Just south of our BnB was the fourth largest city in Norway, Trondheim. The settlement was founded in 997 as a trading post, and it served as the capital of Norway during the Viking Age until 1217.
Riding into the old town is relatively easy, considering all the one-way streets. The Nidaros Cathedral is visible protruding high into the skyline as we weave our way closer and closer.
Parking in front of Nidoros Cathedral, we walk toward the imposing structure. The cathedral is part of the Church of Norway and was built over the burial site of King Olav II (c. 995-1030, reigned 1015-1028), who became the patron saint of the nation. Initial construction lasted 230 years (1070-1300), and continued 7 centuries, until 2001. It was Catholic until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century and it became Evangelical Lutheran. Nidaros is the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world.
The city was still busy as Olav Days had just finished, celebrating King Olav II. The West Front consists of a rose window above the crucifixion and 57 statues.
As we were leaving the cathedral and walking toward the old bridge we walked near the bike. A parking enforcement officer was standing behind Yellow Donkey. I stood at a distance so as not to have to interact with him. I learned that lesson in Czechia. After he finally left, I walked over to the bike. He had cleaned my dirty tag and, seemingly becoming confused, left. The old gate and bridge are around the corner so we walked over, got a picture, and rode out of town before the attendant returned with backup.
There are a couple of travelers that were coming from the south. Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford rode motorcycles for 4 years around the Americas, south to north. They are now in a tricked out, 4-wheel rig and driving from the UK to Nordkapp, Iceland and down to South Cape, the “Cape to Cape”. They are good friends and since we were near each other, thought we could camp together on the epic Atlantic Road.
We rode in from the north not knowing where they were. Just as we crossed the high bridge, there they were. Such a treat! After we had a coffee, Jason found the perfect spot to camp, or so we thought.
With the ‘psst’ of the opening of beer cans, we toasted our trips and the good fortune of being able to do this on the road. Lisa fixed a fantastic meal and we all feasted like royalty. Nighttime came way to quickly and after a brilliant sunset, we headed to our tents.
In the morning we were none to anxious to leave, so we sat around sipping on our piping hot coffee. We noticed a man pulling up in his truck. He walked our way and demanded money, since we had camped on his property. We protested, and he pointed out the well hidden signs. Welcome to progress and capitalism in central Norway. North of here, camp anywhere for free. From here south it gets very busy, so beware. Jason and I were really grumpy after this encounter, but more coffee and time eased the pain.
Leaving is the difficult part of traveling. Since both our lives are basically nomadic, you never know when you may see each other again.
We headed south and they north.
The Trollstigen pass was our next road on the map. Stopping first at Trollstigen Campground to get a picture of the trolls and a couple stickers, off we rode up the pass. The pass starts to climb right away. Just as you near the top the road contorts itself into hairpin turns. Twisting back and forth you reach the viewing area nestled between the Trollveggan and other surrounding peaks. The Troll walkway guides your way to an overlook of Stigfossen and the incredible road below. As you stand there surrounded by such beautiful vistas you cannot help but be thankful that you are lucky enough to travel this way.
You never feel as if you spent enough time in places like this, but it’s time to start looking for a camp for tonight. The Trollstigen ends at the Storfjorgan fjord, where a ferry takes you to the other side. We want to spend the night at the top of am arm of the Storfjorgan in Geivanger. We see there is a campsite right on the water. Perfect!
Just before reaching Geivanger the road has a hairpin turn at a veiwpoint some 1500 feet above the fjord. You can see the Seven Sisters waterfall from there and the cruise ships look like small Monopoly pieces. The road down from there consists of eleven, very tight hairpin turns on a very narrow road. Buses are not allowed on the road but two, traveling opposite directions, have become stuck and unable to pass. This has backed up traffic from the middle of the way down, both directions. The road is so tight and traffic so congested that even motorcycles are having a difficult time maneuvering past. The temperature has climbed as high as the emotions and we are glad to weave our way through to the camp at the bottom.
The cruise ships and many cars in town should have been an indication got is to keep moving, but we stayed packed like sandines onto a patch of grass between other irritated campers. From today forward the crowds become overwhelming and I get a case of fjord/tourist-itis. It is getting time to leave Norway so we book our ferry out of Bergen to Denmark for a few days from now.