Tag Archives: birch

When the weather plays ball this is paradise!

Monday 28 October 2019

Yesterday I found myself on a high road in the mountains with the snow beginning to settle on the road and the driving conditions becoming steadily worse. I certainly didn’t want to wild camp in those conditions with the risk that I wouldn’t be able to move in the morning, so I made my way to lower ground. Today the weather was completely different, with clear blue skies and the promise of it continuing throughout the day.

I’d found a campsite in a very small village called Røldal situated right on the edge of Røldalsvatnet lake and surrounded by high mountains. The facilities were excellent and it was run by a very friendly and welcoming farmer’s wife who turned out to be from Sweden and had moved to Norway many years before and brought up five children on this farm.

Røldal campsite

I set off early to explore the surrounding area and I was stunned by it’s beauty. It was the kind of landscape I love, with high mountains, huge lakes and enormous forests. I travelled around the area, known as Røgaland and made many, many photographs. I must say that when confronted by magnificent landscape like this, I do feel somewhat overwhelmed and find it difficult to capture anything resembling a true representation of it with the camera, but I’m here to try and do that, so I’ll keep trying.

See how the light captures the shapes and intricacies of these wintering birch trees, now devoid of all their leaves.
Mokleivåsen beside lake Røldalsvatnet
Lake Røldalsvatnet

I discovered a preserved farmhouse and outbuildings that was apparently typical of the ‘cotter’ or crofter farms of the 18th and 19th century in this area. Built in 1834, the farm had been occupied by the Røynevarden family until 1948 and was now in the care of a Norwegian organisation that strives to preserve the heritage of the area.

Røynevarden farm, note the grass rooves of the house and buildings.

I spent the day driving around the area and decided to return to the same campsite that evening.

Glaciers, Treebeards and Sheep!

Monday 14 October 2019

The first thing I wanted to do today was take some photographs of the Bøyabreen Glacier that I was parked next to. I wanted to get closer to the glacier itself, but due to the size of these things I realised it was much further away than I thought. Access was also difficult because of the steep walls of rock on the approach to it. Finally, I couldn’t see a way around the melt water lake beneath the glacier, so I abandoned any hope of getting closer and reverted, once again, to the 100-400mm lens to get close ups of the summit of the ice.

Bøyabreen Glacier from the glacier lake
Bøyabreen Glacier close up

About an hour’s drive up the road there was another glacier called Supphellebreen. This one came from the same enormous glacier that was out of sight in the mountains behind called Flatbreen glacier . There is a hiking trail up to the edge of Supphellebreen that takes about three hours (each way). There’s more information about this area at the FjordNorway website here. If you are planning a serious roadtrip to Norway, I recommend that you include this are in it. It is stunning.

The glacier is surrounded by rough scrub land dotted with old, twisted birch trees covered in tree beards, that I find really interesting.

woodland surrounding the Supphellebreen glacier

I continued on the E5 heading for Sogndal and whilst stopped for a brew in a rest area, I was closely inspected by sheep no. 66204, who I suspect was expecting some food!

Baa!

I arrived in Sogndal, quite a large town, and continued to a little village called Kjornes and booked into Kjornes Camping for a one night stay. I parked up next to the fjord and settled down for the evening.

Kjornes Camping with Sogndal in the distance.