Norway - The road to Voringfos creeps past Lake Oifjord's
( Originally Published 1907 )
Direction—We are looking north, i. e., down the lake towards its outlet into the fjord. Surroundings —For some distance behind us the lake lies just below the road, like this.
Here again the cliff had to be blasted out to give room for a road, just as they managed over in the Bratlandsdal which we passed through some time ago (Position 35). Even now the road looks almost too narrow for teams to meet, but actually there would be room, for those small two-wheeled carts require very little space, as one learns by experiment. As for passing in the same direction, that is seldom done at all. It seems to be the etiquette of the road to allow a horse ahead of you to keep ahead, whatever his pace may be.
When Bayard Taylor traveled through this part of the kingdom fifty years ago, there was no highway along here. An almost unbroken cliff rose from the waters on this side of the lake, and the few visitors who came exploring the region had to row up the lake to reach its farther end, off behind us.*
This young woman in the picturesque Hardanger costume is a farmer's daughter, who thriftily adds to her modest savings by working at a summer hotel some distance down the road. Such a maid is respectfully addressed as Froken—equivalent to "Miss" or the French "Mademoiselle." The fair-haired little girl is the inn-keeper's daughter, shyly observant of the strange dress, manners and customs of foreign travelers. No wonder our ways seem strange ! It is indeed a strange world of hurry and noise from which we come, in comparison with a sunshiny crevice of the earth like this ! Scarcely a sound is to be heard here save the musical splash and gurgle of running brooks on their way to break with widening ripples the lovely reflections in that deep lake.
The chief feeders of this lake are a couple of little rivers which come down from mountain heights farther inland, at the east. One of these streams may be followed up to a point two hours' climb beyond the head of the lake. There is a good path, kept in repair by a Norwegian Tourist Club. Long before one sees anything especially remarkable, the roar of falling water begins to be heard. The roar grows louder and louder, and at last, when one reaches the place marked 44 on the map—behold ! This is what he sees.