Day 22-1. Day in Voss, waiting for the night train to Oslo.
I awoke feeling a bit grumpy as our cycling holiday had ended up as a mooching around holiday. I guess it was a swings and roundabouts situation. If we had been couragous and gone up to Florø and taken the boat to Bergen we would have probably had to have taken the train to Voss. Going up via Geiranger would probably have been do-able in a day having done the 13. We hadn't done much at all in the last week and our three days in Voss were to be followed by two more in Copenhagen. I grumped that I wanted to concentrate on the cycling next trip, and do incidental sight-seeing. Damae was being patient again, after a while changing the subject to 'what are we doing today' from 'what are we going to do next year'. Perhaps this is a good indication of our differing views on the world, but actually this was our penultimate day in Norway and Damae wanted to enjoy it.
We'd awoken to brilliant sunshine and no mist, so it seemed that taking a ride up the hill on the cable car was a definite. After breakfast we packed everything up into our bags and cycled up to the station in search of left luggage lockers. We found ones big enough to take all our panniers and other bits and pieces and after stowing our gear, headed on with our bikes up the hill. The cable car is quite close to the centre but still took about ten minutes to find the station. The bikes locked up we discovered that there was virtually no-one around. The operator who took our money off us, then spent some time fiddling with the door lock. It wasn't working so the cable car could not move, a useful safety feature. After a few minutes we were all allowed to board again and the car started its wobbly ascent.
I don't think I have ever been in a cable car before and found it just a little bit disconcerting. The main worrying moments were when the car went over a pylon. For a few seconds, each time we passed a pylon, a set of wheels ran across a track at the top of the pylon which felt solid, but then the car swayed rather a lot as it returned to the cable. I felt much more comfortable on the way down, and let Damae take the photos on the way up. I comforted myself with the thought that this is a piece of engineering and engineers generally know what they are doing (except when controlled with accountants who think that taking out a liability insurance policy is a substitute for engineering).
Getting off at the top presented us with a grandstand view of Voss all lit up in the sun. There was a cafe in the station and lots of signs for skiers and what they should do. However this was summer and on the slope next to the station building there were a number of paragliders preparing for their jumps. After a few minutes one of them started running down the hill before soaring into the air on the updraft. Damae was by now convinced that this was a cool activity although not entirely convinced that she wanted to try it out herself. Watching them gliding down to earth made me realise what a sense of freedom and space it must give. Not that I was thinking about trying it!
That bit of excitement over we went to eat something and have a coffee. Damae plumped for the Rommegraut (spelling care of Nynorsk which the woman serving us assertively told us they spoke in Voss) and I went for a big plate of chips. We sat outside enjoying the sun wondering if there was a trail we could walk down back to town. In the end our lack of preparation got the better of us, so we contented ourselves with taking a few more pictures before taking the next car down. I noticed the current the river created flowing into the lake and found the campsite next to the lake.
By the time we got down off the hill it was gone two in the afternoon. We mooched around town and in a fit of inspiration headed out to a big new shopping mall on the road out towards Upsete. There was not that much to see of interest, except the outdoor shop and the health food shop. In the outdoor shop I bought handle for the Trangia saucepans that Damae had accidently thrown out in Mosquitoland in Sweden. Sweden felt like it was a lifetime away although it was not much more than a week since we had left it. I got lucky as the shop was having a one day sale, so the handle turned out cheaper than it would have been if we had replaced it when we got home. Cool! Those Eurocents mount up over time you know!