One of the most outstanding characteristics of this road is that it is desolate and traverses a landscape which, apart from
the transmission lines that bear witness to the presence of humans, appears to be totally untouched. This is not only the
most striking feature but also perhaps what makes the drive an exotic experience. Most tourist routes are stunning no matter
what direction you drive in but this particular stretch presents its most dramatic side if you start the trip at Lærdal and
drive towards Aurlandsvangen. You will come away with powerful impressions, and the contrasts between the fjord and the high
mountain region where snow lies on the ground for most of the year are compelling. The road is closed in winter but the stretch
from Aurlandsvangen is open as far as the viewing point at Stegastein all year round. Many people find this point as spectacular
as the view. In winter especially it’s fascinating to see how the landscape changes character from the colourful tapestry
of summer to a symphony in black and white with grey nuances. We don’t always regard such things as anything special but it’s
often about taking time to look. Allow time to experience the installation “DEN” by the American artist Mark Dion at Vedahaugane,
and keep in mind that art is intended to stir the emotions.
The road was opened in 1967 and its forerunner was a construction access road. The road runs from Lærdalsøyri to Aurlandsvangen
over the mountains and the highest point is 1,306 metres above sea level. The road is closed in the winter and snow lies on
the mountain throughout large parts of the summer so the name “the snow road” is truly befitting.
Sometimes it’s all about having the opportunity to experience something exactly as it is, neither more nor less. For many
the feeling of being in a place where there are few traces of mankind is what makes the greatest impact at Aurlandsfjellet.
It’s like being a guest somewhere you are not expected. The real quality lies in the little things, like touching the snow
or dipping your toes into an icy mountain tarn. The desolate landscape itself is special and the drive takes you from fjords
to mountains, from lush valleys to the stony wasteland of the high mountain region. You will encounter many striking contrasts
over a short distance.