In amongst the fjords...

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jul 07, 2006

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Flag of Norway  ,
Sunday, June 18, 2006

The journey from Bergen to Stryn turned out to be a memorable one, despite the overcast conditions that threatened to spoil the party.

The day began with a three hour express boat trip along the Sognefjord, billed as Norway's longest (204km) and deepest (1308m) fjord. It was impressive, but the scenery didn't become that dramatic until I boarded a ferry in Balestrand that took me along the much narrower Fjaerlandsfjord. It felt great to be in amongst the fjords again, and if anything the overcast conditions made the area seem even more eerie and mysterious...

In the afternoon, I visited the dramatic Boyabreen glacier that towered over its lake with a much steeper gradient than the ones on New Zealand's west coast. It must be said that subconciously, I'd become a little bit flippant in my attitude towards seeing another glacier, but that definitely changed when I saw Boyabreen for the first time - there was a real wow factor involved, and I took lots of photographs.

Unfortunately my arrival in Stryn served as something of an anticlimax after the scenic nature of my journey, as the clouds had really moved in. In fact, I didn't see the sun at all during my short stay in Stryn, although you have to take the rough with the smooth because the fjords are obviously prone to inclement weather. It usually evens itself out over the course of a trip...

Luckily the hostel I was staying at was lovely, and was actually more akin to a bed and breakfast than so-called budget accommodation. A funny incident occurred when I arrived with an Austrian lad and we entered the dormitory, only to be greeted by a look of horror from another Austrian guy who was probably in his late 50s. He'd asked to have the dormitory to himself for some unknown reason, and quickly packed up and scarpered somewhere else! It was very bizarre, but we deduced that he was a serial snorer and was simply embarrassed. He needn't have worried as the serial snorer is very common on the backpacker circuit!

I also had to smile on the second night when three Californian guys arrived, all of whom must have been in their mid-60s, and they were travelling around on their bikes - they'd done 90 miles that day alone. It was reminiscent of a scene from Cocoon! They were a genial bunch though and we watched the football together, with me explaining the reason why a foul outside the 18 yard box is not a penalty!
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