Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adventure of the Seas, Alesund, Norway (Part 4) - Trollstigen and Heading Back to Ship

Part 4 - In the previous post, I wrote that after we were done with the Trollstigen viewpoints, instead of driving down the Troll road, we did something else.

What happened was that on the way to the Trollstigen Visitor Center (coming from Valldal), I had noticed a spot where a number of cars had pulled over, as if there was something to see.  But because there wasn't any tourist or clear sign that it was a place of interest, I drove on.  Shortly after, we reached the Trollstigen Visitor centre.

Wondering what we had missed, I had decided to backtrack - go back at most 10 minutes by car, if we couldn't find the place, we would then resume our original course.

It was a great thing I decided to back-track.  In less than 5 minutes, I spotted the same place again with a number of vehicles pulled over.  We parked safely, got off, and this was what we saw.

There were no signs, no buildings.  We walked closer and saw this.   Snow!

Isn't this cool!!

Yes, we decided to go walk on the snow.

I think all these would melt in the next few days?

I saw some people climbing up and walking in the direction straight ahead.  There was a sign in the distance. Well, I decided not to pursue this, since I didn't know where it would lead us to.  (Didn't want to risk breaking a leg either)

The scenery was spectacular enough from where we were!

We spent like 20 minutes playing on the snow.  Hey, we come from the Tropics!  30 deg C all year round.

Alright, back to the road.   You can see some cars just pulled over by the side of the road and their drivers were walking around, taking photos.

Don't miss this part of the drive if you are doing the Troll road.  This area is just a 5 minute drive from the Trollstigen Visitor centre, in the direction of Valldal.

Back to the Troll Road
After having enough fun with the snow, it was time to head down the Troll Road and start making our way back to Alseund.  This is a video my wife took, as I drove down the Troll Road.  It was fun.  It wasn't that scary, in fact, it was quite easy because the actual distance was short.  No doubt the bends were very sharp, but you just drive slowly during the sharp bends.  Driving down was easy, effortless for the car, you just have to control the brakes!

The family was rather tired now.  Kids wanted to nap a bit in the car.  So I decided to skip the Troll Wall and back our way back.  The plan was to stop briefly at one of the towns along the way back to grab a bite.  The route we took back was via Andalnes. (E 136)  It is a slightly longer route but we get to see different scenery on the way back. (Romsdalsfjord).  Total distance was 134km, so this would take a while.

The route didn't bring us to the center of Aldalsnes, we just passed the outskirts.  We stopped at what looked like a retail store and my wife went down to check if there was food available.  The locals told her to try the petrol station nearby, where there was some cafe.

So we found our way to the petrol station. There was indeed some sort of cafe, with some locals having their meals.  Anyway, we just needed a quick bite.  You can see the prices.  Biffburger XL 109 NOK.

Monsterburger at 134NOK.

Coffee - self-serve machine.

A closer look at the machine.

Salads, sandwiches and other cold stuff.

Some cold food, if you care for them.

They had hot dogs too.

We ordered a couple of burgers.  The servings were fairly large.  Came with french fries and a cold drink (just pick one from the fridge).

Another angle of the burgers we got.  They tasted decent.

After the meal break, I drove straight back towards Alesund, stopping again at Sjoholt for a bio-break. It was here I took out the the owner's manual from the glove compartment and took some photos.  I was driving the BMW 5-SERIE TOURING.

These are some technical specification for the 520d, the model I was driving.

In case you are not aware, it is quite a thrill for me to get to drive a BMW 5-series.  Singapore has the most expensive car prices in the world.  The BMW 520d sedan in Singapore is currently retailing at about $250,000 SGD, or USD 200,000.   How much does the BMW 5 series cost in the US?

Anyway, it was fun driving, though overall I like the feel of the Volvo XC90 better.

In my next post, we go to Aksla Viewpoint, on the way back to the ship.

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