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I still have lots to share from our trip to Norway!  I wanted to include the renowned Trollstigen (you can hardly visit the region without seeing this iconic zigzag road), but the harsh lighting kept my photos out of “wow” territory.

There’s no real entertaining photostory here, but we did discover a detour from the standard tourist fare.  I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

A cairn in front of a stunning Norwegian landscape above Trollstigen | LotsaSmiles Photography

Trollstigen is a remarkable place, and despite the poor photo opportunities, we were amazed by the landscape.  The gift shop and restaurant seemed to sprout right out of the ground (seriously, Norwegian architecture is quite a sight to see in its own right!), and the path to the viewpoint was delightful.

A Norwegian river cascading down manmade steps before plummeting into the valley at Trollstigen | LotsaSmiles Photography

The Trollstigen Viewpoint

While I had heard of this famous landmark, and while I’ve seen countless pictures of that bendy road painted in long-exposure headlights, I was somehow surprised by the waterfall.  How did I miss the fact that Norway is a massive network of waterfalls?

The waterfall at Trollstigen in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

The main waterfall here is beautifully caressed at the top into a man-made pool, gently flowing over geometric steps before plummeting down the 320-meter precipice into the valley below.

The Trollstigen viewpoint in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

The path to the viewpoint is steep but sturdy, ending at a multilevel outcropping that juts away from the canyon wall.  We spent the requisite time there to get the standard photos, and then we headed back up the concrete incline.

Another path calls

A trailhead off of the main path to the Trollstigen viewpoint | LotsaSmiles Photography

About halfway up the path, I noticed a trailhead that led up the wall – adventure time!  I had to see where it went.  The sign promised 1.1km, so I was confident I could investigate and return to the car before the others grew too impatient.

The view from the trail above the Trollstigen viewpoint in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

This gem was even more beautiful than the Trollstigen lookout, crowded with tourists – especially with the suboptimal light behind me.  Aaron tagged along, and we followed the cairns tipped with red rocks away from the valley.

A cairn topped with a red-painted rock along the trail above the Trollstigen viewpoint in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

We sufficiently exhausted the single kilometer, and the trail kept going (without an obvious end).  My curiosity ached to continue down the path, but I was already getting the texts asking where we were.  I had put my foot through the edge of a soft glacier (and drenched my sock as a result) anyway, so we begrudgingly returned.  There’s a benefit to exploring alone; you aren’t beholden to someone else’s patience…  Next time!

The zigzag road

Our friend basking in the spray from the Stigfossen waterfall at Trollstigen in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

Of course, we next got to drive the many switchbacks down into the valley, following the path of the Stigfossen falls.  We stopped periodically for pictures and to just appreciate the scenery.

A red van driving down the famous zigzag road of Trollstigen in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

Another waterfall pouring into the valley at Trollstigen in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next time, I’ll hit this road during golden hour.  Or perhaps I’ll get there early to explore that trail more thoroughly before setting up the camera.  Either way, visiting Trollstigen didn’t check it off my bucket list; it only gave me more reason to return!

Aaron enjoying the view along the trail above the Trollstigen viewpoint in Norway | LotsaSmiles Photography

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