Monday, September 15, 2014

9/1/14 Day 228 Scandinvia: a beautiful region to drive through

It is time to make the 800 kilometer drive from Bergen all the way across to the East coast of Norway towards Oslo, and almost all the way down the East coast of Sweden to our destination of the day Göteburg. Winding our way through the countryside is an absolutely breath-stopping endeavor as per Norway's normal. Those waterfalls are just out of control! As we near the banks of Sognefjord the anticipation grows, we are about to pass through the longest tunnel in the world! At an intense 24.51 kilometers (15.23 miles) in length and an astounding 853 feet of elevation gain between the highest and lowest points, (you can never tell while driving through it if you are going up or down). Only open since 2000 this tunnel it was constructed to create a safe, non-ferry passage between Bergen and Oslo in the winter. The 20 minute drive is punctuated by three caves lit up by blue and yellow to emulate sunrise and help focus strained or tired drivers, complete with loud rumble strips to wake the senses. As for breathing easy the Lærdal is he first in the world to be equipped with an air treatment plant. It was an interesting experience and definitely felt weird to drive back into the light after 20 minutes. Continuing on past Oslo we head for the Swedish border and aim for Göteburg where we rest over for the night before continuing on to Copenhagen. 

We'll we haven't quite gotten enough long tunnels and bridges in our drive today so we chose to extend our drive time and shorten our ferry waiting time by passing along the Öresund Bridge. It houses a double track railway underneath the dual carriageway for vehicles and is the longest road and rail bridge in all of Europe. Completed in the same year as the Lærdal tunnel, Scandinavia really accomplished some roadwork in 2000! The bridge connecting Sweden to Denmark costs a resentful 400 Swedish Kroner or 46€ (60$) to drive the entirety of the 8 kilometers across the bridge to the artificial island of Peberholm and continues underwater via tunnel for the last 4 kilometers to Copenhagen. Peberholm (pepper islet) was adorably named by the Danes to coincide with Saltholm (salt islet) just directly to the North. 

Never ending roadside waterfalls
And valleys
And green roofs
And auto tolls
And tunnels
This one is exceptional


It is Ikea's motherland, we had to stop for Swedish meatballs (H&M and Volvo also hail from here)

Öresund Bridge

Wind turbines in the distance
Dreary tunnel of darkness 


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