Updated: Jun 18, 2020
During our last motorcycle trip, we had the joy of visiting Åndalsnes. Once again I was torn, just like in Oppdal, because I wanted to just park the motorcycle and go hiking. Combined with sitting down to enjoy the view. I could stare for hours into these dreamlike mountains, and I´m sure Kenneth would enjoy them tremendously as well too.
Åndalsnes is a city located about 300 km southeast of our home town (Trondheim, Norway). It had a population of 2416 (source) in January 2019, which means it would never be called a city anywhere else but in Norway. In 1966, the municipal council simply decided to call themselves a city, because that´s how we do things here. What it lacks in numbers of inhabitants it clearly makes up for in breathtaking nature. As much as I love the place, and encourage people to visit, I wouldn´t want a huge surge of inhabitants to move in. That might sound selfish, and in truth, it´s because I wouldn´t want nature to be disturbed too much. From Dombås you can catch the train to Åndalsnes, which undoubtedly must be the most beautiful train ride in the world. That I´ve taken.
Åndalsnes is such a stunning place, which our drone footage clearly shows. If you ever have a chance to visit here, I would suggest you take your time and enjoy some of the astonishing nature that surrounds it.
After enjoying all of these remarkable sights, it would be time to get back on the motorcycle and ride one of Norway´s most famous mountain passes: Trollstigen. It translates to The Troll Ladder, and you can see why. I had the opportunity to enjoy this road from a car back in 2017. We planned to ride this on our recent trip, but things did not turn out the way we had planned.
If you´re planning to ride an awesomely scenic route in Trondheim, it´s best to check that the road is actually open first. We learned that the semi-hard way (wasn´t that hard, we got a stunning detour!). That goes for mountain passes especially, but also other roads in spectacular scenery. If you´re smarter than us (which I´m guessing you are, it doesn´t take much), you´ll go to 175.no while planning. That website (and phone number!) gives traffic information for any place in Norway and is updated day and night.
Did you see our YouTube video from the trip?
Now, we could only stay a short time in Åndalsnes, because we had plans. In Oslo. I really don´t like Oslo, and would much rather stay in Åndalsnes and the surrounding area. But I do like Louis, and we wanted to see him, and he regrettably lives in Oslo. But man! If we could only have more time in Åndalsnes, there are lots of great places to explore. Just like my blogpost from Oppdal, there are things I´ve experienced here that I would have loved to show you, plus new places I´d like to take you to.
Sights I would have shown you
Romsdalseggen. One of the most spectacular hikes in Norway. It follows the top of several mountains from Venjesdalen and finishes in Åndalsnes. It´s 10 km long, and its highest peak is 1302 masl. From there you can enjoy the view of the entire valley, the river Rauma and see all the way to the coast. I did this hike in September 2017 with two friends, and I´m at a loss for words on how to describe it. Just look at these pictures.
My friend Karoline took these amazing photos and allowed me to use them. Thank you so much!
And thanks for letting me use your awesome photos, Marianne!
You´ll need a full day for this hike, as you´ll want to take your time to enjoy the view. Some locals will run along the top, but that´s just because they´re crazy and spoiled. Certain spots have chains on them for you to hold on to, simply because things get a bit steep.
Right at the end of Romsdalseggen, close to the city center of Åndalsnes and a goal quicker to reach, is Rampestreken. This is a much shorter hike at 1,7 km, but also quite steep. You start at 26 masl and finish at 536 masl. The view is pretty sweet here, too.
Sights I haven´t seen but would love to
Via Ferrata Vestveggen
Via ferrata means "the iron road", and is a climbing trail that has steel wires bolted to the mountain. That means you can climb some amazing mountain walls without much skill. You borrow a helmet, climbing harness and securing line with carabiners. You hook yourself into the steel wires as you go, so if you do fall you won´t fall too far. I did the Via ferrata in Loen and loved it! Kenneth doesn´t think he´ll like it, he says it would feel too safe with the steel wires. I don´t know, I was pretty far out of my comfort zone back in Loen and felt like I had dinosaurs, not butterflies, in my stomach. So exciting and so much fun! I´d love to try the one in Åndalsnes too.
Roughly translated to Church roof. Looks like an awesome place to both hike and ski. It would be awesome to follow this trail and see the top! It is 6,9 km long and you get to climb 1336 meters. Should be fun!
My colleague went skiing here, and boy does it look awesome. Right?
The more I research Åndalsnes, the more of it I want to explore. Better stop then, because we´re headed a lot further south by the end of the year! So many things to see, so many things to do. By things, I mean nature. Which is not a flimsy object we throw away when we get sick of it like some Barbie, but rather a phenomenon to cherish and work to uphold. To strive for, to sacrifice for.
Us humans, we are from nature and we belong to nature. Nature does not belong to us. Even if that´s what our actions often point toward.
Have you been to Åndalsnes? Is this a place you´d like to hang your hammock? -Pia