Route 45 is a road going east from Ålgård in Norway, until it hits fylkesvei 987, that leads you over the mountains at Vest-Agder. In Norway they have so many beautiful roads and Route 45 is just one of many, but we went by on a fantastic autumn day where all the leafs had turned yellow and orange there was no wind and we had all the time in the world to stop and enjoy a fantastic day.

The most spectacular part is the 34 km from Byrkjedal, where you literally just go straight at the foot of low mountain ridge to the right, along side a river with cold water from melted snow.

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Old Stavanger is a settlement of 173 wood houses. They are from the turn of the 18th century and almost all of them are small and painted white. Actually we were not going to see the town at all, on our trip to Stavanger. We were only in Stavanger to sleep at the Park Inn and then go hiking in the surrounding nature, but because the Lysefjord tour boat, had sold their tickets twice, leaving us waiting for an extra boat, we ended up in the Old Stavanger neighborhood – also called Straen. It is not a must see, but if you are close by it is a cozy area, with small wood houses lying very close to each other. You can walk the narrow and sometimes very steep streets, covered with cobble stones, and between the houses you can get a glimpse of the harbor. Unless you are deeply in love with small white cottages placed in a city, you are not going to kill a lot of time here – the fact that most town houses in Norway is made of wood, makes this area a little less interesting.

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Imagine you do a two hours inland hike in trackless terrain on steep stones, through marshland, over open spaces of solid granite and suddenly you find your self one meter from an unprotected vertical drop of over 600 meters – how would you react?

I know how I react, as this is exactly what we just tried on our hike to the Pulpit Rock in Norway. I admit that my heart pumped a little faster and I gasped a little for my breath, as this is – well I think the right expression must be breathtaking. Also my legs got a little jelly, as the last hundred meters to the actual plateau is very very close to the edge.

Getting to the top we sat down as far from the edge as possible to calm down, while we watched the scenery from people doing all kind of crazy things on the 25 by 25 meter plateau 600 meter above Lysefjorden.

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Polka dot painted bicycle

10 tips to the cycle race newbie is written after my first trip to the Tour de France with my family in the summer of 2015. Of course we made a lot of mistakes, which is what we learn from, but if I by writing our mistakes, can help some to a better experience then my mistakes serves a purpose.A newbie at the Tour de France

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Racing cyclists on Col du Mollard

I must admit that every year when the biggest cycle race of them all, the Tour de France is about to start, I get a special feeling of summer and afternoons spend on the couch, while looking at these extreme cyclists, that run day after day and mile after mile up and down the hills in the Pyrenees and the alps. For many years I’ve wanted to go and see the race, for real, in the mountains, and somehow I managed to persuade the family to spent a week in France, by promising a stay in Paris, where the race always finishes.

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To be honest, Geilo is not better or worse than many other ski destinations. The area is pretty ordinary laid out, it is Norway so the prices are sky-high and the slopes are a little too short. But in spite of that, Geilo has been the setting for a couple of fun family holidays for us, with lots of family activities. The fact that we came back after being there once also proves that Geilo can not be that bad.

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The dam at Lago di Morasco

Way up north in Italy, almost on the suisse border there is a valley called the Formazza Valley in which you find the famous water fall, called the Toce Falls. If you go past the falls and continues up the mountain road, you com to a beautiful situated man-made mountain lake, surrounded by green hillsides and a dam, in one end, to hold the water.

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Toce falls in Italy in the Formazza Valley is not that well known, but it is worth a visit, as you can enjoy the breathtaking view without having to stand shoulder to shoulder with the next tourist. You can get really close to the fall, and on the top there is af wood bridge hanging high above the falls, which really can make your heart beat faster. It is less than a two hours drive from the west side of Lago Maggiore, in the northern Italy, and it is free.

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In Stresa which is an italian city on the border of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, we incidentally came across the city’s cemetery, called “cimiteri di stresa”. Here most of the dead are buried in so called columbarium or burial walls, where urns a placed in small compartments in a vertical wall. I have not been able to track how, why or when this tradition started, but a guess could be because of the rocky ground in the mountains, and there by lack of proper soil to bury the dead in.

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Hemsedal – or the Nordic Alps as it is also called – is without doubt the best nordic ski destination we have ever tried. If you go all the way to the top, you have long rides all the way to the bottom of the valley, from where you can choose slopes on in all directions.

Hemsedal is about 200 kilometers north of Oslo, which is a good three hours ride because of the speed limits in Norway, but hey – we have no problems in going slow and easy, we even save a lot on gas. When we go on skiing holidays we find it nice to arrive early on our first, otherwise we lose a lot of time on the slopes, and for that we often leave a day ahead, and find a small hotel near the destination. That way we can get an early start almost when the lifts opens.

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Trollhättan waterfall is one of these experiences where the waiting time is longer than the actual show. But the minute the locks are opened 32 meters above, and 300 cubic meter of water pr. second is released, you completely forgets the hours you waited. This is a must see if you are in the area.

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Stångehuvud nature reserve is a little gem hidden at the out most of Stångenäset in Lysekil Municipal on the west coast of Sweden. The red granite rock formation is characterized by its extremely smooth and rounded shapes, which is a result of the icecap melting 920 million years ago. It almost looks like a man-made surface of a soft material, you won’t hit you on.

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