For the last three years, I’ve driven the E134 from Bergen to Tønsberg at least once a year to visit family. It’s a beautiful drive, up narrow mountain roads to the beautiful scenery over the tree-line between Røldal and Haukeli. Every year I’ve thought about stopping, taking in the view and having a little wander with Moya in tow.

I’ve never really felt like I had the time though. As I drive an electric car – and not a Tesla – it’s a good 12 hour drive if you include the two ferrys and stopping to charge the car about five times along the way. This year though, I decided to take my time. I spent the night at Haukeli Hotel, and could both start later in the day, and stop along the way other than to charge the car. And it was wonderful!

As you come up the mountain pass after Røldal, you are met with wide roads and plenty of places to pull up and have a look around. I got lucky with the weather as well, at least on my way east. Coming home it was raining buckets, so I decided not to stop, even if it probably would have made for some amazing pictures as well.

It is an absolutely amazing drive, with so many more thing sto see that I had time to this year. There’s the stave church in Heddal, which I have yet to actually visit, and so many oppurtunities to hike along the way. Maybe next year I’ll plan a bit better, and make a full adventure out of it.

Until then, I finally got my pictures from Haukelifjell and can add them to my ever-growing folders of worldbuilding inspiration. Part of my book series will take place on an island much like these mountains in climate and topography. After this summer, the images in my head of how it looks and feels have become even more vivid and real.

Fantasy writers don’t always need to experience the environment they write about, but sometimes, it does help. Just stay clear of active volcanoes and other extreme environments though. I’m sure those can be real on the page without having nearly killed yourself to experience theem beforehand.

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