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A car in a watery country

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Navigating a nation comprised of islands and interrupted by fjords by car requires a bit of extra planning I learned this week. Life along the coast revolves around the water. To drive from Bergen to Stavanger required bridges, tunnels, and two car ferries. over, under, around and through.


Highway E39 wound down the shore and through thick trees and along dark waters. The bridges are all the same—cement suspension bridges stretching across inlets and passes.

The tunnels run deep. When you enter, it's a steep decline. They stretch for up to 8 kilometers, according to the signs that mark your progress. (They indicate the kilometers you've passed and the kilometers yet to go.)

But then there are the car ferries.


Cars line up waiting to board. (The above boat was headed to a different destination.) Buses, trucks, and the rest pull up, and when the ferry arrives, the bow opens up.


Though the bow opening made me think of a giant shark. That you drive into.

But once you drive on and park, you head upstairs where you can watch the scenery passing while drinking a cup of coffee ... or eating Norwegian chocolate and hazelnuts. You know, whichever.

But just be sure to check the time table. Otherwise you could arrive 4 minutes after the ferry has departed with another hour until the next one.