Voringsfossen


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Voringsfossen is the best-known, most visited and most photographed waterfall in Norway. More than 650,000 visitors arrive annually to watch the falls plunge 597ft (182m) from the Hardangervidda plateau into the Mabodalen valley, alongside twin waterfall Tyssvikjofossen. Platforms built around the plateau provide wonderful views, as does a newly-completed pedestrian bridge over the flow. And the base of the falls can be reached on a trail through the Mabodalen valley alongside the river Bjoreio.

We had visited Vorringsfossen in 2018 on a road trip to Hardangerfjord while moored in Bergen, but hadn’t hiked to the base of the falls, nor had we seen the new pedestrian bridge that had opened only a couple of weeks earlier. So we made Vorrinsgfossen the destination for the second day trip from our berth at Odda.

Below are highlights from Aug 30th, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Dawn
Early morning calm looking north from our berth at Odda.
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Bo-Bo
Nordhavn 40 Bo-Bo moored at Ullensvang. Likely only two Nordhavns are currently in all of Norway, and both of them happen to be in Hardangerfjord. We’ve corresponded with Danish owners Lone and Anders Tang, who gave us helpful advice in cruising their home country, and we are looking forward to meeting them in person. But it’s too early in the morning for a social call as we pass by en route to Vorringfossen.
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Tunnel Roundabout
Norway has an impressive tunnel system, complete with inside-the-tunnel roundabouts. We’re amazed every time we encounter one. Here we are in the Butunnelen, built in 2013, joining the road east towards Voringsfossen with the Hardangerbrua north across Eidfjord, also built in 2013.
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Trailhead
At the trailhead for the hike to Voringsfossen. We’d visited the falls from above on our 2018 Hardangerfjord day trip from Bergen, but this time we will hike to the base.
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Old Road
Passing under the road and tunnel we just drove on as we walk the old road towards Voringsfossen. Many of the old narrow, cliff-hugging roads have become walking and cycling routes when new routes with tunnels replace them.
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Fallen Rock
Tunnels are better than open roads for a number of reasons, including falling rocks. We saw several huge gouges in the old road where large rocks like this one had fallen from above. This rock suggests that we should be upping the pace a bit. :)
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Mabodalen Valley
We’ll be walking into the Mabodalen Valley alongside the river Bjoreio. The mist from the 597ft (182 m) falls, Voringsfossen, is visible in the distance.
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Fossastovo
The trail we’re walking was built in 1872 for tourists who wanted to view the base of the falls. This is the foundation of the trail hut, Fossastovo, where visitors could rest and have a simple meal en route.
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Suspension Bridge
Near the end of the trail, a suspension bridge crosses the river Bjoreio. We crossed the bridge and continued on towards the base of the falls.
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Voringsfossen
The Voringsfossen plunging 597ft (182 m) falls into the Mabodalen Valley. A viewing platform above the falls is just visible at top center (click image for a larger view).
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Base of Falls
Enjoying the view from the base of the falls. The humidity here is pretty much 100% with all the mist from the falls.
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Crossing Bridge
Re-crossing the suspension bridge on our way back.
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View From Bridge
Taking in the Voringsfossen falls from the suspension bridge across the river Bjoreio. What a beautiful hike.
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View East
The big view east from the suspension bridge along the river Bjoreio to the mountains above the Mabodalen Valley. Norway doesn’t have much on a small scale.
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New Bridge
We’d visited the top of the falls in 2018, but returned to check out the new pedestrian bridge across the top. The 150ft (47 m) bridge spans the gorge with 99 steps climbing 50ft (16m) from the lower to the higher side. Excellent aerial videography of the area at designboom.
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Fossatromma
Great view south to Fossatromma, the upper falls above Voringsfossen, from the new pedestrian bridge.
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Bridge from Fossli
Looking back to the new bridge from the upper side, Fossli.
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Rainbow
Rainbow over the Tysvikofossen waterfall at right, with Voringsfossen on the left. The suspension bridge we crossed on the hike this morning is not discrenable, but is just above the center part of the picture where the river is narrowest.
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Hikers
Hikers crossing the suspension bridge across the river Bjoreio that we crossed earlier today, viewed from above at Fossli.
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Lunch
Lunch overlooking the Voringsfossen falls.
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Storegjeltunnelen
Passing through the 2,762ft (842 m) Storegjeltunnelen, an unusual tunnel that loops back over itself as the road corkscrews through the mountain (see Wikipedia photo).
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Hardanger Bridge
Looking east towards the head of Eidfjorden as we pass over the Hardanger Bridge. The 4,530 ft (1,380m) bridge was completed in 2013 and its height of 180ft (55 m) prevents larger cruise ships from reaching the inner fjord any more.
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Narrow Road
Driving south on the west shore of Granvinsjorden en route to the ferry terminal at Kvanndal. The road, completed in 1907, is single-lane in several sections such as this one. We’re just hoping we don’t encounter an oncoming bus or large truck.
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Utnefjord
The ferry Utnefjord arrived at Kvanndal shortly after we did. The ship is fully electric and went into service in January of this year.

The payment system was interesing—an attendant simply scanned our vehicle from a distance with a handheld device and waved us on board, with the fee sent on to the rental car company. Most cars in Norway carry a scannable chip to make ferry and toll road payments easy and efficient. When we crossed the Hardanger Bridge earlier today, the van was also scanned and charge automatically sent on to the car rental company.

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Vacuum Mooring
Vacuum mooring system at Kvanndal that moors the ship by suction. This is faster and safer than having people manually tie the boat off. These systems seem to be really catching on.
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Caddy
Our ride, a Volkswagen Caddy, on the ferry Utnefjord.
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Ferrari
A Ferrari 488 Spider on the ferry with us. It’s a decidedly more upscale ride than our pizza van, but it can’t carry two bicycles. :)
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Granvinsjorden
View from the ferry Utnefjord up Granvinsjorden as we depart Kvanndal for Utne.
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Bow Raising
The bow of the Utnefjord lifting as we near Utne.
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Utne
Approaching the town of Utne, from where we’ll drive south along the west side of Sorjforden to Odda. The red-roofed building directly behind the green tower at water level is the Utne Hotel, founded in 1722, Norways’s oldest continuously operating hotel.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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