THERE WAS ONE THING I couldn’t get over while on my road trip around Fjord Norway: the feeling I got every time I was about to exit a highway tunnel. I’d be weaving through these modern-day engineering marvels, tunnels that drop below the ocean and cut through massive mountains, sometimes spanning miles, but once I saw the faint light at the end, the excitement would start to grow. It was the mystery of what I’d see next — a fairy-tale village sitting at the base of a mountain? A glacier clinging to the edge of a cliff? A thread of turquoise water leading into a fjord?
Each time it was different, which made for one hell of a scenic road trip. These images are the visual diary of my time driving though the one-of-a-kind countryside of Fjord Norway. Hope you enjoy.
A small fishing boat rests in the calm waters of Fjærland.
Fjærland, Book Town
Fjærland is Norway’s first International Book Town. There are small bookshops and outlets everywhere you look, including tucked into the sides of barns.
Another look at Fjærland
This is a good example of the villages you'll come across when you exit the long tunnels that wind through the mountains.
If you stop everywhere that looks cool, your road trip will last months.
Norwegians are big hikers. They know they have some of the world's most beautiful mountains in their backyard, and they like to take advantage.
Some of Fjord Norway's peaks top 5,000 feet, meaning all types of weather can happen here anytime of the year. I learned this the hard way when I took on the 6-hour hike to the Skåla tower in my boardshorts and quickly found out that is not ideal attire when it starts snowing in August.
The hikers I met along the way could only laugh—they were properly prepared and couldn’t believe this idiot from California did the hike in shorts. They were extremely nice, though, and even offered up an extra pair of pants for me to wear for the journey back down, which saved my butt!
This lake sits next to the town of Loen, southeast of Alesund.
Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be lucky enough to come across these little stands selling “moreller,” or locally grown cherries. They operate on the honor system…just drop in your payment, grab a tub, and off you go.
One of the countless waterfalls I came across driving through Fjord Norway.
Another post-midnight sunset in Fjord Norway.
Kviknes Hotel, Balestrand
“A tradition in the Fjords since 1877.”
The woodcarvings inside the Kviknes Hotel are stunning pieces of work depicting the traditional Norwegian way of life.
Hopperstad Stave Church, interior
The interior of the Hopperstad Stave Church in the town of Vik. The church was built in the mid-12th century.
Hopperstad Stave Church, exterior
Like many things I saw on my drive, the exterior of the church looked like a scene out of a nursery rhyme.
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Since graduating from San Diego State University, Scott has dedicated 3 months a year to travel and photographing the world's unique cultures. While not on the road, you can visit Scott every summer at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. You can also view his travel photography at ScottSporleder.com.