Thursday, Oct 17
We set out this morning to check out the stave church and waterfall that we ran out of time to do on Tuesday. The ferry only runs 4 times today, so we caught the 11:00 ferry from Solvorn to Ornes. The same 2 guys and their sheltie dog were working the ferry. Once on the other side, we started at Urnes stave church. This is the oldest stave church in Norway, built in 1130. Unlike the very plain one that we saw yesterday, this one has some really intricate carvings on the north wall. It also had a more interesting roofline and roof tiles. As I approached the front gallery of the church, I could smell a burnt smell. It turns out that these old wooden churches have lasted so long because their exterior timbers are periodically coated with tar, made by burning charcoal until a molasses like tar emerged. We were not able to go inside, but did enjoy walking around the outside.
Once back in the car, we headed north, stopping once at an unknown (to us) waterfall that was right along the road. Then we carried on to the Feigefossen waterfall hike. We parked next to the fjord and then walked a ways down the road to the trailhead. Ginger pointed out just how narrow the road was, and to help show folks at home, volunteered to lay down in the road for a photo. After we got our photo, we hiked for 45 minutes to the viewpoint with a bench. We rested there, then continued on for 10 more minutes to complete the trail. We weren’t yet at the base of the 218 meter falls (second highest unregulated falls in Norway) but were at the end of the trail. We took our photos and headed back down. After just a few minutes, it started to sprinkle on us. Thankfully, it was just sprinkles all the way down, the rain held off until we reached the car.
Our original plan had been to take the ferry back, but the next ferry wasn’t for 2 more hours. We decided to take our chances with that road construction and try driving north around the fjord. Rob and Ginger were interested in getting cinnamon rolls from the Lustrabui Bakeri again, and I was hungry, too. Even with taking the long way around, we were back home at our house before the ferry would have even left from Urnes.