Yesterday, on Day 14 of our epic journey, we embarked on a route that would take us through the world’s longest road tunnel. Leaving the quiet village of Driva, we headed towards Flam, nestled in the heart of a Norwegian fjord.
Our path took us over mountain passes, with wonderful views throughout and the atmosphere given extra starkness by the extreme weather being experienced by Norway on the day. We were also fortunate enough to go through the impressive Lærdal Tunnel, a 24.5-km long marvel of engineering that cuts through the mountainous terrain. The journey through the tunnel was an experience in itself, with sections illuminated in blue and yellow to mimic a sunrise, providing a surreal driving experience.
Car charge and usage data
Even though we started with an almost full battery thanks to a slow evening top-up at our overnight hotel, we topped up the car’s charge twice on the day. The cold and rainy mountain climbs used up a great deal of battery power, although the effect of the regenerative braking kicking in during descents was visible with the battery state of charge percentage increasing.
The first charge was at a small town along a major road; the second one was at one end of the Lærdal Tunnel.
All in all, we managed 3.7 miles per kWh.
Story of the day
Breakfast was of an extensive Norwegian nature and they had pink guava juice which was really refreshing. With the extreme weather still ongoing, we wanted to get our exercise so for something a little different, we decided to go on a walk around the hotel. This meant walking up and down every single corridor of the hotel. Then it was time to leave for day 14 of the trip.
When we took the first lot of bags over to the car, it was fine. The weather was clear and we managed to get everything packed. It started raining just as we were about to load up the second batch.
And so began our drive. Other than the pouring rain, the scenery looked amazing. At the side of there road, new waterfalls had sprung from rocks and hills because of how much water there was coming down. One of the challenging things about our drive was the emergency roadworks. Some of the road had collapsed due to the extreme weather conditions. And, according to the hotel receptionist, this was the first time in a long time that the weather had been that bad.
We arrived at our first charging stop rather quickly and decided to go over to Circle K to get a cold coffee. It was salted caramel flavour but the place to drink out of wasn’t the most useful. In other words, there was just a large hole at the top to drink from that the coffee could have easily spilled out of. The charger, despite it being a Supercharger, wasn’t the fastest but there were lots of them. Some of the charging stalls looked a little worse for wear though, with taped up sections.
Then was more driving. We were travelling alongside a river and it was flowing so rapid and violent with the weather being so harsh. After a while of being on the E6 (days, in fact!), we finally turned off onto some country lanes. This was not before we said our farewells to the E6 first, paying homage to a key route which helped us make our way from north to south here in Norway. Then, we were stuck on narrow winding roads for almost the rest of the drive. Something insane from this part of the drive was we saw a green river running next to us.
Eventually, we got to driving on the mountains. This seemed a little risky though, as it was still heavily raining and there was just a thin road to drive on with cars coming the other way. This was, however, by far the most efficient route.
After a while of driving, we reached the summit of the mountain which was 1,423m above sea level. There was plenty of snow to be seen because we were so high up. We took a picture of the summit sign before heading down. And, to our surprise, there was a toll at the very top of one of the mountain roads that we had to get out and pay for because our tag didn’t work for this one. On the way back down, we came across plenty of hairpin and other sharp bends that we had to drive so carefully on. We even ended up passing cars when we were on them. It didn’t help that there was fog building up where we were driving.
We got down at last and drove through a few small tunnels to get to the big one. But, before we went through 24.5km of tunnel, we decided to charge the car at a nearby Tesla Supercharger. This is also where we got our really late lunch after 3:00pm. Lunch consisted of ham, cheese and cucumber sandwiches. Then we also decided to get Daim chocolate ice creams. These were wonderful and had the perfect consistency.
Then was the world’s longest tunnel. We made sure to take pictures of the entrance before entering 24.5km of almost darkness. Pictures were so hard to get in there because of the dark and the speed of the car but we managed to get a few. There were also these really stunning parts of the tunnel with sunrise lighting. We made sure to get several shots of this. Just before we reached the end, about three minutes was spent filming a twelve second long time lapse of the drive through the tunnel.
Our small apartment was just on the other side. There was a small kitchen in one corner. And even if it was basic, it was a place to put our heads for the night – and the view of the fog-enveloped mountains outside was really nice.
For dinner, we went to the local Spar and decided to buy some pre-made lasagne and garlic bread, and croissants for the morning, going truly self-catering for food on this particular stop-over.