Saturday June 9, 2018

OH BOY! THURSDAY WAS THE ICING ON THE CAKE … the froth on the coffee … and the cream on our Baltic donuts! Glorious, picture-perfect GEIRANGER, with its kaleidoscope of teetering peaks, plunging waterfalls, mirror lakes, meandering streams, cosy farmlets, tiny villages and panoramic views-to-die-for, turned it on for us Kiwis and wowed us like you wouldn’t believe!

We’d been warned: our coach-tour of this unique, not-to-be-missed location would involve lots of tight corners. So we took a deep breath, buckled up our seatbelts, and held on tight!

We motored first up the zig-zaggy Eagle Road – around 11 hairpin bends carved into the mountainside – for photos of the deep green waterway and the famous De Syv Sostre (Seven Sisters) Falls. Then we twisted and turned up another winding mountain road at the end of the end of the fjord, past the glassy Lake Djupvatn (deep lake), climbing higher and higher all the time to the summit of Mt Dalsnibba (1500 metres above sea level).

Neither words nor photos can describe the feast-for-sore-eyes that awaited us up there on top of the world: rocky-snowy-mossy slopes stretching away in the distance … miniature valleys, rivers and roads far below … and way, way off in the distance the tiny toy ships (including the Koningsdam) anchored in Geirangerfjord.

Fantastic? For sure! Everything the tourist books raved about!

THEN, YESTERDAY, WE MADE OUR LAST STOP in the Norwegian Fjords, at BERGEN – a one-time Viking seaport, founded in 1070 by nice King Olav the Peace Loving. Bergen is built around a magnificent, natural harbour, its shores lined with handsome medieval buildings, its hillsides dotted with tidy brightly-painted pointy-gabled houses.

We drove along the German Pier (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) for a peep at the Nordnes Peninsula (which bisects the harbour) … queued for a funicular ride up Mount Florien for a magnificent overview of the town … strolled around the bustling fish market … and savoured the atmosphere of ages past in the ancient Bryggen Quarter (with its unique wooden warehouses and homes straight out of the Middle Ages).

Did any of our Mad Midlifers splash out on a reindeer pelt for their bedroom? I haven’t heard. But the women, especially, have been shop-shop-shopping … and, collectively, we’re going home with enough stuff to open a souvenir-store!

COMING UP: Our floating hotel has pointed its nose south, and we’re now motoring back through the North Sea to the Netherlands, on the European mainland. Tomorrow we’re in Amsterdam for a few final hours before starting our long, long homebound flight …

PEOPLE-NEWS: It’s not too late, and two more chubby Pink Pigs have found new homes/pens …

  • JUDY, who obviously hopes to take home a breeding herd, won her third piglet – receiving our ‘Innuendo Award’, for buying what she thought was the Swedish equivalent of Panadol from a local pharmacy, only to discover she’d purchased suppositories instead. Whoops!
  • MARY was embarrassed to receive our ‘Would You Like to Rephrase That Award’ – for announcing over dinner last night that “I’ve never had a man before!” The comment was actually quite innocent on Mary’s part and had to do with something else, but no sooner were the words out of her mouth than, all over the restaurant, plates were being dropped and drinks were being spilled and elderly men were struggling to their feet to volunteer their services.

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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