantic tunnel before heading inland. We took our last ferry across the bay from Halsa to Kanestraum, picking up a snack on board.
Once we exited the ferry, we still had blue skies (WHAT!?!) and were treated to great views for the final 130km of driving to Trondheim.
Rather than going straight to the hotel (30 minutes outside Trondheim), we decided to spend a couple hours in the city itself.
Mostly a college town, Trondheim has many shops, pubs, street art, and a big church. We found a lovely park and took a break to eat some dinner before driving truly aimlessly through the streets for a while. Trondheim is a very active city, and very hilly. To help the bikers, on the very steep hills, there are bike lifts where you place your foot on a mechanical ramp to push you and your bike up the hill.
Eventually, we parked the car and wandered around on foot. The Nidaros Domkirke Cathedral was built in the 11th Century over the burial spot of St. Olaf, the King of Norway. It’s big, old, and houses a giant organ. We arrived just in time to hear the end of an orgelmeditasjon, or organ meditation. Impressive.
Meandering down towards the pier, we passed by some street art, a stage in a square, various closed museums, and some interesting shops. Trondheim seems like it would be a fun place to explore, but alas, we must be on our way to the hotel and prepare for our next adventure.
We arrived at the Raddison Blue Trondheim Airport hotel just after 8pm. Of course, the rain started up again, lol. A long, but exciting day of driving completed, we said goodbye to our trusty car, which carried us about 1800 kilometers (1,118 mi). It was helpful that the rental car company and airport are literally a two minute walk from the hotel… Again, not an accident.
Tomorrow we fly out of Trondheim at 8:15am and connect in TromsÃƒÂ¸ before flying to the island of Svalbard. Fingers crossed the flights go smoothly!
So nice to see you finally had a bit of sunshine! The scenery and sites are wonderful – thanks again for ‘taking us along’! Yes – have seen that unique bridge in the car commercial, but I’m left wondering why my long ago studies in Romanesque architecture never included the ‘ring toss’ game! lol! Great photo, love your narrative!
Yes, I agree with Mary thank you for taking the time after an exhausting day of touring to update us and sharing your neat discoveries on your blog!!