Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fiords and Glaciers

The first three days of the cruise have been busy. On the first full day we sailed up the Storfiord and eventually entered the Geirangerfiord. Very similar to Milford Sound but much longer. At the head of the fiord I took a tour in which we went ashore in a smaller boat and boarded buses for the very steep road up the side to a lookout at 1500m. Then we drove for several hours across country including 2 ferry crossings. We passed through a national Park and drove down the terrifying Trollstiggen (Troll’s path) road with hairpin bends. I would not want to drive it in a car let alone a tourist coach.

We had dinner in the town of Molde known as the city of roses, there is even a rose garden on the roof of the Town Hall and waited for the ship to arrive at 9.30pm.

The next morning was spent in the city of Trondheim where I will be leaving the ship on the return trip next Saturday. The cathedral was impressive  although darker inside than I expected in Norwegian cathedrals. It had a beautiful Rose window. The Norwegian kings are crowned there.

On the third full day, after crossing the Arctic Circle, I boarded a hydrofoil at 8.30am and we headed for the coast and the Holands Fiord which we followed up to the end and the Svartisen Glacier. It is Norway’s second largest glacier and the lowest in altitude. We walked a little over a kilometre (there was a bus but most walked) each way to the impressive view over a lake. Pancakes and coffee were provided as we walked around before returning to the boat and a fast trip to catch up to our ship at the town of Bodo. On the way we stopped near one island and the ship’s crew threw out fish they had caught, attracting lots of seabirds and finally some white tailed eagles.

The young guide spoke German, English and French and, when I chatted with him, I learnt he is studying Scandinavian languages (but there were no Norwegians on our tour). He lives in Hamburg and had visited New Zealand which he loved. He  has a friend at the Otago University in Dunedin. However he had never been to Munich.

In the afternoon the ship sailed across to the Lofoten Islands. I have booked a bus tour of them for the way back. In the evening we entered the Troll Fjord. This is scheduled for daylight hours on the return trip but  is only possible if weather permits so although way past my bedtime I stayed up as we entered the fiord at 11.30pm.  They used searchlights. The entrance of the Fjord is only 80 metres wide and it is 3 km long with 1000 metre cliffs so the manoeuvring of the ship (20 metres wide and  122 metres long was impressive. Some of the crew ran around dressed as Trolls and Troll soup (I guess fish)  and Troll drink (tea and rum) was served. I gave both a miss.
photos in order. I will arrange when better connection
Tronheim cathedral


Fran said...

I spent all my time reading no time to say anything other than WOW!!

Birdie said...

Gorgeous photos!

Your closing sentences at first had me wondering how anyone could dress as "troll soup." :D