The Norway of my imagination survives at its distant edges. It is an imagination fed by a too brief holiday in the early sixties when the sun perpetually shone, the snow-capped mountains reflected a clear bright light and the fjords were a deep dark blue. I found it again these last few days, at Storekorsnes and Oksfjord.
Both are situated at the end of long and winding roads and both survive not because of their tarmac connections but because of their proximity to the sea. Storekorsnes is a small fishing village and Oksfjord a thriving ferry port – it is the sea that feeds them.
Like many of the coastal towns and villages, the routes to them include long deep tunnels, some descending far enough to burrow beneath the seabed. The route to Oksfjord includes a particularly unpleasant 4km example – a single lane with irregular passing places, it is roughly hewn, dimly lit and damp throughout. It has more in common with Telford’s canal tunnels than anything designed for motorised transport. Emerging back into a bright Norwegian light is a welcome and remarkable contrast; from hell to heaven in the blink of an eye.