Thursday, 3 August 2023

Geiranger Fjord   

Yesterday was spent slowly cruising through “The Inner Passage”, close to the Norwegian coast from Leknes to the Geiranger Fjord. Once again, the weather was far from what we expected. Pleasantly warm, no wind and a millpond sea. Beautiful!

We were already in the Fjord when we woke around 6am and it took a further 2+ hours to navigate its full length to arrive at the small township of Geiranger (pop. 220). We arrived with another liner, Mein Schiff (TUI) between us, adding around another 2500 to the population.

The weather wasn’t quite as kind. No rain, but low cloud masked the seriously high mountains surrounding the town.

There are just two roads in & out. The Eagles’ Road and Stranda Municipality. Our tour took us to the top of Eagles’ Road to Eagles’ Bend, back down to town and then up the other to Djupvatnet Lake.

Sounds straightforward? Both roads climb mountains and have seriously steep inclines punctuated every few hundred yards by 180º hairpin bends. Both are just wide enough for two busses to pass and, we were told, because of the two cruises ships there were around 120 busses operating throughout the day. It also seemed every motorhome in Norway had converged or was converging on Geiranger. I guess the driver had seen it all before and just got on with the job.

The view down to the fjord from Eagles’ Bend was totally obscured by cloud (we were above them!) The scenery during the drive was spectacular (but not photographable). The “second phase” was better for views and weather. At the lake (which was still ice in June!) there were still mini-glaciers close by amongst the rocks.

Because it’s so hilly, even near town, you can hire strange looking electric 2-seater vehicles. The occupants sit one behind the other… “the other” in the back seat needs to be no bigger than the average teenager - it’s a very cosy fit!

We also saw goats… everywhere. In this area they’re farmed like sheep (but are better at clinging on like mountain-goats 😂).

The whole experience was greatly enhanced by a young guide (from Lansing, Michigan) who had clearly studied his subject in detail and was a great communicator in near perfect English (aka American 😉).

By early evening the sun had come out to make for a perfect setting to sail back out along the fjord towards Bergen.