Romsdalen, the valley encased by dramatic and towering mountain walls on both sides, was lying next to Gudbrandsdalen, and so is the topic of interest in this entry. We drove along the river Rauma which flows in the middle of the valley. Our eyes feasted on the mysterious and ragged mountain edges, which according to a random passerby, included the infamous Mannen, a mountain the Norwegian authorities has been closely monitoring since 2009 due to instability.
I’ve already posted our route for this roadtrip on the previous entry: RoadTrip #5.2. We’ve been driving on the European road 136, which runs along the valleys of Gudbrandsdalen and Romsdalen. The Rauma trail line also runs in the valley. Just like the latter, Romsdalen is also a famous place for adventurous visitors.
It was 13:00, so we stopped by the little village of Bjørli in Lesja municipality, which borders the old counties of Oppland and Møre og Romsdal, for some stretching and some ice cream! Boy, was the ice cream I chose sour.. It was like 90% fruit or something, so I thought it would be the healthier choice, but boy, was it sour. 😀
Bjørli doesn’t talk much about it, but some parts of the Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009) were shot in this place during winter. 🙂 Bjørli is also popular as a skiing destination during the cold season. I bought some postcards from the kiosk, and then we continued the driving.
Afterwards, we stopped by again to admire the Rauma river, which spans 68 kilometers from Lesja to Åndalsnes, and to pick up some geocaches. I had to take back my word that Norway does not have blue-green waters, just deep dark green because of the cold climate. Apparently, Norway’s waters can be as aquamarine as the innland waters in Switzerland.
And here we were, officially entering the county of Møre og Romsdal! I felt very good about it. I had ticked 16 counties from the list of the 18 old counties in Norway + Svalbard. 🙂
It wasn’t long before we noticed that the landscapes were changing, and things were starting to get overwhelming. I was personally awed by the majestic towering mountains and the eery vibes they produced, like they were entities demanding to be respected.
The picture above shows the Kors church in Rauma, in the town of Marstein. It was from 1797, and basing from its name, it is a cruciform, and can accommodate up to 120 people.
Later on, a towering mountain range stood before our eyes. We had to stop to get a better view, to let the vibes sink in, and to of course, to document the moment by taking some pictures. A taxi also stopped next to us around the same time, and an old man and woman emerged from the car. They told us that the a mountain there was the infamous Mannen (“the Man”). Carl told me that the Norwegian authorites has been monitoring the mountain because of danger for landslides and flooding. They have since 2009 evacuated people whenever the mountain showed signs of dangerous movement.
In 2019, a big landslide occurred, where a huge chunk of the 1294 meter mountain came rushing down. More about what happened here, including a video of the landslide: https://www.nrk.no/mr/nve_-store-deler-av-veslemannen-har-rast-1.14690626. One of the news reporter called the event”spectacular”, and thanks to the impressive preparedness, I heard no news of casualties. After the big landslide, it was back to green level, meaning safe for travelers and residents to go back.
At about 14:20, we reached a famous spot on the way, the Trollveggen. Unfortunately, it was already closed for the summer season. Many of Norway’s attractions and roads are closed for the winter season, you know. We still took our time and checked out the tourist attraction.
It is not a secret that trolls are particularly “Norwegian”. Who knows if they do exist above those cloud-kissed mountain tops? hihi
Anyways, the Trollveggen (“Troll Wall”) belongs to the Trolltindene (“Troll peaks”). According to sources, it is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe (1,100 meters tall). It was a famous spot for base jumping for a time, until it became illegal in 1986.
At 14:30, we reached the town of Åndalsnes, the mountaineering capital of Norway. 🙂 More about it in the next entry! For now, spread love and positive vibes!
(ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ARE MINE.)