The first month of summer break has passed, which means that I already went on vacation. Usually, my family and I would go to a country near the Mediterranean Sea, like Spain or Greece. While I really like going to these places, I wanted to go somewhere completely different this year. A place with a different kind of landscape and where it’s less hot. I’m not the biggest fan of running around in high temperatures, however, my sister does. She likes to lie on a beach chair near the pool with a book in her hands. To get something that could satisfy both of us, we settled on going on a cruise through the Norwegian Fjords. Here’s how that went.
We started out in Amsterdam, where our ship was docked. From there on we would have to sail for the rest of the day and the entire next day as well. It’s a strange experience at first, to be on a boat the whole time, but you kind of get used to it. It was impossible to walk in a straight line, which made for some funny moments as we bumped into walls and doors all the time. The downside of this, however, is that it’s very easy to get a little seasick. That’s exactly what happened, I got sick the second night. Luckily, I was feeling slightly better the next day, so I could go and visit the first city.
Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway and is also known as the city of Seven Mountains. When we got off the boat and walked for a few minutes, we immediately found ourselves in the older part of the city. There are these fun and colourful buildings that form a rather unique skyline. There’s a cable car that takes you to the top of one of the surrounding mountains. From there, you get an amazing overview of Bergen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling that well again. So as soon as we got down, I went back to the ship to get some sleep in the hope of getting better.
On our second day, we made a quick stop at Hellesylt to load and unload some cargo on the ship. In the meantime, almost every passenger stood on deck to take in the breathtaking landscape around us. From a little town to large mountains, this place had it all. When the crew was done with the cargo, we sailed through the fjords to our next destination, Geiranger.
On the way there, we sailed past the Seven Sisters and their Suitor. These are seven, as the name indicates, waterfalls. According to the legend these Sisters are dancing along the mountain, while their Suitor, who is located on the opposite side of the river, flirts with them and wants to choose one of the them to become his wife.
Geiranger was an even smaller town than Hellesylt, but it was equally as impressive. Dalsnibba is a mountain near Geiranger, which gives an astonishing look over the valley and fjord. You can get to the top by driving on a very small road with a lot of turns, which delivered some dangerous situations when another car approached from the other direction. When we finally got to the top, we were a bit disappointed. While we were driving, the sky filled itself with fog, so there wasn’t a lot to see from up there. However. We just got on the bus when someone notified our guide that the fog had lifted slightly.
When you go down to about half the mountain, you come across a lake, called Djupvasshytta. The lake is surrounded by mountains and lies over a thousand meters high. On top of that, it’s also two hundred meters deep and is a source for a number of waterfalls.
Our third day was almost entirely about mountains and trolls. We visited Åndelsnes which is a town in the Romsdalsfjords. It’s a nice little town, again surrounded by mountains. There’s Trollstiggen, which is a mountain a bit further out of the town that gives a great view on the Romsdalen valley. While it was a rather sunny day when we visited, there still was quite a lot of snow to be found on top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time there, so I didn’t have the chance to touch the snow, which I really wanted to do for some reason. There were also a lot of stacked rocks on the ground. Apparently, tourists make these piles for good luck. The mountain also had a waterfall going down into the valley.
After that, we visited Trollsveggen. This Troll Wall is the highest vertical rock wall in Europe. When the excursion was over, we still had some time left. So my dad and I went hiking on another mountain on the other side of the town. It took a lot of sweat, but we managed to get at least halfway before we had to go down again to get in time on our boat again.
Olden was on the next day’s schedule. We didn’t do a lot that day, as my mother had gotten sick that night so she and my sister stayed on the boat. My father and I went around the town and explored the environment for a bit. We came across two different churches, a red and a white one. They were entirely made out of wood and were really small.
Flåm is most known for its railway line. The line is considered one of the world’s steepest and most beautiful line. It travels through twenty tunnels, gives you a magnificent look at the Norwegian nature and makes a stop at one of the nearby waterfalls. We obviously took a ride on this train which was interesting. It’s a different kind of way to view the landscape and travel through it, but it got really hot inside the train and the windows were kind of small, which was less pleasant.
Last but not least, there’s Stavanger. This city was really nice to walk around in. Though we first took a cab to just a little out of town, because there’s a statue of three large swords that stick into the ground. These swords commemorate the Battle of Hafrsfjord, after which Norway was unified for the first time. Then we went back into the city to just walk around and see what we come across, like a street filled with colourful buildings. The last thing we did was visit the Stavanger Maritime Museum, which had a lot of miniature models of important ships and offices that were decorated like how they were when this city was still a little town.
After Stavanger, we had to sail for another full day to get back in Amsterdam and then to go home. This vacation was a lot different from the ones we did in the previous years, which is definitely a good thing. I had a lot of fun visiting Norway and this was surely a unique experience. I can definitely recommend visiting Norway and the Norwegian Fjords. Where did you go on vacation this year or where are you planning to go?
I’ll see you later!