Hardangervidda NP – Norway 22/26

Saebo Camping on Eidfjordvotnet is a perfect spot to watch the world go by!
Our Saebo Camping Cabin is the larger one in the center.
It is very close to Hardangervidda National Park.
The trail we took is well marked with red ‘T’. There were some cabins here – how fun that would be to hike to this spot for the night.
Getting us located on Locus Maps. This app has been so helpful in all our navigation. We loaded all of Norway for free.
Great views!
Great fall colors!
Detail of those wonderful colors and textures.
Amazing variety of lichens and moss.
Even a comfy rock for a picnic lunch!
And back to Saebo Camp to enjoy the fjord lake: Deep breath. Exhale. All is well.

Lovatnet Lake – Norway 15/26

We took our coffee from our cabin at Mindresunde Camping to the shore of Lake Strynevatnet as the morning was so calm,
This is the farm across from our cabin reflected on Lake Strynevatnet.
We drove through Loen and loved the valley clouds over the Innvik Fjord.
Possibly the same cloud has now settled over Lovatnet Lake. Amazing color of the glacier melt water as it reflects the sky on this crisp September morning. We are repeating our route from yesterday as the forecast is to be sunny today.
However, there is a low cloud at the end of the road near Kjenndalsbreen Glacier. These waterfalls seem to fall right from the cloud.
The sun might break through so we can see the Kjenndalsbreen Glacier.
The Kjenndalsbreen Glacier is a branch of the Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest glacier on the European mainland.
Ice and water and rocks: Carving the land with their power.
The sun finally illuminates the Kjenndalsbreen Glacier. The ice looks so blue because it absorbs more red and yellow light and allows more blue light to pass through. This is more noticeable on large blocks of ice like a glacier.
The lush green landscape on our hike at the base of the Glacier.
The green is so green. The color of the moss is so vivid. Quite a feast for the eyes!
We enjoyed the sunny day with a picnic along Lovatnet Lake looking back at Kjenndalsbreen Glacier.
And back at “our” Lake Strynevatnet we soaked up some rays, appreciated the clear skies and the wonderful reflections.

Scenic Trollstigen Route – Norway 9/26

As Norse legend tells it, the first rays of sunlight can turn the mythical trolls into stone (if they don’t hide in time!) so we will explore where trolls have been in the mountains.
Our first stop was at the Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge.
The Valldøla River has cut large potholes and intricate formations into the rock.
Another interesting viewing area with fun art/architecture to experience the  Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge.
Sign outside the Gudbrandsjuvet: the cinnamon buns were awesome! Still warm from the oven they fortified us for the troll search.
From the Trollstigen plateau, rising above the Isterdalen Valley are the three peaks: Bishop, King, Queen (Bispen, Kongen, Dronninga). which led us to debate if the bishop or queen had the most power…
We passed over the glacial moraines with some snow still left in the upper valleys (where the trolls live?). We arrived at the Trollstigen Visitor Center.
The Trollstigen cafe is undergoing repairs from an avalanche this winter but we could still appreciate the design and the location.
We followed the water cascading to the first Viewpoint.
We detoured from the paved path to follow these Sherpa stairs 1km for a private view point.
What a stairmaster!
Great view of the valley!
And we were able to see the next cantilevered Trollstigen Viewpoint.
And a take my picture balcony with The Bishop and The Queen.
The Trolls Ladder (mostly one-lane) was completed in 1936 after 8 years – an engineering marvel. Imagine working in this valley carved out by the glacier, roaring rivers and multiple waterfalls!
A better view of the waterfall through the vertigo inducing glass railing.
An offer to take our picture resulted in this fun shot pointing to the future!
Our GPS pretty much shows the same curves we have just photographed on this one-lane road. We are here in the morning so have missed dodging the tour buses.
Ready or Not. We will probably regenerate many kilometers on the battery of our EV.
At the end of the valley is another Troll spot: Trollveggen Visitor Center. We recharged the car while we ate a picnic lunch in this beautiful setting (cafe closed for the season).
Europe’s highest vertical mountain wall has several climbing routes.
We could browse for a book in this converted telephone booth lending library.
Ramsdalen Valley: the route following the River Rauma has been named Europe’s most beautiful railway line. Filmed around here is the latest Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One

The Driva Valley – Central Norway 5/26

We leave the troll of Dombas for a rambling drive to our next rental.
Our first stop is Vang Burial Ground near Oppdal – the largest Iron Age burial site in Norway with more than 900 mounds – most from the Viking Age, from year 750.  It is a pleasant wooded loop next to a babbling stream. Link for more viking Info.
This interpretive sign was interesting – we had forgot about King Bluetooth of Denmark – imagine paying your taxes in falcons, or walrus tusks.
The Amotan Gorge is unique as 6 rivers meet in this one part of the national park. Svøufallet, 1027 feet tall, is impressive!
We hiked around Amotan  and crossed one of the rapids on this bridge.
At the top of Amotan area we enjoyed our lunch at this picnic table with a view of the valley.
Vinnufossen, the 6th Tallest Waterfall in the World. 2,838 feet – wow. Hard to capture the majestic beautify.
Nordmorsvegan Bridge with the rain obscuring our views as we are head to the end of the peninsula and the fishing village of Bud.

Teruel and Surroundings, Spain

The Roman Aqueduct of Peña Cortada near Cheiva. This is an engineering achievement being 28 KM in length over rugged terrain.
We found the Hanging Bridges of Chulilla over the river Turia. These were originally built as shortcuts by workers building a dam upstream but is now a very scenic hike.
This gives a new meaning to your daily commute!
Our balcony is the lower on left overlooking this lovely Fuente Toran park in Teruel.
We walked across this pedestrian bridge with great views of the valley to explore Old Town.
There was an amazing modernist style Grand Staircase to a park in the valley.
A lovely building in San Juan Square of Teruel.
One of the Mudijar towers of Teruel  – this on the Cathedral.
A gorgeous modernist building on the Torino Square. Notice the very small bull on top of the fountain column. The famous Toro of Teruel.
The nearby village of Albarracin was worth a visit.
Albarracin’s buildings are made of a local pink stone which makes it unique.
We walked to the castle on the hill for a great view.
You can see the walls protecting the city of Albarracin.
Nearby is a hike in the Pinares de Rodeno with this view of the landscape.
There are alcoves with Levantine Petroglyphs like this horse, estimated to be 7,000 years old. Wonderful they are preserved for us to enjoy.
Embassament de Arenos – this is a reservoir we enjoyed on our route back to the Mediterranean coast.

Calpe on Costa Blanca

We are on the 5th floor of a highrise on the north end of Calpe, with Peñón de Ifach – that big rock – to the south.
From our balcony we are enjoying Sunrises on Mediterranean Sea.
There is a wonderful nature trail to the north for several miles.
This is one of the coves where you can get down to the sea – the Cala les Bassetes.
There is a long promenade on the south side that leads to the rock.
We head to the Natural Park Peñón de Ifach for a close up look.
There are a lot of gulls here on the cliff sides of Natural Park of Peñón de Ifach.
Enjoying the sea from the Natural Park of Peñón de Ifach.
From the Natural Park looking back to the North at the section of Calpe we are staying.
On the south side of Peñón de Ifach is a longer beach with lots of sun seeking European tourists.
The Romans were even here! Baños de la Reina were from around 200 BC.
There is no mistaking these as Spanish Steps, leading us to the old town part of Calpe.
Walking back to the apartment, there is an inland salt marsh with year around Flamingos.

The Beauty of Catalonia, Spain

A gorgeous Faro (Lighthouse) at Cap Sant Sebastia.
Amazing pink cliffs from Parador L’Aiguablava.
The Costa Brava has walkways for much of the coast – this at Platja de la Fosca.
The vineyards in the Alta Empurada with sheep near Peralada.
South of the French border we took a walk near La Jonquera through a cork forest.
We went searching for this Menhir Circle, Bas Baleta I. Incredible.
The Menhir Cirlce has a center stone but not sure if it is meant to be a sundial or what the significance is.
Nearby is the Bas Baleta II, a Dolmen that has collapsed.
A short walk took us to Dolmen Estanys II.
There is also the Menhir dels Estanys II – we wonder what these meant.
And then onto Dolmen del Querafumat.
We had some more urban walks, this in the medieval city of Pals.
And here with the Catalan Christmas Log in Peratallada.
This tower in Peralada suggests it is time to head for wine o’clock!

Utah: Exploring

Mid October we headed west to enjoy the fall weather.
The visitor center at Mesa Verde NP was a good break.
Who are those aliens at Valley of the Gods? Enjoying our camp at sunset.
Our zoomed in view of Monument Valley in AZ.
We hiked the West lime Creek drainage area from camp Valley of the Gods.
Henry the Navigator triangulating where we are!
Drive through Valley of the Gods – such interesting formations.
We left the Travato and got out for a walk.
Such a clear day as the Moon set.
Goosenecks State Park – WOW!
And this was our campsite on the rim. Also there was a night star party!
How many Mile 0 have we traveled to?
Hillside towards Mexican Hat with a zoom lens showing erosion – interesting patterns.
Sand Island petroglyphs – always interesting.
Sand Island Petroglyphs  – the figures look playful.
An overnight BLM camp with view of Comb Ridge!
What did we find in Butler Wash?
Dinosaur tracks! Another preserved treasure.
Always worth a hike to see House on Fire in the morning.
What a home!
Site #4 at Hovenweep NM CG was available – one of our favorite spots. Our pics from Oct 2020.
Perfect day to contemplate the canyon and buildings at Hovenweep.
The attention to detail is fabulous.