If you never thought something as everyday as a road could be in possession of a duel personality, you've obviously never driven Norway's Atlantic Road, a serene expressway snaking through the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean - serene for a part of the year anyway. But looks can be deceiving, and in good weather it is a sleeping beast just waiting for the awakening call of an approaching squall.
Officially classed as the country's Engineering Feat of the Century, the Atlanterhavsveien may be tiny at only be 8 kilometeres long, but it is fierce, winning it the accolade of one of the world's best road trips. Built in the 1980s along an archipelago on Norway's western coast, the intention was to connect the remote islands between Molde and Kristiansund, bringing together communities and making the area more accessible for tourists. To make this happen though, engineers and builders had to brave the infamous Hustadvika Sea and its tempestuous moods; during 6 years of construction they were buffeted by hurricane force winds on no less than 12 occasions. Funnily enough however it's these kind of conditions that now bring visitors flocking, with autumn being one of the thoroughfare's busiest seasons. This kind of perverse popularity has meant the road that was meant to pay for itself through tolls until at least 2004, managed to reimburse part of the 122 million Norwegian krone spent on it as early as 1999.
The thrill of heaving waves breaking to your left and right, and perhaps even over the bonnet of your car is undeniable and has tempted many manufactures in the automotive industry, allowing them to show off the handling of their cars in flashy television ads. From Audi to Bentley, you'll be following in the treads of some of the highest regarded vehicles on the planet as you step into a Turneresque landscape, replete with 'white horses' cresting as far as the eye can see, as well as the romantic greys, reds and golds of a turbulent sky swirling above you. Feverish, furious and blustery, this is not an experience for the faint-hearted, but for those who don't consider themselves natural born thrill-seekers, the calm weather still brings lashings of impressive performances. Swooping seabirds plucking fish from plentiful waters, seals sunning themselves on the naturally crenelated atolls, and even the chance of spotting the tell-tale spout of water from a surfacing whale, all from the comfort of your seat.
This truly is a destination where man and nature collide with beautiful force, where humanity has bent to the environment surrounding it instead of attempting to warp it into a more palatable shape, and once you've had a taste - you're sure to be left wanting more of the same.
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