NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.

Day 12. Sunday, May 21, 2017. Stranda to Kristiansund. Rainy Day. Atlantic Coast Road - a National Tourist Route.

Good morning. By the way, dinner last night was delicious leftover salmon and rice.

It's Sunday the 21st. The first propane tank seems almost empty, and I try to switch over to the other tank. Stian, where we rented the motorhome, showed/described how to change over, but I didn't understand in enough depth to do it, especially in the rain. Well, the tank's not empty, so we'll carry on like this.

We slept in Stranda last night, and now we're at the first ferry terminal we will use today, waiting for them to open. You can see the red and white twin bars raising to let us on. {Norway is a land of Tunnels, Ferries, and Bridges. All to get around and over the fjords. One person told me that you can see your destination across the fjord, but if you have to drive there without a bridge or ferry, it's several hours to drive to the end of the fjord and then up the other side to your destination.}

It is a rare gift I have been given - I love driving in the rain, and I love a rainy day. Not that I want ALL days to be rainy, but I love the gray darkness and slick looking pavement, and the mood that surrounds everything you look at, and every photograph we take.

So here's a couple of early morning shots, on our way to the second ferry.

Norway has lots of artificial "tunnels" that are old enough to have greenery and even old trees growing on them.

We arrive at the ferry terminal, at 9:46 to the sight you see below, left. Checking the photo at right, you can calculate how many minute late we are.

You know what happens every time you wait for 10:30? It arrives. So here's what it looks like inside our ferry. And on the right is what the identical twin sister ferry looks like, just arriving from a third port, as we are leaving for our port.

I like the sail-like building below, as we leave the port of Molde. In fact, it is called the Sail Hotel..

We get to the other side of the ferry ride and take off. After a bit we come to a little 'house' by the street at the end of a road to a house, with a large and a small milk can in it. It is protected from the rain by a roof. I imagine that it is the results of one day's milking at a small farm, and a truck will pass by, pick them up, and drop off two empties. My dairy farming uncles had an arrangement like this in Missouri when I was growing up. It's about noon.

I love what my iPhone 6+ does when we enter a tunnel. It continues to show the speed limit, but since there's no gps signal, it can't tell me how fast I'm going. It switches to this. The white bars move outward to the four corners as we speed through the tunnel. I don't think I mentioned that most tunnels in Norway are high-speed, maintaining the speed limit existing before coming to the tunnel. I like this curved entry to a bank barn.

We pass a tiny church, in a cemetery full of all-black burial monuments.

We make it to the village of Bud, and are approaching the beginning of the Atlantic Highway, or Coast Road, which is one of the sixteen National Tourist Routes of Norway. Sharon has learned that there is one patch of water at the beginning that is responsible for a huge number of ships sinking, and we are trying to find it. {It is called the Hustadvika and is the most dangerous part of the Norwegian coast. The area is shallow and has many little islands and reefs.}We come to the end of a road that dead ends at this net-fishing boat and the manual-fishing Grey Heron. No sunk ships, and we reverse course.

We resume our trip past a large number of cute houses, each of which is trying to outdo the others in attractive displays in their front yard.

And so, in the constant rain, we come to the first bit of Atlantic Highway. {You can see the many islands stretching all the way to the horizon. I'm sure that in the fog or rough weather this could account for the danger here.}

The quality of fishing often depends on the tides, and we're guessing it's just right, on the pedestrian portion of this curving bridge. Is that an actual house on this island?


Next we come to a most remarkable sight. It looks like this bit of bridge just shoots you off into the air, or will twist you off. You can see the headlights of the car visible in the first photo but the angle prevents us from seeing the lights in the second photo. And WE ARE GOING OVER THIS THING!

It doesn't look quite as bad as we approach, and then we're over it. More rain.

When I was reviewing all the stave churches and which ones we wanted to go to, there was one called Kvernes, and I want to visit this one, as it was described as being in a really special setting. We make our way there, and here are some shots of the Kvernes Stave Church.

Sharon reads that there are at least two different types of stave churches, and this is the type with exterior poles supporting the sides, rather like buttresses in appearance. {I thought at first that these were new poles here to support aging walls, but the sign said that these were original and they are the "staves" in this stave church. As is becoming common, we are here when the church is not open so we just enjoy the outside and the history. Oh, Well.}Here's Sharon reading about unmarked but obvious graves in the field in front of her. Time and forces have caused the field to sink, except where there are graves. they appear as coffin-shaped bumps, and there are lots of them in this field. {This is a field where they have excavated many Viking burial mounds. This area was a Viking stronghold and there were many battles fought here.} Our vehicle is on the other side of this field, I think. You can see the snow on the mountain beyond them.

Here's Sharon, modelling her hooded rain jacket, with the staves in the background. Many people commented on her walking stick during our Norway journey.

We head out, and pass some people dressed up in traditional clothing, with others in modern day dress. I like the spirit of the girl spreading her arms. {The woman taking the picture in the right hand photo said they had just come from a Christening. Look at her beautiful purse, I will remember this when Tara and I go the the "Handbag" Museum later.}

This is a 'pano' shot on my iPhone, while sitting in my rotated driver's seat, scanning from the windshield on my left, clockwise to Sharon at the lunch table. {Yikes! Why does this look like he took it when he was driving?}

So it's near the end of the day. I have called our camping park several times today but there is no answer. We have the address and drive there, but there is a gate across the front, but no signs saying whether they're open. I park and walk in, where I meet three Polish fellows who have a room here. What? That means they must be open. Woohoo. But they say the camp isn't officially open yet. They are lots of fun, are here to spear fish, and one tries to find the manager, without success. We walk back to our rig, parked across the street from the entrance, and begin trying to invent scenarios that wind up with us sleeping somewhere...

... when suddenly, there is a knock on my window. It is the manager, who is also Polish, and is friends with the three spearfishermen. He says they are closed today, but he will open up, let us in, and we can pay tomorrow since it's pretty late.

That scenario isn't one we had come up with! But we'll take it.

He guides us in, directs us where to go, and guess what, we can pick any spot. We set up near the service block (showers, toilets), and later he comes, and has turned the heat and water on in the service block for us. What a great guy. We are at a forest edge. There are lots of blackbirds singing, and we guess they will continue in the dead of night.

A gentle rain continues at 10pm. The beauty of a motorhome is that you're already in it as a vehicle and as your home. I just have to plug in the electric, which I do, and Sharon starts working on dinner.

I work on Reports 1 and 2, having announced Report 0, two days ago.

Meal Report: Breakfast today was eggs and bacon, with carefully crafted toast (thanks Sharon, who knows I love toast). {I turn on one of the gas burners and place the bread slice on it, being careful to turn it over frequently so it browns but doesn't burn. Now I KNOW a woman must have invented the toaster.} Lunch today was two hot dogs (perhaps a national dish in Norway, based on the size of the display in grocery stores) and chips. Dinner tonight is leftover pizza in the microwave. By the way, we bought the microwave for about a hundred dollars, and will just give it back to Stian at the end of the trip. If you look at it like a rental, it is about $2-3 a day, a bargain for how useful it is.

That's it for today. See you all around,
Bob and Sharon

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