On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
We passed many lakes and fjords on our route. Actually, it would be hard not to, since Norway is largely lakes and fjords separated by mountains. The one we travelled on by boat, Nærøyfjord, is an arm of the much larger Sognefjord. Nærøyfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so it’s kept in a fairly natural state. There are some farms, camping areas, and holiday quarters along the fjord, but these are strictly controlled and regulated to impact the area as little as possible. As you can imagine, there is some complicated history about that, especially from the viewpoint of the farmers.
Let’s start with a couple of lake views before heading to Nærøyfjord.
This is Lake Vangsmjøse near Grindheim. There’s a local legend that if you lower a raw ham to the bottom of the lake and then pull it out, it will be boiled. No idea how that legend came to be, since the lake is in the 50° to 60° F range depending on the season. (click for larger version)
Further west along Lake Vangsmjøse. Norway has a couple of main horse breeds, Swedish Ardennes and Fjord horses. From their coloring these look like Swedish Ardennes; I didn’t see any Fjord horses. Actually saw relatively few animals; these horses, a few sheep, evidence of goats (see later photos below). (click for larger version)
This is Styvi. Before the UNESCO Heritage Site designation it was composed of several farms. After UNESCO, it was turned into a farm museum, reachable by a postal road and a hiking trail. (click for larger image)
Kjødnesviki. The green lawn is probably from goats grazing – there are couple of farms allowed in this area. (click for larger version)
Underdal/Undredal is a village with 100 people and 500 goats. It also offers camping and is a stopping point for some of the fjord ferries. A popular place for tourists. (click for larger version)
Bakka is a very small village. 10 people live there full time these days. A few small sustainable farms are allowed, so its economy is goats and tourists. (click for larger version)
This was taken just as we were leaving the farm area – the scenery gets a little more rugged. (click for larger version)
Somewhat in the distance is Laegdafossen, one of the most famous (and tallest) waterfalls along the fjord. It’s fed by a few of the mountain lakes noted in the previous series. (click for larger version)
I’ve tried pulling up every little village on the map, and I can’t find this one, though I know from the configuration of the fjord where it is. Regardless, it’s a cozy little place nestled among the evergreens. From the greenness of the hill I’d say they support themselves by – wait for it – goat farming. (click for larger version)
Eidfjord, seen way in the distance here, is one of the larger villages along the fjord – I’d call it a town – with almost a thousand people. It’s the municipal center for the area, and a lot of the jobs are supplied by the municipality itself, along with a hydroelectric plant and small manufacturing. It’s at the intersection of a couple of fjords so it’s also the starting or stopping point for some of the fjord cruises. (click for a larger version)
Next (and last) up in the series: Villages, towns and cities