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Published: June 22nd 2014
The Troll Ladder or Trollstein 16 June 2014
We left Alesund and traveled along the Storfjord to Sjoholt, Stordal and onto Andalsnes. The road from Stordal to Andalsnes is the Troll Road.
Everyone that we had spoken to has told us that we must drive along the Troll Road. The meaning of the name Trollstigen is probably The Trolls Ladder, but in the local way of saying the name as Trollstien, it gets the meaning of The Trolls Path.
It has connection with the Trolls, and as the only place in Norway you can here find the official road sign with a troll on it. At the parking area before you start going upwards you can also see the One and Only official road sign in Norway with a troll. The meaning of the sign is: "Warning! Trolls!" Even before we came to the first curve on the road we meet the first Troll. This one is standing outside a camping spot, and is carved in wood.
When you see the mountains surrounding this valley, you will understand how easy it was to imagine scary trolls anywhere in the mountain side in the late, dark autumn evenings.
According to the Norwegian fairy-tales the Trolls change into stone when they are hit by sunlight, and they are only to be seen when the sun is down.
Trollstein is one of the absolute most spectacular roads in Norway, and also one of the most visited places in the country.
We were told that in the summer of the old days, this was an important route between Sunnmøre and Romsdal, even long before the road came. At that time there was only a narrow and steep path where people and horses could come through with great danger.
The road was first time opened in July 1936, after as long as 8 years of construction work. The long construction period has to do with the long winters without any possibility to get any work done, and even today the road is closed between late October and the end of May.
From the starting point at the bottom of the valley Isterdalen it is quite steep upwards in 11 curves until it reaches the top point of the Trollstigen Road which is 852 meters above sea level. At the time it was finished in 1935 it was recognised
as quite an ingenious masterpiece.
We started from the top of the 11 hairpin bends and saw the spectacular view from several platforms. It really gave us an amazing view over the Isterdalen Valley, and over the Trollstigen Road.
Halfway down the 11 switchbacks, we could see the Stigfossen Bridge, crossing the Stigfossen Waterfall. As the snow was still melting in the mountains the water was reaching the bridge, and passing cars were getting quite a shower.
After taking all our photos and having a coffee and waffle in the large cafe, we started our descent into the valley. Tom drove and I took the photos. It was beautiful and not too hard to drive down as we had to go quite slowly because of the hair-pin bends. The road definitely lived up to our expectations and was equal to several other roads we had tackled last year in Europe. We then headed for Andalsnes and then, Molde.
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