"" Writer's Wanderings: Norway--Olden

Friday, July 24, 2009


Olden is a little village on the Nordfjord. Besides being one of the most picturesque places I have ever been, it is also close to the Jostedalbreen glacier, the largest glacier in all of Europe. Bob’s interest was in getting to the Briksdal glacier which is a branch of the larger Jostedalbreen.

We boarded a bus for our ship’s excursion to the Briksdal. The ride was about 30 minutes through lush green farmland dotted with lots of dairy cows and took us along the edge of the large glacial lake, Lake Loen.

When we arrived at the base of the glacier, we were given instructions on which path to follow and told that there were a few strenuous places on our way to the glacial area. My legs cried out in anticipation of more climbing but we forged ahead. The climb was actually not too bad and took about 45 minutes. On the way we passed a rushing waterfall and several views of a spectacular waterfall on another mountain that seemed to fall from the top.

There was a small body of water at the base of the glacier with mini-icebergs floating in it. We could not get up close to the glacier to touch it which disappointed Bob. But it wasn’t long before we realized why no one was allowed near it. A large crack, almost like thunder, pierced the air and we watched huge chunks of ice roll down the face of the glacier and into the water below. A few minutes later another smaller section broke away and smashed against some rocks making the falling ice particles appear as though there were a waterfall.

This was one of the sunniest days we had on the trip and the clouds stayed away throughout the whole day. I spent the afternoon on the balcony of our stateroom reading and staring out on a pastoral scene of farmland on a gentle sloping hill, the lush fields bathed in the sun, the deep red buildings providing a contrast in colors. It was so perfect, it didn’t seem real. And yes, after pinching myself, I knew I was awake.

Our sail out of this fjord was spectacular as the good weather gave us lots to see in this wonderful region of the country.

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