Stodnafossen (Stødnafossen; I think is pronounced “STUED-nuh-foss-un”) was a waterfall that Julie and I didn’t anticipate seeing going into our June 2005 trip to Norway. However, upon leaving the really long (24km) Lærdal Tunnel (Lærdalstunnelen) then heading into the town of Lærdal, this waterfall conspicuously plunged high off a cliff fronted by residences on the east end of Lærdal, and we simply couldn’t ignore it. Julie and I made a brief attempt at getting a better look, but at the time, we were hastily looking to check into our hotel so we didn’t do any further exploring to see if there was a better or closer view as we were pretty content to see the falls from the road.
According to the maps, this waterfall belonged to the Åselvi River. The watercourse was sourced by snowmelt from the highlands immediately to the north of town. Since it didn’t look like there were major lakes sourcing the falls, I’d imagine that the volume of water would diminish until the snowpack would get replenished again during the Winter months.
It was definitely a wonderful waterfalling surprise to Julie and I, but in hindsight, I came to realize that there was definitely a lot more going on in this region besides this waterfall and the nearby tunnel. Indeed, some 26km east of this waterfall was the stav church (stavkirke) at Borgund, which was said to be the most photographed of all the Medieval wooden churches in Norway. Considering Borgund was along the way to Hemsedal, where we were doing a late afternoon out-and-back visit, it was definitely a big miss. We definitely have to come back here next time!
We found Stodnafossen on the eastern outskirts of the Lærdal township along the Rv5 (maybe about 2-3km east of town). From Aurland, we took the E16 through the 24km Lærdal Tunnel, and when we finally re-emerged from it, we turned left to go onto the Rv5, and after about 5km we started to see the falls from the road.
We did make an attempt to get closer to the waterfall while leaving the Rv5 to go onto some residential streets, but we didn’t get very far so we won’t elaborate any further on the directions.
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