Historic hike along the Sognefjord
Sunday: This trip was organized by Sogndal Turlag with Anne Rudsengen as Sogndal Turlag’s representative and Vidar Lægreid as the local expert.
This is a traditional and popular trip that starts out from Vik i Sogn on a chartered boat that takes the group to Vollaviki, where the walk begins.
The walk runs past Kyrkjeteigen, Sylvarnes, Hanekamb, Stavedalen and to Vetlesand – where the boat will pick up the group and return to Vik. If time allows for it, a walk up to Ålrek is optional for those who still have energy left.
Our friends Lena and Terje came down from Sunnmøre the evening before and spent the night with us in Anne’s apartment.
The next morning, we drove down to the usual rendezvous point in Sogndal, where we filled up the cars with people. And then we sat course for Hella and the 09:35 ferry to Vangsnes, where we met more hikers. By the time we were ready to board the chartered boat in Vik, the total group was counting 41 souls.
We left Vik approx. 10:30 and had a 18-20km boat ride ahead of us. Vidar gave us real-time information about what we could see from the boat, over the speaker system.
The weather wasn’t as nice as we had hoped, and it even rained some in the morning. But there was absolutely good reasons for assuming that the weather would improve during the day. Also on board was an Gertrud and Ragnar, who used to live on Kyrkjeteigen. They would join us on the hike from Vollaviki to Kyrkjeteigen, and we would meet them again later in the afternoon.
Just after 11:00, we docked by the pier in Vollaviki.
We then gathered around the trip leaders for some practical and local information.
The walk begins
We then moved on to Kyrkjeteigen (0,7km) where Gertrud and Ragnar told us about the local life in the old days, skillfully interviewed by Vidar.
Next stop was Sylvarnes (1,7km)…
Here, we stopped for lunch and listened to Magnar Sylvarnes tell us about life up here on this beautiful farm. Sylvarnes was an episode in the popular TV show “Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu” – roughly translated as “where no one would think anyone could live”.
Sylvarnes is the only farm along our route where people live all year around, and the scenery was quite majestic!
After the break, we continued towards Hanekamb (1km), where we got information about the place from the owner directly.
Here, we could also buy waffles at a very affordable price! Specially made for us…
We moved on and encountered the first of several river crossings. Not everyone made it across with the same dry shoes as they entered with…
2,3km after Hanekamb, we arrived at Indrebø – where yet another owner met us and talked about the place. “Indrebø” is from my map, but I think this was also part of the Stavedalen farms and buildings.
We also had a break here before moving on towards Stavedalen (1km) – a stunning place.
Next up was the 2nd river crossing, and definitely the most challenging one.
I don’t think anyone came across here without at least one shoe wet. Those who volunteered to help (like myself) took pride in walking on with very wet shoes…
1,4km later, we arrived at Vetlesand, where the boat would pick us up, some 1,5 hours later.
The majority decided to kill the waiting time by walking the 1,7km up to Ålrek (and the same distance back, of course). In the event that some shoes had started to dry up, there was one more chance to soak them again…
Ålrek was a really nice place with a beautiful view. Along with Stavedalen, this was the only place where locals were not present. I noted that one of the cabins had a terrace with two different levels (just!) – named Upper and Lower Bellevue. That’s 5 bonus points from me!
We didn’t have any time to spend at Ålrek, as the distance was slightly longer than what we thought. So we quickly turned around and returned to Vetlesand. One in the group had missed the forest path and were on her way to the other farm at Ålrek. Fortunately, she was spotted by some others and the same number of people that had left Vetlesand also returned there…
At Vetlesand, we met the owner and got some local stories. Vidar had called all the owners on beforehand, asking them if it was possible that they were there the day the trip took place. Vidar could probably have said everything the owners had to say, but it’s of course more interesting when you here from the locals directly…
The boat came on time and we left 17:45. The boat stopped by Sylvarnes to pick up some of the people we had met on the farms, including Gertrud and Ragnar.
The boat also stopped by Finden and now I know where the name “Synnøve Finden” (Norwegian cheese) comes from. The boat arrived in Vik 18:35 after the 31km trip from Vetlesand.
We gathered on the pier for a quick farewell before splitting up.
If you think you will find this trip interesting, then check Sogndal Turlag’s calendar for next year…
It was indeed a long day out, and even if # of mountain tops was 0, the scenery was amazing. And it was just incredible that no one fell into one of the rivers.
Trip statistics: 11,8km, 600 vertical meters, 6h:55m (boat trip not incl.)
Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip: