One of the places you have to make it to when you head west to Fjord Norway, especially if you are in the Aurland/Flam/Laerdal area is Stegastein. This beautiful look out point juts out 98 feet from the mountainside to provide an incredible view of the Aurlandfjord, Aurland and Flam from 2,300 ft above the fjord. We went on the recommendation of my brother, who has previously travelled to this area.
While my brother certainly was not wrong, he didn’t quite warn us about the drive up to Stegastein. The roads in Norway are much smaller than those we are accustom to in the US, but most at least have two lanes – well not this one. The road to Stegastein is a one lane road with bumps out to accommodate the two way traffic. One one side of the road, there is the mountain while the other side is a cliff. To drive this road one has to have a lot of confidence and moxie.
Unfortunately, the lady driving in front of us had neither. As we first made our way up the road, she was driving quite fast perhaps not noticing there wasn’t enough room for more than one car. This created a huge problem when a large camper and tour bus were descending the mountain as we were ascending. Luke and I both noticed the coming traffic and had pulled off to let them pass. She did not.
We sat in park and watched as she played chicken with the camper and the camper driver yelled at her in Norwegian. She tried to back up on to the shoulder, but she had driven ahead to a point where there was no longer a shoulder on our side. As this scene unwinded, cars started to pile up behind us and behind the camper and tour bus. At one point, she drove in reverse off the road causing her car to bottom out. I’m pretty sure everyone on the mountain could hear the bottom of her car scraping the road.
She finally had enough, put the car in park and switched places with her husband. It took him several minutes and all of us behind him backing up sufficiently for the camper and tour bus to pass. This whole process created a complete standstill on the mountainside for almost 20 minutes causing many nerves to fray and my boys to lose their patience. After the long car ride from Oslo, they were not wanting to be parked on the side of the mountain.
We finally made it to the top and made our way to the overlook, which was absolutely beautiful. The pictures, which are beautiful, don’t do it justice. We spent several minutes there taking pictures including a selfie in which Goalielocks’ annoyance with the entire mountainside traffic debacle glaringly obvious.
With lessons learned from our ascent, we descended down the mountain. I loved that there was only one lane for all the traffic and on the side of the road were sweeps just relaxing laying down and eating grass.