Friday, November 27, 2015

Geiranger Norway

As you cruise into the Geiranger Fjord on the west coast of Norway the first thing you notice is the mountains. They fill the scene and your vision as they line your travel through the fjord.The 15 km fjord itself is an arm of the Sunnylvs Fjord, which in turn is a branch of the Storfjorden, or Great Fjord. Seems like Norway has plenty of fjords to spare.

This beautiful deep blue fjord is a Unesco World Heritage site and deservedly so. The colours of the water tame the whites of the mountain peaks and yet at the same time seem to embolden the mountain tops to shout "look at us"!

 On the way to the end of the fjord small farms appear to be impossibly nestled on any spot of land that humans, goats, or cows seem to be able to walk on regardless of the pitch of the land. Numerous times we would look at steep mountains sides that descended to the water's edge and be amazed that a farm was tucked into a tiny spot of ground.

Our ship The Norwegian Star is a fair size ship as you can see here; it seems large sitting in the small inlet at the head of the fjord.The town of Geiranger itself is small and we were lucky as only our ship was in port today. We have been told by the locals that up to 5 cruise ships can be in town on the same day.That would equate to 8,000 - 10,000 people in a tiny village where 1,000 makes it seem like the town is over run.

Like the farms we viewed as we came into the fjord, Geiranger itself clings to the mountainside and uses every piece of land it can, be it residential housing or small urban farms close to the city.
The larger white building in the lower left of the first picture is the Geiranger Hotel where travelers and vacationers can stay while they enjoy the rugged country at the city's edge. Activity is centralized on the outdoors and this is the type of place where everything there is to do requires you to be in fit shape; hiking, kayaking, and mountain climbing, are just some of the activities that draw people to the area.

Annette and myself, and Linda and Ken didn't have the luxury of time so we used one of the tourist buses to........

 To go up roads like this............

To give us views like this......seemed like the economical way to conserve our time during the day..... :)

The view point on The Eagle Road gets you high up the side of the mountain to provide an "eagle's eye view" of the fjord below. Well worth the drive up the steep, narrow mountain road with it's 11 hairpin turns so tight that the buses wait for each other to turn the corner before proceeding. More than once the turn was so tight that our bus kissed the tiny rock ledge on the side of the road that is supposed to act as a bumper to keep the bus on the road. The views are worth the excitement factor...the next three pictures provide a glimpse of what we were able to see from our perch on the mountain.

Our cruise ship doesn't look so large now, does it?

Small pictures don't do the scenery on the pictures to see them full size...

Back down at sea level we wandered the small town, well, really a cute village, meandering in and out of the little tourist shops at the edge of the fjord.

We spotted a couple of these birds foraging at the water's edge; we have similar birds on the coast of Vancouver Canada named "Common Oyster Catcher". These birds are very similar but I thought I had spotted a bird that surely would have some kind of exotic name in Norway....turns out they are named "Common European Oyster Catchers" much for an exotic name!

To help preserve the heritage of the area, various old buildings from different generations have been brought here to act as an outdoor museum for the visiting tourists. If you look close enough you will notice the differences in building methods from one generation to the next.

You're looking at the downtown area of Geiranger...big the town is not but the sheer location of the town makes it a worth while trip.

Annette looks so cute is the picture...what she is really saying is "I'm cold...look there's snow on the mountains behind me...that's how cold I am"! But she looks good saying it! 

A few last pictures of the Geiranger Fjord as we cruise out of the fjord heading for the open seas

Steep mountain edges draped in mist from waterfalls fight for your attention with the scattered farms clinging to any spot of land that the inhabitants believe can support their farm life.

Which way do you look to be you look ahead to watch the fjord merge with another larger fjord flanked by mountain ranges? Or do you look up at the mountains themselves? Either way you won't be disappointed with the view in Geiranger Fjord.

As always the night ends with a new friend waiting on the bed for us. With offers of chocolates and the news of tomorrow wrapped in a cloak of cuteness it's hard not to mind him sneaking into our cabin.

All pictures of our trip to the Geiranger Fjord and Geiranger itself can be found here on my Flickr site. 
If you like the write up on Geiranger add a comment in the comment section, it's always nice to receive feedback