Fjord country Norway was on my travel list for a long time but turned into reality when I could convince a few friends to take a road trip through this breathtakingly beautiful country. I feel that the real beauty of Norway can be experienced during a road trip when nature beckons to stop at every step to soak in the different hues of green, clear blue skies and crystal clear water in the fjords and lakes. We drove down from Bergen to Geirangerfjord (UNESCO World Heritage Site) stopping umpteen times on the way before we reached the small village of Geiranger at the end of the fjord.
This is also a popular camping ground next to the fjord. We reached late evening when the sun was nearly down but the faded evening lights lingered on until 10pm at night though it was nearing end of August.
The morning light streamed into our fjord facing room in Hotel Grande Fjord the next day. I peeped out to get a whiff of cool and fresh air and was greeted by rays of sunlight which had set the top of Akerneset Range aflame.
Soon the Hurtigruten ferry made an appearance at the bend of the fjord and slowly floated towards the edge. We walked around the fjord, exploring views from different corners, infact the aerial view from a point that we reach after a short trek upwards, was the best ever. There is yet another point at the edge of a cliff which was a popular photo point for brave tourists to take a picture on the ledge. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is now encased with iron railings and I had to remain content standing against it and reserve my daredevilry for another date.
A trip to the fjords is incomplete without experiencing its flow through the deep gorges. Though not a great swimmer, I finally took the plunge to sit in a canoe to float around the fjord to get a close and personal experience. The 90 minute ride around the fjord accompanied by stillness and silence occasionally interspersed by the ripples from another canoe, an odd helicopter air dropping material on the mountain tops or the flapping wings of the birds brought me out of my reverie. I could relive the memoirs of Roald Dahl and his escapades around the fjords. As we turned into the bend, the 2 waterfalls – “7 sisters” and “Suitor” cascaded down in all their glory. The Suitor was indeed wooing the youthful 7 sisters and he had a tough choice at hand :). As we drifted towards the Suitor, it was not hard to imagine the handiwork of nature as the glacial erosion took place over millions of years to create this U shaped fjord or narrow inlet. I sprinkled a palm full of cold water on my face, as I looked up to the sky to thank my heavenly benefactor for this experience.
- Fly into Oslo or Bergen. Though the closest airport is Alesund, it is not an international destination.Ideally rent a car to drive around or take the Ferry (Hurtigruten)that goes all the way up to the Northern Tip beyond Tromso.
- During Summer months of 15th June to 31st August, there are bus services from Oslo and Bergen over the Trollstigen Mountain Road.
- Take a train to Andalsnes and then avail bus service during summer months
- There are quite a few hotels around though Grande Fjord has some of the best views and awesome food.