Thursday, 6 August 2015

Cruising Through The Fjords. . .

This is where cruising makes the most sense. You really couldn't appreciate the beauty of the Norwegian fjords from any better vantage point than the deck of a ship.  This was taken early in the morning as we were making our way through Nordfjord towards our first port of call.

Later in the morning we docked for the day at Olden. Unless you are going on an excursion to see glaciers, there's not a whole lot to do in Olden, especially on a Sunday morning when everything is closed,  but we went for a nice walk through the quiet town.

These were the only sheep I encountered on the entire holiday, though I'll have a post about the wool I found later on.

Then we sailed in the afternoon towards Flam.  A gorgeous sunny day with beautiful scenery; this is slow living at its very best.

We arrived in Flam the next morning.  It too is a very small town catering almost entirely to tourists.  Essentially everyone is there to take a trip on the Flam Railway, which is one of the steepest in Europe, and regularly makes the list of top ten best railway journeys in the world.  It certainly is a marvel of engineering with twenty tunnels through the mountains including one that turns 180 degrees inside.

We went up as far as the second last stop, where there was a hotel that served us waffles.

Both on the way up and back down, the train stops for five minutes at a platform so everyone can get out and see. . .

. . . Kjosfossen.  The waterfall cascades down over 700 feet.

If you are lucky, music will start up and you'll be able to see a dancing Huldra - in Norwegian folklore a magical woman that men need to appease in order to maintain good luck.  Okay, it is a bit cheesy touristy, but it takes a bit of guts to dance in front of all that power and noise, not to mention the spray.

Sailing from Flam to Bergen along the Sognefjord was one of the most scenic parts of the whole cruise. Just breathtaking.

I love the deep emerald and forest green shades of the water at different times of the day.

The last stop was Eidfjord.  How still and beautiful is that reflective water?

The perfect surface to try kayaking for the first time.  And yes, I was rubbish and very sore afterwards, but it was the highlight of my holiday.

Call me crazy, but I got up at 3:30am to watch the ship sail down the Mersey.  It was very dark but calm and quiet with no wind, and eerily beautiful. It's amazing how many sandbanks appear during low tide and yet the cruise ships can still sail very close.  At any rate, as much as I enjoyed the trip, it was also lovely to come home.

Next up: Bergen which was my favourite port of call and thus needs a blog post of its own.

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