Looking over the edge of the cast concrete viewing platform, suspended in thin air, there is a 700-meter sheer drop into the valley below.
The view has always been there at the top of the windy road from Balestrand up to Gaularfjell. Vetlefjord, with mountains as high as up to 1500 meters above sea level in the background, is also visible from here. But the old viewing area that was previously there has been replaced by a remarkable architectural creation: a viewing platform that will take your breath away.
“It will give people a wow! effect; it is supposed to be a bit intimidating,” says Trine Kanter Zerwekh at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA).
Becoming a more popular tourist route
Gaularfjell is one of 18 National Tourist Routes in Norway, but has not enjoyed the renown of such attractions as the Geiranger-Trollstigen and Atlantic road routes. With the opening of the View (Utsikten) in June, this beautiful stretch of road in Sogn og Fjordane will rapidly gain more attention.
“This will boost Gaularfjell enormously, since it now will have one of the most spectacular viewing facilities built in Norway. The National Tourist Routes’ uniqueness – spectacular architecture in breathtaking surroundings – will truly come into its own here,” says Kanter Zerwekh, who is responsible for promotion and tourism contacts.
Accommodates more cars and buses
The concrete facility is built out over the edge of the mountain, with part of it hovering without support some 18 meters out from the mountainside, 700 meters above sea level. The concrete facility is 850 square meters and its longest side is 50 m long.
“About half of the facility is grounded and open to cars and buses. The part that hovers over the edge is for pedestrians,” Eivind Nygaard, architect in Code AS explains.
The entire structure is almost a meter thick; and with 80 centimeters of concrete, outlets and steps can be incorporated with no danger of structural failure. Nygaard explains that all rainwater from the structure will run out through an outlet to become a small, artificial waterfall in rainy weather.
There are several solar panels mounted on it that will collect enough sunlight to operate water for the toilets and lighting for the area.
40 minutes from Kviknes Hotel
The trip up to the View takes less than 40 minutes from the hotel. Once you have recovered your breath, continue the trip along the Gaular watercourse. This is a protected waterway providing everything from wild rapids and waterfalls to peaceful stretches where the river flows quietly. Feel free to hike around and get to know the area and for more exercise.
The trip can be combined with lunch or dinner and an opera performance at Åmot Operagard, a historical pearl in Bygstad. This is an experience that caters to all the senses. Follow the tourist route over Gaularfjell towards Sande. Thereafter it is about 13 km to Åmot Operagard, where the Western Norwegian landscape is strikingly beautiful and excellent stories, beautiful music, and tasteful gastronomy are to be found.
Altogether this is an unforgettable day trip for those who want to experience something very special. Ask us and we will help you plan your trip.