Wonders of Geiranger

Trip Start Jun 02, 2012
Trip End Jun 28, 2012

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Flag of Norway  , Western Fjords,
Thursday, June 14, 2012

We traveled north this morning, arriving at Hellesylt in time to catch the first ferry that winds through the S-shaped gorge called Geiranger Fjord. We continued our run of cloudy weather today – but overcast skies dropped no rain and the cloud ceiling remained high enough to appreciate the sculpted cliffs, endless waterfalls, and picturesque, abandoned cliff-side farms giving testimony to Norway's shortage of arable land (less than 3%).

An hour later we offloaded in the village of Geiranger, and stayed on the bus for a dizzying drive on switchback curves out of the Valley, stopping briefly at Flydalsjuvet for outstanding fjord views and a group photo op. Our destination was Dalsnibba, a mountain rising 5000 feet above the surface of the fjords (sea level), and offering amazing views down to Geiranger Fjord when weather allows.

Today, weather did not allow, but we were treated instead to a spectacle of summer snow. As our coach driver Vivo piloted us through 13 hairpin turns to the summit, snow banks on both sides of the bus were often higher than the bus. There was nothing to see at the summit however; snow, in fact, was falling lightly. We queued for toilets, examined the miniscule gift shop, and turned the bus back toward Geiranger and our hotel.

After check-in a bunch of us convinced Vivo to give us a ride part way up the Valley to a trailhead leading to one of the precariously positioned farms overhead. The first kilometer of the trail was unpleasant, involving a steep rocky trail through a view-restricting forest, and plenty of slippery mud. Once we cleared the forest however, the trail evened out and gave way to pasture and dirt roads. From here on, vistas were nonstop.

On our way to the viewpoint on the edge of a cliff, the trail took us through a group of grazing llamas and a flock of snoozing goats which, of course, all got their picture taken. At the viewpoint, we reveled in the dramatic beauty below us, took more than our share of photos, then returned to the valley floor. Temperatures were pleasant, the rain held off, and we joined the rest of the group for yet another epic Viking battle with an overstocked dinner buffet!

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Betty Hillstrom on

Oh Dan, to be young again and back in Norway with you. Great reminders of fond memories. Carry on!

friesendm on

Truth be told, Betty. I'm not so young anymore myself. Nursing a bum knee on this trip...but thankful to be here still taking it in!

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