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Sometimes it is the road itself that is the destination, and this is true of Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen. As well as being staggeringly beautiful, the tourist route from Western Norway to the eastern part of Southern Norway is also designated as a listed road. The road itself is a landmark and a testimony to a masterpiece of engineering design from a bygone time. Built by manual labour towards the end of the 19th century, it conveys a historical presence. Old stone masonry and long rows of guard stones provide a sense of journeying backwards in time. The old road offers imposing contrasts in the landscape: to the east rounded shapes bearing the stamp of the ice age and to the west precipitous mountainsides. If you take a kayak with you on the trip, you can paddle in the turquoise-coloured mountain tarns. It’s not without reason that the old tourist road has impressed travellers for over a century.
When tourism started to emerge as an important industry in the rural areas bordering on the fjords in the last decades of the 19th century, the first thoughts arose of a road over Strynefjellet. In 1881 therefore the decision was taken to build a road, and migrant workers from Sweden joined local forces to begin the heavy construction work. The road was completed in 1884, and it still impresses us as relatively untouched. Here you will find long rows of guard stones and the old hand-built drystone walls along the road. These are the crash barriers of a time when horses and carts were more usual than cars. Traces of former bridleways that were used for transport between east and west can be seen alongside the road. At Gamle Strynefjellsvegen you will also find old stone slabs that travellers used for shelter at night.
When the mountains don their autumn garb, National Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen looks really magnificent. Nature is beautiful at all times, but the glowing autumn colours convey a completely different radiance and experience. Everyone who likes to be close to rushing cascades must take the time to stop at the viewpoints at the Øvstefossen and Videfossen waterfalls. If you prefer to cycle, you will be richly repaid for your exertions on Norway’s oldest tourist route.
The road is closed in winter. It opens in June, and remains open until the first snowfall.
The longest permitted length of vehicles is 12,40 m.