Monday, October 16, 2023

The Atlantic Road, Discovering the Romsdalgondolen, and the Hotel Aak

After a quick breakfast at the Thon Hotel Storgata we headed out for our next adventure…to drive the Atlantic Road. The Atlantic Road connects Averøy with the mainland via a series of small islands and islets spanned by a total of eight bridges over 8274 meters (5.14 miles). The road was opened in 1989 and is toll free. The Atlantic Road has National Tourist Route status and the entire stretch between Bud and Kristiansund is one continuous experience packed with coastal scenery, culture and history. 

From there we headed toward Molde, planning to make the drive through Trollstigen which means Troll’s Ladder in Norwegian. This leg of our trip allowed us to cross the Langfjorden on the Åfarnes-Sølsnes/Fv64 Ferry. As we drove around the Romsdalfjord, we noticed a structure high on a mountain on the other side of the fjord which we discussed at length but couldn’t figure out what it was. As we rounded the top of the fjord, we noticed a gondola/tram suspended high above us, realizing that the structure we had seen from the other side had to be connected to this gondola, of course, we began to follow the path of the gondola as it neared the ground and drove into the town of Andalsnes. There we found the Romsdalgondolen which is the newest attraction and the longest cable car in Norway. The rope length is 1675.9 meters (5498 feet), but a ride takes just 5 minutes. The gondola will bring you to the station at 697 meters (2287 feet) above sea level with spectacular panoramic views over fjords and mountain peaks. The cable car in Åndalsnes opened in May 2021. 

It was a little late to make the journey that night, so we decided to spend the night there and ride the gondola to the top the next morning. We were so lucky to get the last room at the Hotel Aak, recognized as the first tourist hotel in Norway, opening in 1860. Hotel Aak is surrounded by the most beautiful of Norwegian nature. The hotel is a small boutique hotel dating back to the 19th Century, built for the mountaineers and adventurers of Norway. And as a bonus, the bar serves delicious cocktails, including an Old Fashioned and a Gin and tonic worth the trip. 

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Trondheim [7/23/23]

Coffee and a cinnamon roll at the Café Bare followed by a walking tour of Trondheim, visiting the Nidaros Cathedral. Nidaros Cathedral is a Church of Norway cathedral located in the city of Trondheim. It is built over the burial site of King Olav II, who became the patron saint of the nation, and is the traditional location for the consecration of new kings of Norway. We were fortunate enough to be at the cathedral just as a wedding party was coming out of the church. Beautiful. That evening we ate at Café Baklandet Skydsstation (which is Swedish for Hinterland Shelter Station) and had Reindeer Stew and Smoked Cod with risotto, both of which are traditional Nordic dishes.

 A wedding had just emerged from the Cathedral.

                 ..                          A mural in our hotel room.

wonderful outdoor meal.

Back to Trondheim [7/22/23]

Breakfast at Le Ski and then off to Trondheim for a couple of days in the city. We made a reservation at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Trondheim and met up with Tor and Monica again for an afternoon break at the Café Bare. We had affogato, ice cream floating in espresso. Yum! We did some shopping, I needed to get a winter jacket because it was unseasonably cold in Norway. We had a little rest at the hotel and then out for burgers and beer at a local restaurant that evening.

Friday, October 13, 2023

A Short Excursion [7/20/23]

The next morning, we drove back to Storlien, Sweden in search of coffee and breakfast. The first café we tried was closed but a local man directed us to a café associated with a hotel just up the hill. The door was open so we walked in only to discover that the proprietor (Lena) had just opened the door to get some fresh air. Although the café was not supposed to open for another hour, she had coffee made and invited us to stay. She offered us some freshly baked croissants (the best either of us had ever eaten). After a conversation with Lena we learned that there was another dome in the area that sounded interesting. She put us in touch with the owner of that dome and away we went for a trip to the “Magic Mountain”. After an extremely arduous trek up a mountain on foot, it turned out that the dome was an Arctic Dome, exactly like the one next to us at Rypetoppen. Additionally, the key which was supposed to be in the lockbox was missing so the only thing we could do was look in the window. The only thing positive about the trip was the view from the top of the mountain. We ended up having pizza at Le Ski for dinner that evening. We learned that the steakhouse served a breakfast buffet each morning, so we planned to come back one more time before leaving the area.  


. The Ski Lift Mechanics Union 202 took a break to pose for pictures.


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Day 1 of our Norway "In Search of the Dream Domes Scandinavia " Trip. 7/19/2023


7/19/2023 We left Dulles the evening of 7/18/2023 which just happened to be my birthday.
Not long after boarding, we were approached by a flight attendant and asked if we
would like to reseat in an area of the plane that was not quite so full. Of course, we
said yes. We were reseated in an empty row and then offered champagne and
snacks to celebrate my birthday…what a great way to start our trip. After a short
stop in Amsterdam, we landed in Trondheim, Norway at approximately 11:30 am
local time. We were met by Tor and Monica at the airport. We had coffee at the
airport, rented a Toyota Prius, and drove north to Rypetoppen Adventure Park
where we had a reservation to spend two nights in a DreamDome. We checked in
and then went to Le Ski (a steakhouse), Storlien, Sweden, for dinner with Tor and
Monica. Later that night we borrowed a canoe from the adventure park and 
paddled to the Brudesløret waterfall in there in the park. We were on the lake between 10 pm and midnight and it was still light. We soon realized that even in the middle of July, when you are that far north, it doesn’t get dark at night at all.