I approached the “road to hell” and discovered a surprising side of Norway

Room with a view

They must have heard the crash at the Union Oye Hotel, which is waiting three miles away. Remarkably, this older person predates the lake, having opened in 1891. I doubt the hustle and bustle troubled its composure, as nothing else was done in 131 years when it first opened in royalty, explorers and titans of music. Although it has been refurbished and restored since entering the 62° Nord portfolio, it continues to exist in a parallel universe version of the Belle Epoque, all in heavy antique furniture, waxed wood and white linen.

Its 27 rooms bear the names of some of those who came before it – Roald Amundsen, Edvard Grieg, Henrik Ibsen. I am given the keys to the King’s Room, a tribute to Oscar II (who, reigning over Norway from 1872 to 1905, was on the throne when the hotel opened) which is as much a library as a bedroom. While tiptoeing in my filthy bike gear, I fear stepping on esteemed toes that may not wish to be stepped on.

Still, my fitness app tells me I walked 65 miles and burned 2,948 calories, which leaves me with a credit of 1,384 units the night before. What, just enough, for the gourmet feast that will follow – a bowl of shellfish ravioli in bisque; a succulent pork belly, a heap of pavlova which, tonight, is topped with pieces of caramelized pineapple.

But before that, I need a wash. My bathroom has a free-standing tub – and, oddly enough, a lion’s head plaque on the wall, its tongue a push button, below the instruction “Press the gin and tonic”. Both are urgently needed before the evening can begin.

How to do

Norwegian (0330 828 0854; norwegian.com) serves Alesund via Oslo – from Edinburgh, Gatwick and Manchester.

62° North (0047 70 114 430; 62.no) can arrange a four-day itinerary, including Brosundet Hotel (0047 70 103 300; brosundet.no; double rooms from £188), Storfjord Hotel (0047 70 274 ​​922; storfjordhotel.com; double rooms from £336) and Hotel Union Oye (0047 70 62 100; unionoye.no; double rooms from £278) from £625 pp (sharing at two), with breakfast.

It also offers six-day ‘Ride the Fjords’ tours from 69,000 crowns (£5,675) per person and Porsche ‘Drive the Fjords’ tours from 72,000 crowns (£5,922) per person. More information on fjordnorway.com and visitnorway.com.

What’s the best cycling holiday you’ve had? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

About George Dailey

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