Cycling up to Voringsfossen (waterfall) and The Shining hotel

Following Preikestolen, we headed for Eidfjord and the Hargandervidda plateau, I had read about the region and what to do there, particularly about the Voringsfossen waterfall. It is one of the most beautiful in Norway, and one of the most famous so probably one of the most visited too. Such as Preikestolen, coach-load of tourists drive up to it and stop at the Fossli Hotel from where you can get a good view of the waterfall. Rather than trekking it, we decided to cycle up to it; a 900 metre-climb off the Hardanger national tourist route or Rv7 from Saebo camping where we’d set up camp for a few nights.

It was by no means easy, but what a ride! Many hairpin bends later with views down the Mabodalen valley and even cycling through a tunnel, we heartily enjoyed munching on our packed lunch at the very top. Many tourists and Norwegians seemed baffled to see cyclists up there – the strangest encounter was one of a group of Norwegians laughing at us whilst we were eating our lunch; they didn’t seem bothered to explain to us what was so funny and we were both too tired and hungry to ask what was so amusing... Fortunately, a lovely German lady saved the day by giving us her unused token for two free coffees at the Fossli hotel! She kindly said that we probably needed them more than she did with her husband and they were going anyway.

The Fossli Hotel
The Fossli hotel is your typical picture of what you’d imagine from a traditional mountainous Norwegian hotel – brightly coloured panels designed in the Art Nouveau-style by Konow Lund. As soon as we walked through the main door, it was “déjà-vu” – we both felt thrown back into the hall way of The Shining’s isolated hotel. We joked with the friendly waiter from Romania who’d been working there for the Summer season – the hotel shuts for the Winter, but he wouldn’t want to stay up there even if it did, in case he’d go crazy like Jack Nicholson’s character, Jack Torrance.