"" Writer's Wanderings: Port of Call - Geiranger, Norway

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Port of Call - Geiranger, Norway

Our cruise into the Geiranger Fjord was a lot more dramatic than the last visit we made. On our first trip to the Norwegian fjord, our cruise ship had already arrived at the town of Geiranger at the end of the fjord when we awoke. The Crystal Serenity timed its arrival so we could enjoy the breathtaking scenery as we journeyed to our destination port.

From Alesund we had traveled all night inland along the long fingers of several fjords that lead to Gerianger. By the time we were ready for breakfast, we were close to the position where the ship would stop before turning into the Geiranger Fjord. It was there that a group of people on a special excursion would be tendered into another little town called Hellesylt to explore the countryside. We would be venturing into Hellesylt by way of a ferry later. That was our plan for the day. We had done it before and enjoyed the leisure trip back and forth along the fjord.

Had we known that the Serenity would give us such a grand view of the fjord in the early morning we might have made plans to do something a little different (like ride the hop on/hop off bus that was advertised and traveled between a couple of towns). The cruise to the end of the fjord was slow and allowed for more pictures than we ever needed. As a matter of fact, I heard someone make the comment, "How many pictures can you take of this?" The wonderful problem was that at every little bend and as the sun rose, the landscape changed into something else even more interesting.

All of the Seven Sisters weren't awake
Unfortunately one of the famous areas the Seven Sisters waterfall only had three or four sisters awake. Many people were disappointed but there were actually many more spectacular waterfalls along the way than that. The Seven Sisters just has a neat legend that goes along with the name. It says that the Seven Sisters were all unmarried and the waterfall on the other side of the fjord is called the Suitor after several unsuccessful attempts to court the sisters.

Once we were settled in the basin in front of the little town of Geiranger, the tenders began to carry people ashore. We grabbed the first one we could and scurried over to the ferry dock a couple of hundred feet from where our tenders were landing. For a reasonable ticket price, we bought a round trip and boarded the ferry. The ferry carries lots of cars, trucks and huge tour buses, and of course lots of passengers. Passengers are accommodated in an inside lounge or up on the very top in plastic chairs where you can get a 360 view as the ferry makes its way up/down the fjord.

We sat back and enjoyed the sun, the fresh air, and the views all over again as the ferry made its way back and forth. It's always fun to listen to all the commentary in a half dozen languages--gives me a chance to brush up on my German and realize how little I know of Japanese.

At Hellesylt, we stayed on board the ferry and wandered into the snack area. There were some sandwiches that looked too good to pass up and it was going to be well past lunch by the time we would get back to the ship. Being good cruisers, we didn't want to miss a meal so as the ferry started up again to return to Geiranger, we indulged.

Back at Geiranger, we wandered the little shops and then returned to the ship. One of us went off to play tennis. The other to. . .well, someone had to edit all those pictures.

That evening, we ate on the Lido deck at the buffet so we could again enjoy the scenery as we exited the fjord. The weather was still holding, unbelievably sunny and cool with not even a hint of rain. Could this possibly continue?

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