Norway is also home to the deepest road tunnel in the world, Eiksund. This links an island on the mid-west coast to the mainland and is 942 feet below sea level. These sub-sea tunnels are commonplace here and are usually formed by digging beneath the sea bed, as opposed to floating out sections of concrete tube, sinking them and joining them up. It's only a matter of time before Norway goes even deeper underground and Eiksund's record is broken.
In God's Country
It's the understatement of the century to describe Norway as majestic. The road we travelled from Bergen to Oslo is recognized as one of the world's greatest drives. The fjords bring tourists from all over the world and they really do need to be seen to be appreciated. Sheer mountain sides plummeting into bodies of cold, black water; they take the breath away.
We travelled to Norway from Newcastle in the UK with DFDS Seaways. Their cruise ship, Princess of Norway, is a fine way to travel, although it does take almost a day and a half each way. On the upside, the journey takes in hundreds of miles of Norwegian coastline, which is as dramatic as any in the world.
Our accommodation was in the beautiful ski resort of Hemsedal, which is about halfway between Bergen and Oslo and an hour's drive from Laerdal tunnel. Here, as in any part of Norway, the people are friendly and the cuisine weird and wonderful. We were treated to elk (moose) and reindeer meat as well as speciality cheeses and plenty of local booze. The women are stunningly beautiful too.
Getting from Laerdal back to Hemsedal was not easy, however, as we needed to cross a mountain pass. It was late April, yet the temperatures were definitely arctic and gritting of the icy roads a hit-and-miss affair. The night of our tunnel photo shoot, we needed to be escorted over the mountain by snowplows and it was terrifying. So a word of advice: if you decide to visit this staggeringly beautiful country, by all means do it in an Aston Martin. Just remember to fit those winter tires.