Sunday, July 26, 2009

RV17: Ferries, Skerries and Rock Art (oh my)

Route 17, the Atlantic coast highway, a storied route in Norway

Granite, everywhere, mountains rising from the fiords and the sea

On one of the numerous, sleek, high, long,
Norwegian bridges on RV17

An inland valley view

Our campsite on Tjotta harbor

Subtle harbor signage

Our drive July 15 along the RV17 went faster than expected, aided in part by hitting the ferries just about exactly right. The day took us from Grong to Tjotta, with a major excursion to the island of Tro. In all, I think there were 4 ferry crossings—Holm to Venesund, Horn/Andalsvagen, Forvik to Tro, and Tro to Tjotta. The last two were major voyages, ferry-wise, 45 minutes in duration each.

In retrospect the excusion to Tro was one of the more iffy things we have done. We had read that one of the islands RV 17 passes by is Tro, where there are important paleolithic rock carvings, including the 10,000 year old skier that was the emblem of the Lillehammer Olympics. Tro was on the way, sort of, to our next destination, Tjotta, so we bought tickets on the ferry, drove right on, and looked forward to a 45minute voyage and to seeing some paleolithic good stuff a bit off the beaten path.

We began to get some idea of how far we were off the beaten path when we noticed we were the only party and vehicle getting off at Tro; that there were no ferry lines personnel to greet us or direct us, no kiosk, no signage, no pavement; no tourist information center, nobody wanting to sell us reindeer sausage and dried fiske. Nobody at all, as a matter of fact. Driving around a bit on gravel roads introduced us to a couple of joggers, two school-children, and, finally, a gentlemen who happily got in his car and led us to the trail-head, past two gates, which we never, ever, would have found or crossed on our own. Kindness of strangers, again.

The hike itself was a bit of an adventure....poorly signed originally, across fields, a ravine, a woods, finally, to the fiord off-shoot where the carvings lie. The carvings themselves were great. They had been covered for conservation, and we were the first of the season to see them. See pix.

We got back to the camper and then to the dock for the 8:00PM ferry to Tjotta with time to spare. We were very happy to see that ferry.

More on RV17 on succeeding posts.

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