Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2 June

Today was the Tour de Fjord.

I awoke at 7:50 to get an early start on the day, because the weather was calling for afternoon showers. My knee had gotten verrrry stiff and sore overnight, to the extent that I was limping through breakfast. Again, there was a great breakfast at the hostel. Fruit, veggies, cereal, bread, jam, nutella, salmon (!), waffles, hash browns, eggs, and much more. I rented a bike for... free actually. There were signs everywhere advertising bike rental for 99 kr per day, but the guy told me I could rent one for free. I wasn't going to demand an explanation.

My first stop was the pharmacy in "downtown" Stryn, where I bought some painkillers for my knee. I popped 1000 mg of the good stuff and got underway. My destination was Loen, a quaint town 13 km away, where I there is a glacier coming all the way down into the water. The methodical motion of pedaling the bike didn't really hurt my knee at all, even before the meds kicked in. After a few kilometers, it was totally loosened up.

After about an hour of hard pedaling, and several stops for photos, I arrived in Loen. There were no glaciers in sight. After a few minutes of confusion, I came to a sign that read: "Kjenndalsbreen: 19." For a moment I tried to convince myself that I was on Route 19 and almost there. It seemed plausible, but after a little later I came to a sign that read: "Kjenndalsbreen: 18." I wasn't even halfway there yet. This was going to be one hell of a ride.

When I finally did make it, the scene was pretty cool. The Kjenndal glacier is one of the arms of the enormous Jostedalsbreen glacier (on which I went skiing yesterday.) The nice thing about the Kjenndal is that it extends down into a valley very close to sea level, all the way down to 500 feet, so there is a road leading all the way to the glacier. I was told by someone that the Kjenndalsbreen was only about 30 minutes away from Stryn by bike, so I had only packed a bit of water and my camera. The water ran out quickly, but I got to refill it with meltwater from the glacier. Delicious!

Rain showers were due to roll in for the afternoon, so I only rested for a few minutes before beginning the long ride home. The head wind on the return trip was pretty ferocious, making even flat sections of road difficult. When I was about 8 kilometers out, I rode through a ten minute downpour, which actually felt pretty nice. My first stop back in Stryn was the grocery store, where I devoured a bunch of bread, a pastry, and some apple juice mixed with sparkling water.

All in all, the ride took about six and a half hours with stops and covered a distance of 66 kilometers (about 41 miles).

I took the pain meds at about 9 o'clock this morning and my knee still feels a lot better, so I think I'm in pretty good shape. I am now sitting down to enjoy the packed lunch that I was planning to eat after a two hour bike ride. Unfortunately, I placed it in the freezer instead of the fridge, so it is currently thawing.

Today was another good day. Exercise! Tomorrow will be my longest travel day yet: I depart Stryn at 9:40 and I don't arrive in Trondheim until after 10 pm. I'll be fine with a day of rest, however.

Pretty flowers along the road to Loen

Sweet glacier

Check out the hot, hot ice on rock action!

The innermost reaches of the Nordfjord

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