Another phototour I organized this year was so much focused on charmful area of Valldaldalen. There is nothing more beautiful then biking down from Trollstigen to Valldal through road 63 near lovely peaks, ancient mountain farms and wonderful viewpoints dotted around every corner of the place. The inclination of the area lets you bike down without buring much energy and getting tired. Actually, the fist though that comes to my mind in regards to Valldedalen are strwberry fields in the area stretching all the way up to the city of Valldal. Yes, the loction is famously know for its strawberry plantations where you can buy a basket of freshly picked strawberries per 40 Koronas. This post will shine some more light on how to explore the area of Valldalen in its whole charm. Let’s dive in photograpehers!
After arriving at the area of Valldalallen, you might quickly come down to the point that smelly plantations of strawberries are scattered all over the place. Due to the fact that juices and jams are considered to be local specialty and source of income, inhabitants live out their lives growing fruit and berries grown on farms in the area. Norddal is an agricultural municipality with rich traditions to grow fruit and berries. Over 50 percent of the berries that go to jams and other consumer fruit product, are coming from Valldal. After very exhausting photoshoots, I often got some traditional Norwegian waffles with a strawberry jam and bitten cream on the side for breakfast there. No wonder, Norwegians regard it as a national dish as it replenishes burned energy surprisingly fast. I do not know the difference between Belgian waffles and Norwegian ones, but you can get 2 types of this sugary stuff there per approximately 30 Koronas.
As my memory serves me correctly I spend 30 koronas into buying one little basket of strawberries close to Jordbærstova. I have a confession to make that these are absolutely the best tasting and mouthwatering strawberries I have ever eaten. The valley itself is fertile with a high amount of berry production, especially strawberries. The curiosity is that in 2001-2003, local farmers were reportedly able to produce 900 metric tones of the berries annually. In addition, once you take a peaceful stroll through local forests in mid-July you certainly stumble upon blueberries too. They are not so sweet like those close to Selga ( Senja) due to lower exposure to sunlight but still satisfying your hunger after hiking around.
Along this route 63, you find spectacular architectural installations such as Gudbrandsjuvet and Juvet Hotel (Juvet Landscape Hotel). Going further in the direction of Trollstigen 10 km away from Gudbrandjuvet you should not overlook the old wooden mountain farm with a charmful cascade of a waterfall. The settlement is dated back to 16th century still leaving a lot of tourists amazed. To take a picture of sunrise at 3:45 a.m I put up my tent conveniently close to the upper section of the river Harpa in close proximity to the bridge. You can forget the Youtube nature sound relaxing videos and enjoy the pure essence of nature when camping there. There are two known neighboring wooden farms in the valley. One of them Hedrasetra is associated with the consistent rundown of tourists due to tasty brown goat cheese. One of the opinions on Tripvisitor.co speaks for itself:
We eventually came back in the late afternoon and before buying the tasty brown cheese were rewared with super friendly group of mountain goats who nibbled all over us….
As for photography locations, check for wooden farms areas in Valldalen as these architectural settlements are beautifully situated close to easily accessible banks of the river Vollda. You can even build your own classy compositions as the place is undiscovered by many. Except for farms area, I highly recommend picturesque peaks like Hoghornet, Krynkelen, Seatertinded, Ruggå or Mannen. Here below I attached a figure showing the correlation between outdoor activities and seasons of the year so that you can plan your photography tour safely:
Winter season was excluded from the graph as one section of the road 63 are not passable at all. If you do not want to come across big snowplows and bulldozers shoveling tons of snow from the road, stick to this recommendation to choose another season of the year for exploring this absolutely unique corner of Norway.