Discover Norway | Off to Vikafjell (Vikafjellet)
The Vikafjell (Vikafjellet) separates two of the most impressive fjords in Norway, the Sognefjord in the north and the Hardangerfjord in the south. We come with our VW bus via the Reichsstraße RV 13 from Vinje almost to the north to Vik.
Roads through elongated valleys, small farming villages and tranquil lakes provide a picturesque setting for this area of Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. We keep stopping on the elongated Myrkdalsvegen. Sun and clouds bathe the Myrkdal again and again in dramatic and contrasting light. We still only see the snow-capped mountains in the distance. But we know that we will be right in the middle of it soon. Even now at the end of May. On our last tour over the turn of the year, the temperatures here were significantly below minus 20 degrees Celsius. But now it is spring in the mountains and so we expect a mixture of thawing snow and barren areas in soft brown and green tones.
Fortunately, the journey to Vikafjell (Vikafjellet) alone takes a long time. Because for us the way is the goal. Nothing that drives us. Except the desire to BE, to be here. The road rises slowly and steadily, the mountain stream with its many branches rushing almost parallel into the valley. There are always small holiday huts of the locals, because the entire area around Vikafjell (Vikafjellet) and Myrkedal is ideal for cross-country skiing and hiking.
We stop shortly before the switchbacks, which finally lead to Vikafjell (Vikafjellet). The landscape shows all the colors that mountains have to offer. We pour the crystal-clear water of the mountain stream into our drinking bottles and brew fresh tea at this location. Two waterfalls bring the melt water of Vikafjell down into the valley. We wander around for a while. Pay attention to the edges, behind which it can suddenly go down a few meters. For such terrain I bought a two-meter safety rope with two carabiners, which connects my little daughter’s chest belt to my belt.
We can’t get enough of this beauty and we need time before we get back in and drive further north to Vikafjell (Vikafjellet)
We slowly drive this asphalted zigzag line up to Vikafjell (Vikafjellet) and keep looking into Myrkedal. Because the panorama is breathtaking, fantastic, indescribable. Again and again the sun changes its light due to the rapid movement of the clouds. The landscape at the foot of the Vikafjell (Vikafjellet) is illuminated with dignity, like with a huge theater spot.
It is fascinating to cross the snow line. When we were here at the end of December, the snow was up to four meters high in Vikafjell (Vikafjellet). The road through Vikafjell was like a small straight gorge between two high white walls. Sometimes the pass is blocked, then you wait at the barriers for the snow blower and form a convoy with it. Because even four-wheel drive vehicles, no matter how heavy, would no longer be able to cope with the snow masses. But disorientation is even more dangerous if you no longer recognize a street in the white plain and, in the worst case, would slide into the deeper terrain.
But now it is May and the roads are clear and we hardly recognize the landscape in the fells. Almost not. Because the contours, the hills and the depressions form a very similar silhouette. Snow-covered lakes can be recognized by their flat surface, so we know where they were.
We are looking for one of the parking options, because today we will spend the night in Vikafjell (Vikafjellet). The mountain huts are partly deserted and for many motorhome travelers, the Vikafjell is too unpredictable from the weather. We do not park in the field with respect to nature, because damaged plants in such regions sometimes take a few months to years to recover. Apart from that, such behavior does not fall under the general rule, the right of everyone and can be really expensive. The few bays on the not too busy street are big enough and a VW camper can handle very little space.
Today we have to be careful on the snow edges so as not to break into the water holes. The thawed water already shimmers in turquoise green, but there is still an ice sheet underneath. Every step with which we sink deeply needs to be considered.
Our dog loves snow and it is as if he recognizes the Vikafjell (Vikafjellet). He can’t wait to jump in the snow, wallow in it, plow through the heavy white water with his snout and then shake happily.
It is also an experience for our little daughter to be able to run around in the snow wearing light clothing. Afterwards we will sit in front of the VW bus and enjoy a cup of tea and some Norwegian cookies in front of this panorama.
It is very rare, but still possible to encounter reindeer in this area. Because there are about 500 tame and wild reindeer in the Vikafjell area (Vikafjellet) between Voss and the Sognefjord. From 1848, the farmers with their small mountain farms wiped out the wild reindeer in this area, worried that they might attract the wolf. In addition, they preferred to use the few pastures for their cattle.
It was not until 1950 that 10 reindeer were released in the area around Vikafjell (Vikafjellet), from which a healthy wild population developed in this extensive area, which corresponds to the food supply. Reindeer get along very well with barren landscapes. Today there are fixed quotas for hunting.
We won’t see any animals today or tomorrow, even if we walk deep into the Vikafjell (Vikafjellet). It’s worth it. Provided you have waterproof and sure-footed footwear with you. The marked paths of the Norsk Turist Foreningen are ideal for an extensive hike. This association is comparable to the Alpine Association and takes care of the unforgettable opportunities for hiking and cross-country skiing all over Norway.
After an extensive breakfast and a short hike, we pack up in the late morning and will visit the municipality of Vik on the Sognefjord and Fresvik at the other end of the road in memory of our best Christmas and New Year’s Eve with Norwegian friends in this place.