In 2015, Team Onetimefashionista set voyage across 4 countries, 2 islands, 2 deserts and 13 cities/locations in 4 continents to share the joy with you that how addictive and enriching it is to see the world by yourself with all your senses. Earlier in 2015, we set foot on the southern most point of the United States where the foamy waves of the Pacific Ocean splashed on our feet in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. We climbed up the Kjerag Mountains to see a dangling rock and completed an epic 2200 km cross-country drive through the country where God lives – Norway. Then we put a big tick on the biggest country of the whole world while we hummed and followed “The Moskva, down to Gorky Park, listening to the wind of change…” in Russia. Finally, towards the end of the happening year, we went to the cradle from where it all started for the human civilisation – Egypt – where it all began!
Pushing the envelope got a new meaning after what we did for the next leg of our road trip from Bergen. Faced with the options of doing something extraordinary and something exceptional we ended up doing the latter. The northern attraction of the Atlantic Ocean Road was our next coveted destination but the problem was that not only was it another eight to nine hour drive up north but also we were under the condition that we had to return to Oslo the following early morning to catch our flight. We kept on checking the driving direction and duration on Google maps and my mind kept on telling me to drop the plan. However like most other occasions, the person who inspires to levitate to the next level appeared in full form despite mild illness. Tanusree seemed to have only one objective in life during that time and that was to drive along the Atlantic highway at any cost.
If you were late to get into our car to enjoy the amazing cross country road trip around Norway, you need to start from reading the first post here. Have a quick read now to set your compass in the same direction as ours – so that you know from where we started and how we enjoyed the part I. This is the next edition of this “once in a lifetime” road trip so fasten your seat belt while we take sharp turns for the 2nd leg of our journey.
Some extra amount of gas was burnt to accelerate the arrival at our destination since we were driving on the eve of my birthday. So for some unknown reason Shehzaad didn’t want to end up crossing the frontier of one age to another inside a precipitating four wheeler in the middle of nowhere in remote rural Norway. We kept staring at the decreasing distance on the pink route map in the GPS while the road ahead kept twisting like the swirling dervishes of Istanbul. Finally when we did reach our resort at the sleepy Byrkjedal we were witnessed may be only by a few vigilant owls at work.
A rule of thumb goes like this that if you just want to experience a country by its face value, it will suffice just to be in its main cities. But if you have to feel the pulse of the heartbeat of that country, you have to step outside of the concrete blocks and venture out in the country side. And the best way to search for the soul of that country is done when you drive through its geography. With a tank full of fuel and a heart full of adventure, you can steer the wheel to take you to places unforeseen and hidden far from the usual. The cross country road trip we just did all around Norway just transformed us head over heels in love with that fairy tale country. Over the span of 7 days we drove around 2,200 kilometres anti clockwise starting from Oslo in the east, down to Byrkjedal on south, Bergen on west, Atlantic Highway up north and back to Oslo.
Here is an advice not many will give you while planning to travel to Bergen, the city of the seven mountains in Norway. You may be pondering to take the flight or arrive by a cruise ship, but in my opinion, the best way to arrive in style and in complete awe is by driving a car. Either you are arriving from down south via Stavanger or from up north say from Alesund, the sights and scenery at almost every turn in the roads that lead to Bergen are strewn with an abundance of jaw-dropping natural beauty, humming the harmonic coexistence of people and nature all along the way. We drove from Byrkjedal via Stavanger, religiously following the E39 route all the way through until we arrived at the 2nd largest city of Norway pretty late at night just to crash in to recharge our batteries for the following day’s activities.
Like an anti-climax of a movie, the famous rock of Kjerag seemed like a mirage drawing the thirsty voyagers to an even farther oasis. We did reach the snow-clad mountain slope where the directions showed the rock was situated but we couldn’t see. Reluctantly I was about to make another climb when Tanusree luckily met two other hikers who showed us the precious position where the rock was hanging. It transpired that further up was the place for adrenaline junky base jumpers who went for free falls. So I came down and slided down to the cliff suggested by the other hikers. A quick turn of the head and voilà! There was the sizeable piece of rock gently maintaining its balance between the two walls of the mountain, something so unique, never seen before. The sight of the Lysefjord down below and the gigantic Langavatn mountain on our left with cascading waterfalls from this location was breathtaking. Especially the graceful was the tall waterfall was making its way deep down below was like a poetry in slow motion. It was a slow unfurling of flowing stream as if the gorgeous mountain beauty was undoing her long foamy hair to mesmerise the onlookers.
If it is your birthday then you always have the choice of cutting a cake surrounded by the warmth of family and friends in a cosy restaurant or in the comfort of your living room. You can always raise a few toasts to celebrate the additional milestone in your life meter and blow away the flames of the candles making secret wishes for your health and wealth. Finally you can always dance the night away with the beats of music to beat the blues of becoming a year older. I did something different for the first and may be the last time in my life to celebrate the ushering into the 35th birthday. I, along with my partner in crime, rhyme and reason of life – completed on the 13th of June 2015, an arduous and extreme hiking up and down, for a total of nine and half hours, three mountains in the gigantic Kjerag range in south-west Norway to see for ourselves the miraculously dangling Kjeragbolten rock which is a wonder of nature. Suspending above a 984-meter deep abyss, it is a boulder located in the Kjerag mountain in Rogaland, Norway. The rock itself is a 5 m³ glacial deposit wedged in the mountain’s crevasse and the hike itself of these mountains is classified as ‘extreme’.