In March 1894, the Norwegian Government decided to build a rail road between Bergen and Oslo. It was to be built across the vast and weather exposed mountains that divides the two cities – Bergen in the west and Oslo in the east. 15 years later, including 700.000 kilograms of dynamite, 500 kilometre of fuses and 2,5 million man hours, the rail road was completed in 1909. As all the labour was by hand, it was built a construction road from Geilo, Voss and Flåm, today known as Rallarvegen. Today, about 25.000 cyclists are biking through the 80 kilometre gravel road ech year, with a spectacular view of the Norwegian highlands.
There are still a few villages that are only accessible by train or biking, one of them called Finse.
So, when I (Tor) got the question if I wanted to use a cabin up here for a couple of weeks to watch my friends dog, I was already packed and ready to go. From my familys cabin at Reime, it is only about 1 hour by train.
The first few days turned out to be rainy, cold, foggy and windy. We got in about 70 kilometers of hiking within the first three days, and did explore quite a few of the mountains here. The difference from Raundalen, which is only about 1 hour away by train, is that the terrain around Finse is so vast. The mountains can be steep, but you have to walk far distances to get to them. Meaning great training for both me and Tess (the dog).
Bridges up here are not made for dogs, for sure. On our way back to Finse from Ramnabergnuten. We didn’t go all the way up as the fog were really tight, and we did’t try to capture it on the camera due to 0 visibility. On our way back, the weather got lighter.
The closest glacier to Finse is called Hardangerjøkulen. The top point is almost 1900 meters above sea level, and the maximum thickness is more than 300 meters. The glacier is very popular during the winter, especially for kiting and skiing. There are glacier arms stretching down towards Finse, and its crevasses can be both wide and deep. This can be quite spectacular during summer, but during winter most of them are concealed with snow.
During the second world war, the Germans actually tried to build an airstrip on Hardangerjøkulen, and carried up thousands of bags of sand. However, after landing the first plane and trying to take off again, the plane got stuck in a crevasse and they terminated the airstrip. As we have been here quite a few days alone now, I have had plenty of time to read about these things.
Right next to Hardangerjøkiulen, by one of its many arms Midtdalsbreen. This is a photo from above, and you can see the river with melting water, in between sediments and rocks, and some green vegetation.
From above, the crevasses below looks like a hand. Blåisen, one of the arms and legs of Hardangerjøkulen, stretching down towards Finse. The stretching forces results in big crevasses. Some of them are revealed already (July) but in a month or so when the snow ,melts even more, they will be quite spectacular.
We have spent a lot of time filming up here, and we will release a small edit pretty soon.
For now, so long Finse, and see you soon!