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Daily Journal From the World Atlas Journey Around Ports in Northern Europe

Northern Europe Trip Page... (including photos)
Chris' Previous Journal

August 29, 2010, Geiranger, Norway
Oh Wow!!!! We were on our balcony by 6:30 this morning, viewing the beautiful fjords. This area of western Norway, is reputed to have the most stunning natural landforms in the country and we believe it.

The fjords were formed by glaciers cutting a u-shaped valley into the bedrock. Most of the fjords are deeper than the sea around them. The Sognefjord is 4,265 feet below sea level. It's hard to imagine.

About ten years ago, some coral reefs were found along the bottoms of the Norwegian fjords from north to south. Their marine life is one of the reasons the Norwegian coastline is such a good fishing ground.

We made a brief stop in the tiny village of Hellesylt to disembark passengers who were signed up for tours driving through the valleys and mountains with (I'm sure) spectacular views. They met us in Geiranger at the end of the day.

Geiranger, the picture-perfect fjord town, is located at the head of the Geirangerfjord, which is one of Norway's best-known fjords, is a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the most visited places in the country. The fjord is 10 miles long.

One thing that would cause some concern, (for me anyway), is that the Geirangerfjord is under constant threat of collapse from the Akerneset Mountain, which is about to erode into the fjord. If the collapse were to ever happen, it would result in a tsunami, hitting several towns including Geiranger and Hellesylt in about ten minutes.

As we were sailing toward Geiranger, we were treated to the sights of spectacular waterfalls, including one known as the Seven Sisters (Syr Sostre) which starts at the very height of the fjord and cascades down the rocky terrain into the nearly-green water below. The other waterfall, which stood out is the Brudesloret (Bridal Veil Falls), appropriately named because when its backlit by the sun, it looks like a thin veil spreading across the rocks.

Across from the Seven Sisters is the Suitor (Wooer) waterfall. According to legend, the Suitor is trying to woo the sisters.

The town of Geiranger is very small and quaint. The residents are self-sustaining. They spin their own wool, build their houses, furniture and boats. They are very isolated, but in beautiful surroundings, so I guess it's a trade-off.

The two main staples of the cuisine here are fresh fish and reindeer meat. A typical light snack is an open-faced sandwich with a cup of coffee.

Geiranger is a vacation destination, featuring a couple resorts, a century-old hotel, cabins and campgrounds.

From Geiranger, Eagle's Road winds its way up the mountains to Mount Dalsnibba, 5,000 feet above the valley. The view is spectacular, but the road is only open during the summer, as it is impassable during the winter.

During our sail out this evening, we passed two small (former) farms, Knivsfla and Skagefla. They were only accessible by boat, so all the needed supplies had to be hand-carried up the hill. That's just a bit too secluded for me.

As I said yesterday, Norway is quite expensive. The U.S. Dollar, today, is worth about 16 cents to one Norwegian Krone.

Tomorrow, we are in Trondheim, Norway
More info about Norway
Northern Europe Trip Page... (including photos)

Note that there are two trip maps, as this journey include two (back-to-back) 12 day cruises. The map of Norway is found below the UK map.

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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