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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Tourist trouble in the mountains

Heavy snow in the mountains of southern Norway is still causing trouble for hotel- and hytte owners because it’s hindering access and preventing hiking and biking on some of the most popular routes. The popular Rallarvegen road is still closed in many places, spoiling the bike rental business and cutting into overnight stays at nearby mountain hotels.

The Finse 1222 hotel high in the mountains of Hardanger has long attracted cyclists who stay overnight, rent a bicycle and ride it over the mountains or all the way down to the nearby fjord. That hasn’t been possible this year because of all the snow from last winter that hasn’t melted during the course of this year’s unusually cold summer.

State broadcaster NRK reported that another nearby hotel, Vatnahalsen near Mydal, has also seen a marked decline in guests, especially families with small children. “I’ve worked here for 17 years and lived here twice as long and have never seen the snow last so long,” manager Janett Aksnes told NRK.

On the far western side of the mountains, the tourist magnets of Preikestolen and Kjerag are experiencing entirely different troubles. Record numbers of tourists have been defying the cold and rainy summer to climb to the two spectular destinations, but the lack of toilets along the way means they’ve been defecating behind bushes.

“On sunny days it smells,” Audun Rake of the local Preikestolen Foundation told newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad. Plans are underway to clear away brush and trees along the main trails, and find other solutions to the problem. staff



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