Kings Road - one part lost?
A lot of Norwegians like to escape to warmer countries because of the cold weather, but I think most Norwegians are proud to be a Norwegian. We might not be a big nation, but we have a lot of history through our land. Kings Road also known as Via Regia is a term used back in 1600. These roads were often used to tie important parts of the Country together back in the middle ages. This term is no longer used on roads built today. But parts of the old historical roads can be found in many different countries. Some has even received the award of the title European Cultural Route.
"Den Bergenske Kongevei" is the first main road between Christiania (Oslo) and Bergen. It tied East together with West. After a lot of work over the years, it finally opened in 1793. Over the years the path changed because the original path maid it difficult to travel on.
Today it is E16 that has become the main road, between East and West. Most of the road has the same way as the Kings Road. Specially between Fagernes and Lærdal. Because of historical landmarks and signs along E16 a lot of people know about this areas. "Vindhella" is a popular place to go and see. And since 2009 the Kings Road between Fagernes and Lærdal has been restored.
I have driven past these places many times this summer, but I didn't have the time to see them.
I chose to go a part of the Kings Road that might not be as known as the other parts. Is it lost for the tourists and only the locals and cabin owners know about it? E16 doesn't go past here and I think only if you know or heard about it you will make time to hike the trail.
The path starts in the heart of Etnedal, Bruflat. I parked my car at the nice old Church in town.
When I go hiking I always have a four legged friend with me. Today, I had seven!
I headed up Fjellsinna road talking to my seven happy dogs to behave nice. We were practically using the whole road. Thanks to the curvy road, meeting cars, didn't drive fast. But I was so busy trying to get my dogs to walk properly behind me and not try to run off. I missed the first turn to follow the Kings Road. Actually just after the first curve, the Kings Road starts on the left side. It has a sign that gives you information about the Kings Road over Tonsåsen. I figured that one out, on my way back.
I continued following the curvy car road until I saw this sign.
If you see a sign with these markings, they tell you it is an old Kings Road. This is the marking you are going to continue to fallow if you want to hike the Kings Road, anywhere in Norway. In the beginning you will have to look for them at every crossing, because you will be crossing or following a lot of the main car road that loops around the old Kings Road.
Keeping seven dogs, who runs for a living at bay, is hard at the beginning of a hike.
But we had the whole road, makes it a lot easier. Hitting the trail made less space and more pushing between the dogs on who gets to walk on the trail. It is exhausting and annoying. I only take all my seven dogs on a hike when it is just me and just for one day.
Another thing I also bring along on every hike, is my camera. And usually when I have been pushed around for awhile, I'm slightly irritated. But the sun had just peeked through the clouds and was shooting light through the trees making it a perfect place to take pictures of my dogs. I wanted a dog running in the picture. So I set three of my dogs loose from their leashes. Then I got myself into a good position to study the camera. As I wanted them to run, I just needed to say the magic word. "Yeee Haaa!!"
As soon as I said it, I knew I really hadn't thought this through. This would end badly. You just can't say the magic word for just three dogs, when you have seven dogs who react to the same word. Four dogs where stuck to my belt around my waist, more than enough power to drag me along like a rag. But I just thought about my camera as all seven dogs jumped up an eager to run. Besides, they had waited for that word to come out for a while.
I let my left shoulder take the fall to the grown as I was growling "AAAAAgr" loud enough for the dogs to understand that I'm not happy right now. But they stopped and as I looked up they looked at me and said "I don't get it? You said we could run!"
My pride was more hurt than my shoulder right now. Both will leave a mark. But my camera survived the fall and the shooting sunlight was now stopped by a shield of clouds again.
Unfortunately I forgot to bring along my wide angel lens. Meeting this nice three drop waterfall, called "Liafossen", I kind a wished for my lens to be in my backpack. I guess you have to work with what you got. I couldn't find a marked trail to the waterfall so we crawled through the bushes, jumping over cracks. We made it all the way to the rumbling waterfall. The waterfall drops three times. I was standing at drop two and could walk over to the edge and look down on drop three, but it made me a bit dizzy. I'm not that great with highs. Besides, it was really slippery many places and I wouldn't want to tumble over.
We all had a little water break and recharging the battery.
I dicided to take a different way back to our trail. I'm glad I did, because I just found the perfect place to go blueberry hunting next year. Didn't look like anyone had been there. I just had to eat some on the way. They are so delicious. I love blueberries.
Autumn has just started to bloom and the red, yellow and orange colors on the leafs of the bushes on the forest grown gave a little color to the normally green forrest.
So when the sun finally lifted it shield, I just had to shoot some photos of the light.
And because I was a bit slow on getting out the door today. I could get some really nice light with a low sun shining on the cloudy sky.
Just like historical trails in Norway, this one also had signs put up along the trail telling you about history here. Not just about the Kings Road. The first farm that got running water. The first electricity company. The home front camp near the trail, are some history I got to read about. It's a hiking museum!
Etnedal Kommune has really maintained the trail well over the years, even though it doesn't look like a road, it gave me and the dogs a easy wide space to hike along.
As we headed in to a different municipality the road significantly changed. There were no longer open space, but a small trail that was being attacked by reed. Some places you couldn't even see the trail. Hadn't it been for the signs, I might have gone in a different direction.
The reed should've given me some warning signs. Normally it would, but I thought I was walking on an old road. Usually trails are good maintained, at least historical ones, or so i Thought!
Etnedal municipal are really good at it. They had made some walking paths and bridges, and laid them out over streams and wet areas. It keeps your shoes from becoming sponges.
Nord-Aurdal municipal is far from being as good as Etnedal on maintaining.
As I was heading into an open area, my feet starter sinking and a slurping noise proved that my shoes and socks were at the moment, consuming a big amount of water. I figured, since I'm already socked, I might as well continue on the trail. I won't get any more dry, than I am now.
For future reference. I would chose to walk along the tree line until I hit the trail again, instead of walking a cross the swamp.
The sun was barely above the trees. and I was just at the top of a really steep hill going down to the mane road. The thought of going up that hill again, made me satisfied with turning around here at the top.
I walked strait on back to the car after that, it was getting dark. I had thought about a headlamp, but nothing reflective. I had some on my jacket, but not for my dogs. So I definitely had to get back. Don't want any dogs to get run down by a car.
Tips to other hikers: If you don't want to walk back and forth, you can use two cars. Someone you are traveling with? or someone who can drive you? You can park one car at each end. Then you can drive back with one of the cars. unless you can be dropped off with the local bus.