Step Into A Norwegian Fairy Tale in Geiranger
This summer, during the Voyage of the Vikings cruise, I visited Norway for the first time. If there's one thing you should know about the country it's this: Norway has some of the most beautiful, raw, natural, untarnished scenery that I have ever seen!
I got my first taste of Norway as we sailed into the picturesque Geirangerfjord, an S-shaped fjord located on the country’s west coast. This narrow fjord with steep cliffs and deep, dark waters make it one of Norway’s most beautiful areas and attracts visitors from across the globe. Its unique landscape granted it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2005.
Having just sailed past Greenland and Iceland, I had gotten used to the abnormally sunny weather we were experiencing and somehow wasn’t expecting it to change anytime soon. Of course, on the sea day before Geiranger, the skies turned grey and this continued on for the majority of my time in Norway.
During the morning sailing into Geirangerfjord it was rainy and overcast. At first I was a little disappointed, but once I ventured onto our ships outside deck I realized that this gloomy type of weather actually increased the area’s charm.
The cloud-dappled mountains and misty air added a mysterious feel to the fjord. It’s no wonder that this unique landscape has bred a belief in trolls and giants!
Nearing the end of the Geirangerfjord we passed the Seven Sisters Waterfall, consisting of seven separate streams with the tallest stream free falling 250 meters.
On the opposite side of the fjord thunders the Suitor Waterfall, and legend has it that the Suitor is trying to playfully woo the Sisters across from him.
At the end of the fjord we arrived in Geiranger – population: 250. Geiranger’s inhabitants mainly sustain themselves on the tourism industry, primarily during the four-month long summer cruise ship season.
This is the third largest cruise ship port in all of Norway and I was thankful that our ship was the only one in port during the day.
Geiranger is so small that it's easy to see most of the town in a couple of hours. Along the waters edge you will find shops and cafes, along with the tourist info center and a busy summer campground.
I wandered up past the thundering waterfall that runs past a busy campground, and finally settled on the patio of the Union Hotel for a hot chocolate break with my mum.
Looking at the scenery, I felt like I had stepped into a fairy tale landscape, complete with green grassy fields, mossy wooden houses, gushing waterfalls, dark mysterious forests, and surly trolls!
Trolls play a huge part in Norway's folklore. Every single gift shop I came across in Norway sold some kind of troll merchandise, from postcards, key chains, fridge magnets, stuffed animals, to t-shirts, shot glasses, and mini statues.
Although it might have been worthwhile to take a tour to one of the viewpoints – Flydalsjuvet, Mount Dalsnibba, or Eagle’s Bend to name a few – I enjoyed simply being here in Geiranger soaking up an eyeful of the magical scenery.
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