Tuesday July 3, 2012

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On every tour there are days when you’re tempted to think, “Hey, this is as good as it gets!” And today was most definitely one of those. For starters, the weather was perfect – blue skies, bright sunshine, and (by the time the afternoon rolled around) taker-your-jacket-off HOT! But even more perfect still was the scenery.

Glorious deep-green Geirangerfjord is truly one of Norway’s most impressive sights. And surrounding its picture-perfect town is an alpine-like landscape of impossibly-high peaks, gushing streams and waterfalls, mirror lakes, cosy farmlets and panoramic views-to-die-for.

The oohing and aahing began while we ate breakfast, as the Rotterdam made its way slowly through the steeply-sided fjord. Then the anchor was dropped, the lifeboats were lowered, and we Kiwis rode to shore – where a coach was waiting to take us up an ever-winding, ever-climbing road.

We were busy counting the zig-zaggy hairpin bends when, suddenly, at 1000 metres above sea-level, we found ourselves in the middle of a summer ski field, with blinding white snow almost everywhere we looked.

We continued driving along the shores of a still-frozen glacial lake (Djupvatn) and up this even steeper, heart-stopping road to the summit of Mt Dalsnibba, now 1500 metres above sea level.

Oh, boy!

There’s no way words (or photos) can describe the feast-for-sore-eyes that awaited us up there on top of the world. We were quite simply gob-smacked by 360-degree views of endless snowy peaks dropping down to miniature valleys, rivers and roads far, far below us. And way, way off in the distance we could see the cruise-ships (including the Rotterdam) that were anchored in Geirangerfjord.

As if that wasn’t more than enough for one day, we then motored back down through the Geiranger township to another zig-zaggy mountainside route – the Eagle Road – that took us along the shores of a stunning glassy lake, and up along more green, green valleys tucked between more snow-splattered peaks. We arrived, finally, at Herdalsetra,Norway’s largest, still-in-use summer mountain farm, where we were treated to an introductory chat, a chance to photograph the grassy, flowery rooftops, and a tasty sampling of goat cheese and caramels.

Oh, one more glorious highlight: after up-anchoring later this afternoon, we found ourselves cruising up-close to the famous De Syv Sostre (Seven Sisters) Falls.

Count on it: this is one day 25 Mad Midlifers will never forget!


We drop in on a fairytale town famous for its turrets, spires, ornamentation and under-sea tunnels. This grand Baltic adventure aint over yet, folks, so don’t change channels …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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