“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Driving from Aurland to Lærdal you can choose to go through the world’s longest road tunnel. (25 km).
OR; you can choose to take the scenic or rather, the spectacular road over the top of the mountain instead.
The road is called FV 243 and though signs could have been easier to read, but if you’re equipped with either a GPS or a decent map, you should be just fine.
The road climbs up the hillside through some breathtaking hairpins, along steep hills and even here there are farms clinging to the mountainside. Norwegians can live anywhere, no matter how steep.
It is said that the terrain here is so steep that the children are born with one short and one long leg to be able to walk upright here.
After a few km of this you arrive at the Stegastein vantage point. A platform has been built out into the open air 650 meters above the fjord and it supplies a stunning view of the Aurland fjord.
The Platform gives you a feeling of standing out in midair – suspended high above the fjord. walking out onto it is an unnerving experience.
It’s a 3,3 m wide and 31 m long wooden bridge. It stands 13 m tall and gives an incredible view of Aurland and the Aurlandsfjord. The platform was build in 2008 as a part of a national tourist road program and it is open all year round. Please note though, that the road from Stegastein and over the mountain to Lærdal or Erdal is closed during winter (for more info, click here)
The site also has a parking area and toilet facilities.
Leaving Stegastein and climbing further up the mountainside you soon reach the tree line and above it winter is still holding on even if it is almost midsummer. The road reaches its highest point at “Hornsvatnet” a little lake at 1306 m above the sea level.
Driving the 48.6 km over the mountains you can (and probably will) experience at least three, sometime four seasons in a few hours as the weather changes rapidly here.
The drive down to Lærdal on the other side is far less spectcular but the small town of has a lot to offer:
Check out: Lærdal and the flyfishers Mecca