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Norway – Day 3 – Geilo To Bergen

Today we drove from Geilo to Bergen across the beautiful Hardangervidda mountain plateau. We stopped to visit the Steinsdalsfossen waterfall as we got closer to Bergen. Highlight of the trip was crossing Hardanger Fjord via the newly built suspension bridge. The bridge is about 20 metres longer than the Golden Gate in San Francisco and it’s BEAUTIFUL! You can only access the bridge from a tunnel. And the tunnel has a roundabout in it. Basically, you enter the tunnel, go though the roundabout, exit directly onto the bridge. Once you cross you immediately enter another tunnel and go through another roundabout. I shot a video of the experience on the GoPro and it will be posted in a secondary update on this blog.

Temperatures at the lower levels continue to be warmer than expected, but in the mountains it is cooler and Bergen is not unpleasant. We had a fantastic dinner by the harbor at Lokalt&Lekkert. Tomorrow we explore the town.

Snow In The Mountains Of Norway

Norway

Hardanger Suspension Bridge

Steinsdalsfossen

Norway – Day 2 – Oslo To Geilo

Today we picked up the car and headed to Geilo. Today was mostly about positioning ourselves to get to the west of Norway. Tomorrow we had to Bergen for a few days as we gear up for fjord country.

It was only about a 4 hour drive, but getting the car and stopping for a few photos and some supplies stretched this out to around 7 hours in total.

Troll

Careful when selecting a beverage. Not reading the label carefully lead to this. Not horrible, but the first sip was a surprise.

Cuccumber Spright?

Church

Lupins

Church

We took a small deteour to see the Kroderbanen Railroad Museum

Kroderbanen Railroad Museum

Kroderbanen Railroad Museum

We’re safely in Geilo (pronounced “yi-low”) now and plan to have a nice dinner and take it easy before getting up for the next part of the journey. And although there are warning signs, we think we’re pretty safe from moose attacks. Photo by Cynthia, my vigilant co-pilot

Norway – Day 1 – Oslo

We flew from Houston to Amsterdam and then on to Oslo to begin our driving tour of Norway. We did not realize that Oslo was celebrating Gay Pride today with one of the biggest parades I have ever seen. Over 35,000 marchers. And it went right past our hotel. This was fine for viewing the amazing parade. The fact that the celebrations continued until 3 am in the park across the street was less enjoyable. We found some dinner after the parade and tried our best to sleep. Tomorrow we pick up the rental car and drive to Geilo.

Oslo Pride Parade 2018

Oslo Pride Parade 2018

Oslo Pride Parade 2018

Oslo Pride Parade 2018

Oslo Pride Parade 2018

Winners

My two favorite shots of the trip are the two I had the least hope of coming away with.

The first is this HDR shot of an iceberg near Twillingate. Three shots on a moving boat took some work to merge. It was a total experiment that ended up working out.

Twillingate Iceberg - HDR

My other iceberg photos (including the ones from Iceland) can be found here.

The second was an attempt to photograph the Milky Way on one of the clear moonless nights. This is over the fjord near Gros Morne.

Milky Way in Gros Morne

I’m new to astrophotography and I don’t get to places where I can practice very often so I am rather happy with the results.

Day 19 – Cabot Trail

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There were storms on the island of Cape Breton. Lightning lit up our hotel room all night long. Cynthia slept like a log but I watched from the window for a while. It was pretty to watch, but was dashing hopes for a good day on the trail.

We got up and had breakfast and got on the road. We immediately hit some fog and also road construction.

Fog On The Cabot Trail

As we drove we went in and out of the fog as we went up and down the mountains. It was not encouraging. But we kept driving. Eventually we did clear the fog and the rain stopped. And the view improved.

Cabot Trail

We kept driving and decided to go ahead and take the entire loop around the Cabot Trail. That’s over 200 miles in total so it was a full day.

We had a good time, stopping now and again to see what there was to see

Inukshuk On Cape Breton Island

And even to goof around

Cynthia Moose

Jay Moose

It turned into a beautiful day and we had a great time

Cabot Trail

When we finally returned to the hotel that afternoon we took a hike on the Middle Head Trail that is on the grounds behind our hotel.

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

It was beautiful, but we were pretty tired so we only walked for a mile or so before turning back. This was a find end to this fantastic journey. Tomorrow we drive back to the Halifax area so we can pack up and get ready to catch our flight home.

Day 17 – Lunenburg to Baddeck

As usual, we were up early and got out of town quick to make our way to the next destination. The drive took us close to Peggy’s Cove so we decided to take the short detour and see if it was any better in the early morning. It was. Still some tourists crawling around, but not as bad as yesterday.

Peggy's Cove

We left and made a stop near D’Aubins Cove where we noticed the water was exceptionally still

D'Aubins Cove

We drive on to Baddeck and got checked into our hotel. Turns out there was a small festival in the city center where we were able to see some live traditional music and have an enjoyable but early evening.

Baddeck Street Festival

Tomorrow, Cabot Trail!

Day 15 – Digby to Lunenburg

Cape Forchu Lightstation In The Fog

We woke this morning to rain and fog. And we had fog for most of our drive to Lunenburg via Yarmouth. This was a bit of a disappointment as parts of the drive looked like they would have been quite scenic. We did try stopping at a few lighthouses, but the fog was just too thick to contend with.

There were some odd things to see on the road, though. Like this relic from the past.

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As we pulled into Lunenburg the weather began to clear up and we had the opportunity to go for a walk down by the harbor and see the boats and have some dinner.

We retired rather quickly to our charming bed and breakfast and called it a night. Tomorrow the weather looks to be very good and we have some driving planned to explore the area.

Bluenose II

Day 13 & 14 – Halifax, Nova Scotia to Digby and Digby Neck

We got up and drive from Halifax to Digby. Digby is a very pleasant town and home to the Digby scallop fleet. So of course, we had to try the scallops. They are delicious.

Digby Harbour

Digby Harbour

For our full day in Digby we decided to drive down the Digby Neck, a small thin peninsula that leads to Long Island and then to Brier Island over a couple of short ferry rides.

Digby Ferry

When we crossed from Digby Neck to Long Island we took the opportunity to hike out to Balancing Rock in Tiverton. The rock hangs out over St. Mary’s Bay. It’s a 2.4 kilometer hike each way so a total of about 3 miles to get there. Plus there is 235 steps leading down the cliff side towards the end of the trail at the end to see the rock.

Path To Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock

We were blessed with some good weather and the hike was quite manageable. And in the end, the payoff was a spectacular view with almost perfect light.

Balancing Rock

We proceeded on and caught the second ferry over to Brier Island for our next adventure which was to take a Zodiac boat out to see if we could see some whales.

The Zodiac is a small boat and when you take one on a tour like this you have to wear a special thermal jumpsuit in case you fall into the water.

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Thermal Suit

We prepared to board the boat and as the previous tour was disembarking we asked if they had seen any whales and they said no. We were a bit discouraged by this news but as we moved out to see the boat pilot let us know that some whales had been sited about 20 miles out in the Bay Of Fundy. That’s a long ways to travel in one of these small boats and it was quite the adventure getting out there. When we did get out there the boat that was tracking the whales was gone and there were no whales. But then the boat pilot shouted that he saw a spout of water and proceeded forward for another 1/2 mile or so and we were treated to two humpback whales swimming very close to us.

This first picture is another Zodiac like ours and gives you a sense of scale.

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

This second and third photo gives you a sense of how close we got to the whales.

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

This was a great day in Nova Scotia!

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

Tomorrow, Lunenburg via Yarmouth.