The Kystriksveien: Earth’s most lovely highway journey?

On the hour-long Kilboghamn-Jektvik ferry, the route crossed a fjord that felt like open ocean, the far horizon filling with jagged ridges, one after the opposite, so far as the attention might see. Norway’s favorite literary son, Henrik Ibsen, as soon as described Norway’s excessive nation as “palace piled upon […]

On the hour-long Kilboghamn-Jektvik ferry, the route crossed a fjord that felt like open ocean, the far horizon filling with jagged ridges, one after the opposite, so far as the attention might see. Norway’s favorite literary son, Henrik Ibsen, as soon as described Norway’s excessive nation as “palace piled upon palace”. Right here greater than ever, I knew what he meant.

Someday after leaving Kilboghamn, however earlier than the ferry arrived at Jektvik, I crossed the Arctic Circle. To the north of this line, on 21 December, the day’s shortest yr, the solar is not going to rise; on 21 June, it is not going to set.

Every of the six ferry journeys alongside the route felt like a ceremony of passage, none extra so than the crossing of the Arctic Circle. A line on the map should not make a distinction, however right here the mountains appeared even greater, the ice a deeper shade of blue. There was a sure gravitas too, within the data that the huge Svartisen icecap, certainly one of mainland Norway’s largest, lay hidden from view simply past the wall of mountains. Glacier tongues swept steeply down from the heights to the shores of cobalt-blue fjords that have been themselves carved by glaciers in aeons previous; among the fjords listed below are greater than 1km deep.

The wildly lovely drive was practically carried out. Visitors and noise and roadside buildings gathered on the ultimate method to Bodø. However yet one more shock lay in wait: Saltstraumen, the most important tidal maelstrom on the planet. Searching for all of the world like a horizontal waterfall, the 3km-long, 150m-wide Saltstraumen Strait churns with 400 million cubic metres of water each six hours. At its strongest, it resembles a collection of large whirlpools that threatens to suck all the things down into unseen depths under the floor of the Earth. This being Norway, there’s a bridge over it, and searching down on the surging waters from above, it was arduous to not really feel a way of vertigo.

It was nearly an excessive amount of drama for one journey, an excessive amount of magnificence to absorb, an excessive amount of marvel to soak up. Not for the primary time, I understood why Joost and Anneke return to drive the Kystriksveien again and again. I already knew that when was by no means going to be sufficient.

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