We drove our new friends Christine and Alain to Sogndal this morning, where we visited the local pharmacy to pick up some pain pills for my arm from a kind pharmacist and had a last coffee togegether. We really enjoyed hanging out with them and hearing about their interesting lives in faraway places. They invited us to their old stone house in Provence and I have a feeling we will visit.
One of the many great things about Eplet bed and Apple, our hostel/guesthouse in Solvorn, is that the young owners go out of their way to suggest things to do (bike, hike, kayak, glacier walk) and places to see. We followed one of their recommended drives – through remote Gaularfjellet, a national tourist road along a bubbling river up through the mountains, with a dramatic view of Sognefjord. It was spectacular. We walked around the quiet village of Fjaerland/Mundal, known as the book town for its many antiquarian book shops, and the larger tourist town of Balestrand, which was quieter than Flam and Aurland, thankfully. The loop took us way back in the mountains and was even more dramatic than the Snow road, with thin waterfalls streaming from high peaks, old red isolated farm houses, and yet again an unexpected dash of modern design – in this case a series of viewing platforms made of poured concrete and wood jutting upward like ships prows.
Back at Eplet, we met some new guests, a mother and daughter from Brooklyn. Turns out the mom grew up in Des Moines and we had a friend in common. We took a photo together and emailed it to her. Fun!