Day 11 part 2. Bergen to Voss by train Voss to Mjølfjell Youth Hostel.
A quick drink and munch and then we were off. We hoped to get up to somewhere near Upsete that evening, and had decided to limit ourselves to that. The day would consist mostly of going uphill. According to the guidebook we should really have started at Myrdal and gone downhill. Apparently this is something that ATBers do and during the morning and early afternoon several groups of them whizzed athletically past us in the opposite direction. It looked like fun especially as we toiled away at an average speed of ten kilometres an hour.
Out of Voss we had a little map stop. We'd just turned left off the main road and it looked like we were on the right road. As we were checking the route a lady came out of the house we'd stopped in front of, and we chatted in our very broken Norwegian. Yes we were doing the Rallarvegen, was this the right route. After a couple of minutes we bade farewell and she wished us 'Godt tur'.
Then it was climb climb climb. The weather although glorious was too hot for comfort but we certainly saw it at its best. The lower reaches closer to Voss seem to be well populated farmland. On showing some pictures to my mother she commented that it looked like her beloved Hrvatska Zagorje (in Northern Croatia). It was green and lush with pastures and crops near the bottom changing to forests of pine higher up.Shortly after one the road followed a huge bend round to the right. It seemed an ideal place to stop and eat. So we did. We sat at the edge of the road next to a sunny field and ate lunch. The view was truly lovely and we enjoyed it fully.
We decided to take the climb at a steady pace and in shorter bits. Within an hour of eating we saw a stave church, albeit a modern one, with a small graveyard. We paused just to take a quick look. I commented that it seemed a beautiful spot for a final resting place. Had we gone more than an hour we might have stopped longer and although we were not in a hurry wanted to carry on whilst we were feeling OK. If I remember correctly the valley levelled out here for a bit making the cycling somewhat easier.
As we climbed further the terrain became progressively less lush and more barren. At one point we had climbed so far above the river that it was a couple of hundred metres below us. Just for that short section we both got off our bikes to walk, as the only things between us and the bottom of the valley were a low wall and a few shrubs. It did look amazing though.
Somewhere along here the route became tree lined and we stopped in the midday sun to pick up some bread. Damae got the last loaf and I think we had something to drink as well. It was now mid afternoon and really hot. The scenery reminded me of bits of the Lake District or Yorkshire. I like it when you find something familiar in a different place. It reminds me of the things we all have in common.