Today we drove towards Bergen . Our route followed the National Tourist route and would take us over the Hardangervidda mountain plateau and past the spectacular Vøringsfossen waterfall. We wanted to enjoy the drive and have time to stop and admire the scenery so rather than drive all the way to Bergen we planned a stop for the night in Øystese the Hardanderfjoid Hotel. The drive time without stops was scheduled to take 5:30 hours. We set off just after 10:00 am. We had a Brexton stop for lunch before we reached the plateau having the 2 portions of salmon we had cooked the night before .
A problem with the cool box meant it would only operate on mains power. Fortunately we had some cool blocks with us and had been able to freeze them before setting off. We climbed above the tree time and our route took us over the largest mountain plateau in Europe. The balanced stones at Maka paka's field with the lake provide a good photo opportunity but it was too busy to fly the drone.
A shack on the plateau provided an opportunity to purchase reindeer skins. We stopped for a wander round but moved on without buying anything. At another stop a local troll provided a good photo opportunity before we continued our descent from the plateau .
Our route took us past The Vøringsfossen Waterfall . It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Norway with its free fall of 145 metres and a total fall of 182 metres. We parked in the large car park at the top. From there it was only a short walk to the viewing platforms. The area had been developed with a concrete path and glass and metal safety barriers. Photos were taken and Robert decided to descend and cross the footbridge to get to the viewing platform on the other side. Some more photos were taken before the camera battery ran out.
As we descended past Eidford we were surprised to see a cruise ship docked and dominated the small town . We stopped for Brexton coffee and photos.
We arrived at the hotel at around 19:30 after a full day of driving. The area was more build up than we were expecting and we were disappointed to find that the swimming pool was a public pool attached to the side of the hotel. Our room was on the ground floor at the side of the hotel . We did not get a view of the fjord that would have been extra but did have the advantage that we could park outside and carry our things into the room though the patio door. The hotel was a modern building built on the side of the Fjord . From the back of the hotel and terrace there were good views across the fjord and of the Folgefonna glacier. The glacier was viable when we arrived but covered in cloud the next morning when Robert went to photograph it.
We ate in the hotel as there were limited places to eat in Øystese . We noticed that some guests had bought takeaway pizzas from the local takeaway and ate them on the terrace outside with a drink. The menu turned out to be very limited with only 3 main courses. We both opted for an expensive chicken burger with sweet potato fries. Passing on an alcoholic drink which we had back in the room from our German supply.