Road trip Scandinavia: Day 4 (Gaustatoppen and the Southern Hardangervidda)

This morning we got up already at 07:45… First we had a quick breakfast, then loaded the car, and after picking up a sandwich and some pastries for later in the nearby grocery store, we started driving up North at 09:00. We took the mountain road from Sauland towards the Stavsro parking, thus I could finally drive the car in the sport mode, and “shift manually” using the paddle shifters ;) Since we had to climb over 10% sections quite a few times, or later descend at reasonable speeds without melting our brakes, this was actually really necessary. The scenery was beautiful, and we could not complain about the weather either.

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Then in the parking we put on our hiking boots and a few extra layers (as the temperature at an altitude of 1173 metre was only 7°C, and it would not get much warmer on the way up), then started the climb towards the peak at 10:00. The path was not too steep but it was very rocky, so we had to work quite hard both on the way up and on the way down. The view from the top was first class, we could – supposedly – see one sixth of the whole country from there. I went even a bit furtherer from the lookout platform towards the actual peak along the narrow ridge of the mountain, but turned back before reaching the top because the last section was quite difficult to navigate and we were already a bit behind time.

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We arrived back to the parking at 14:40 (details on Strava), and started driving further after a well deserved coffee. We spent the rest of the day driving Westwards through beautiful scenery, crossing snowy mountain plateaus (just along the Southern border of the Hardangervidda National Park) or following rivers and lakes (e.g., on the narrow road along the Northern coast of Lake Totak) in the valleys below, stopping quite often for a picture or two at the side of the road. It was really nice driving on these roads, I don’t think this could ever get boring in Norway.

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Tonight we are staying in a nice cabin at the Røldal Hyttegrend Camping, and we even did a small walk to the lake and the local stave church before dinner and now it is already too late and picking a few pictures always takes ages!!! First world problems, I know…

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Odometer reading at the end of the day: 1575 km (of which 198 km was today).

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