The start of a three week cruise around the fjords of Norway started with a flight to Bergen via Stavanger. I only had a night in Bergen and a few hours the next morning to get a taste of the place.
The narrow residential streets of Bergen –
The boat was moored at a small village called Norheimsund in Hordaland county, only just over an hours bus ride from Bergen. The bus ride was very scenic as most transport links seem to follow the coast at some point.
Norheimsund village –
The small marina in town, mainly catered for the local cabin cruisers but had enough space for the Oyster.
Leaving (or maybe entering) one of the many fjords –
Our first stop after leaving Norheimsund was going to be the small village of Sundal about 30 nautical miles away. Not much sailing could be done in the fjords so we leisurely motored for a few hours until we got there.
Approaching Sundal –
Moored on a small jetty at Sundal – just squeezed on !!
View from above !!
Many waterfalls and rivers in Norway !!
A short distance from where we had moored was Lake Bondhusvatnet. A small hike up from the main road for half an hour or so got you to the edge of the lake.
Nice stop for a break….
At the other end of the lake was the Bondhusbreen glacier that has been receding over the last few years, not quite as impressive as it once was.
The campsite by the mooring soon filled up in the early evening with motorhomes and campers. They were going to be in for a damp night as the poor summer continued !
We moved from Sundal onto Larssto about 35 miles away. Our mooring was a bit strange, apparantly a private mooring but visitors were allowed to stay. It was full of strange sculptures and lots of things ‘sea’ related like old pots, fishing nets, anchors, etc.
Larssto was the place where we seemed to have a coffee and slice of cake in an old peoples home. We walked into a very clinical looking building which had an advertisement for a cafe. There were lots of old people sitting around with visitors coming and going. They served us no problem and later found out it was some sort of ‘village’. I guess you could go and live there and have things supplied to you if you needed it. It just felt a bit strange as if you were invading somebodys privacy.
Our next stop was Leirvik on the island of Stord, only a short hop away but it gave us the shops we needed to re-stock and most importantly buy some wine !! This was more of a port with some big ships coming in and out including the all important ferries that keep people moving between islands. There was also the big Havyard shipyard nearby, one of the biggest employers in the region.
View from the hill top looking out into the bay –
We stopped here for 2 nights, explored the town, did some shopping, eat at 2 restaurants, located the vinmolopolet (off licence) – busy times.
We moved the boat onto Hjellestad but unfortunately the weather turned against us, we drove into wind and rain with the wind blowing up to 25 knots. We had trouble mooring the boat as it was blowing us off the pontoon but we got it safely tied up, just as well as it was a rocky wet night.
The owners wife joined us in Hjellestad as you can fly into the local airport, it is then only a short cab ride away. The next morning we moved to Vage, Tysnes, the Norwegian summer weather was still with us and we motored through wind and rain. Apparantly the last two summers hadn’t been great with very unreliable weather, it sure can change quick here !!
We moored against a floating pontoon but we were a bit exposed to the swell that came in from outside the bay. It proved to be a very rocky night and the weather got worse, crashing us up into the pontoon. We moved the boat to a safer position in the morning and then found some damage to the side of the boat, the toe rail had broken and been ripped back a few inches.
We had thought about moving it the day before just after we had moored up. As the old sailing phrase goes ‘ if you’re thinking about doing it – you should really do it’ (or something similar).
Although Vage is the largest village in the Tysnes municipality, its still rather small with only a couple of supermarkets, petrol station and one restaurant/pub.
The restaurant proved to be a great place, not a massive menu but how could you when there are so few people. Unfortunately the highly recommended deer burger was not available as they couldn’t shoot one until next week. The standard burger was excellent and the following I had the fish soup which was brilliant. I also tried a local beer brewed nearby on one of the neighbouring islands, a beer called Oselvar. It was a great tasting beer, a kind of pale ale, it was about 12 pounds a bottle which sounds a lot but this is Norway !!
Highly recommended beer !! –
I was also fortunate to try some of their very own beer they are preparing, not yet available for sale. Although they already sold beer and other alcohol it seems you have to have another type of licence to make and sell your own beer on the premises.
If you happen to be in Vage or nearby check out the Mandelhuset restaurant, well worth a visit !!
Vage harbour –
Fortunately the weather cleared up after our wet stay in Vage as we headed of to Sagvag. Sagvag was back on Stord virtually opposite Leirvik. It was a small village with an even smaller entrance to the channel leading up to it. As it got narrower we were worried there might not be enough space to turn around but we found a very sheltered spot to stop for the night.
Sagvag mooring –
The only restaurant in town happened to be a Chinese so that solved that problem for the night !! Strangely though there seemed to be about four womens hair dressers nearby – maybe a favourite local past time for the locals.
We had heard about a jazz festival that was being held in Haugesund to the south along with a small boat regatta. That therefore was going to be our next stop………….
Route so far –