Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes — every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man. ~Orison Swett Marden
What a glorious morning! We woke up this morning to bright sunshine as we started our long cruise up the fjord to our next port of call, Geiranger, Norway.
We were up early and made our way up to the lounge for breakfast and were in awe at the sight lay ahead of the ship as it slowly cruised through the fjord. There were snowcapped mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and lush green cliffs.
Word spread fast that Mother Nature was on full display and the decks quickly filled up with passengers clicking away with whatever instrument they had in hopes of capturing what they were seeing.
As soon as we arrived at Geiranger, Randy, I, Doug and Sue made our way to shore to start our day. Randy was fascinated with the mobile SeaWalk that passengers used to make the short walk from the ship to the shore.
As we walked across Randy said, “The ship prepared to turn around and barely can. Once turned around, the ship tied up to two mooring point front and rear. I thought we were going to tender into the small town, when this floating dock started to move and unfolded and eventually the ship tied up to the dock. Without this ingenious, we would have had to tender or not be able to turn the ship”.
“Incredible!”, exclaimed Randy as he watched in amazement.
The small town of Geiranger is located at the very end of the Geirangerfjord. The town has a population of 250 residents most of the year but it grows to 1,000 during the tourist season. The Geirangerfjord in on UNESCO’s World Heritage list because of it ‘breathtaking scenery’ and has been described as the world’s most beautiful fjord.
Not too far from the city center was a beautiful waterfall we could see from the ship. But, we had to decide how to get to the top. Do we take the road or walk up the 350 steps that run parallel to the falls? We decided to walk up the steps.
We walked up 280 steps stopping at a wonderful platform that projected over the waterfall enjoying the view and taking a few pictures before starting our walk back down.
I love waterfalls so I found myself stopping here and there along the way enjoying the clean, clear water rushing over the rocks as the water traveled down to join the Geirangerfjord below.
Vilma, Mickey and Betty also went into town. They chose to walk up the hill to see the waterfall and had a wonderful view of the Geirangerfjord and our beautiful ship.
We took our time walking back to the pier stopping to look at some of the homes, stopping in a souvenir shop of homemade Norwegian knit goods, admiring beautiful flowers, some in pots some in gardens and marveled at seeing yet another building with grass on the roof which is a common theme here in Norway.
I learned that these turf (sod) roofs have their advantages. According to what I read, “They are very heavy, so they help to stabilize the house; they provide good insulation; and they are long-lasting”
We stopped at a nice little shop and saw chocolate being made and tried some samples. The shop was called Geiranger Sjkolade where, according to their literature, all the chocolate is made from scratch, with no preservatives or additives. We were all pleasantly surprised when we enjoyed the chocolate with bleu cheese. And, these chocolates melted in our mouths. Of course, I had to buy a package of chocolates with bringebӕr (raspberries). I though it would be nice to share these tiny morsels of goodness with everyone at our table after dinner one evening.
By now we were a little hungry and decided to find a restaurant to get a snack. We stopped in a small, friendly little restaurant called Café Ole. The café had inside and outside eating areas. It was such a beautiful day we decided to eat outside. Sue and Doug wanted to try the vegetable soup and were pleased when the staff offered them a sample before they ordered.
They loved it and ordered a bowl to share. Randy did not want anything. Me, I ordered a pancake with sour cream and strawberry jam which is a traditional favorite in Norway and a café latte. Sue let me try the soup. It was absolutely delicious. And, the brown bread that went with it, wonderful!
After eating we returned to the ticket center to board our tour boat for our guided tour of the fjord. We enjoyed a nicely narrated cruise describing life on the fjords and a close-up view of the spectacular falls. As we slowly glided past the beautiful mountains that lined the fjord we were treated to sights that included the famous Seven Sisters, Suitor and Bridal Veil falls.
Legend has it; there were seven sisters that would dance around the waterfall while a suitor would flirt with them from a distance. It just so happens that another waterfall, The Suitor, sits across from it.
We were treated to stories about the people who chose to make their living on the mountainsides and the small farms on the rocky ledges. The farms are abandoned now. I loved the story of the farmer that lived so high up that a ladder was needed to get to the farm. When the tax man came, the farmer would raise the ladder so the tax man could not reach them. Very, very funny!
By the time we returned to the ship the clouds had rolled in, the air became cooler and little bits of rain started to fall. We decided to go poolside to enjoy the ‘Sail Away’ Soup and Stew event. There were a variety of soups available along with a variety of breads all of which were warm and delicious.
The food station had to shut down early as the rain began to fall harder.
“I agree,” I said.
“I will carry the sights I have seen today because they have been imprinted on my heart and mind forever,” I whispered back.
Tomorrow we will be in Olden, Norway