Hellesylt & Geiranger, Norway
September 5, 2007
This one of Norway's prettiest fjords beginning at Alesund, the countries largest fishing port. We entered the fjord early in the morning and didn't realize we were sailing in some of the prettiest areas until we went to breakfast. We traveled about 50 miles toward Hellesylt where we made our transition to a bus that would take us inland for an 8 hour tour to Geiranger. While we were on the bus the ship sailed through the fjord to Geiranger 10 miles away through waters that were about 100 feet deep between mountains towering 2,000 feet in the air.
Geiranger fjord is considered by many to be the most beautiful in all of Norway. It's name, which means "spear," that comes to a halt at the village of Geiranger, which is a well known tourist resort.
Land Tour Begins
As we sail up the fjord to Hellesylt we see some farms on the nearby hills. The photo on the right is a telephoto of the home shown on the hilltop of the left photo.
We arrive at our destination and transfer to our bus.
Hellesylt is a sleepy little village nestled in the mountains.
We will board our bus to travel into the interior. We will cross the bridge shown in the photo top left. The top right photo looks back onto the village.
As we leave our ship proceeds up the fjord to Geiranger where we will meet her again 6 hours later.
The round stone in the right photo was used to assure a wedding party and guests that the bride wasn't pregnant. She was required to crawl through the hole to verify her virginity.
The above and following are some quick photos of homes and sights we took as the bus moved along.
We stop along the way for coffee and brunch. The hotel had a small museum of sorts of stuffed animals that inhabit the area.
We step outside to the back of the hotel and are greeted with some grand scenery.
The man at the end of the dock is fishing for salmon.
As in Bergen, trolls are loved here as well.
Once again we board our bus and make our way into the mountains where we make another stop at a National Park Center.
Most of the homes and building have grassed sloped roof. The primary reason is for insulation. The grass is maintained by goats who are periodically hoisted to the rooftop to graze.
Inside the center is a grander museum showing off the animals of Norway.
The most populous animal is the mouse like creature that makes it home in the mountains.
Lynn keeps his eye out for strange signs and spellings. After we leave the Center we drive higher into the mountains. We make a quick stop at a lookout for a couple of "non moving" photos. As we saw in Aruba, there is a tradition of piling stones atop the other. The belief is that this will help the person who built the "pyramids" to return for another visit.
Around noon we stop for a lunch of baked salmon.
About 1/2 mile away from the lodge are a number of cabins used for recreational fishing.
We continue on for some breathtaking scenery.
As we go around a bend in the road we see our ship waiting for us at Geiranger.
In the distance (left photo) we can see where the road runs halfway up the cliff. It is the distance to the left of the ship. It is really a switchback road because of the steepness of the cliff wall. The photo on the right is a view from that vantage point.
We will again get aboard our ship and make our way through the fjord through Hellesylt and out next destination -- the Faroe Islands.
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