... As we sail away for Geirangerfjord, I am still marveling at our departure from Flam. As our ship left Port Flam, it turned its' 950-foot length, 360-degrees-- ever so slowly--ever so smoothly-- and headed back out down the fjord. I felt -- I could have reached out and touched both sidewalls of the fjord as it made its turn-around if I was standing at the bow of the ship. Amazing! No more tugs to turn us around with these newer smarter ships (and captains). Back we go up to the Crown Viking for another 5 or so hours of breathtaking views.
Some cruise ships make a 2-hour-stop at Hellesylt to let passengers off to take the overland excursion tour to Geiranger. The ship sails on to Geiranger, where it picks them up. Other ships go directly to Geiringer where passengers tender ashore and take overland tours to Hellesylt. In any case, you will marvel as you pass magnificent waterfalls. The stunning Seven Sisters, the Bridal Veil and the Suitor will all try to court you with their charming cascades.
Geiranger is a small tourist town in the western part of Norway.
lies at the head of the Geirangerfjord, known as "the most beautiful fjord
in the world" which is a branch of the Storfjord (Great Fjord). Geiranger is
home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, and has often
been named the best travel destination in Scandinavia. Norway's third
biggest cruise-ship port receives about 160 ships during the four-month
tourist season. Several hundred thousand people pass through every summer,
and tourism is the main business for the 250 people who live there
permanently. The tourist season stretches from May to early September; in
the off-season the pace and activity is reduced to that of a normal small
The Seven Sisters Waterfall. (But on the day we sailed by some of the sisters were missing!) We enter the harbor at Geiranger.
Our ship is docked in the Geiranger harbor and we tender ashore.
Geiranger On Your Own From the village of Geiranger, your first visit should be the Norwegian Fjord Centre (off to the right of the Union Hotel in town which is about a 15-minute walk from pier. It describes the daily life in Geiranger from the past and present. From here, you can observe the winding, switchback roads to the top of the mountains. You can take an easy hike to see some of the sights; sod roofed houses, and souvenir shops and beautiful views of the hills are the main draw if you do not take an organized tour.
From the pier follow the line to the Union Hotel where you will find a cafe. Half way up you will pass the little Octagon Church built in 1842 in timber, seating 200. The Octagonal church is beautifully situated with a view of the fjord. Built in 1842 and decorated by local craftsmen Einar Flydal and Martin Mølsæter, the church is open for visitors throughout the season.
At the Norwegian Fjord Centre you will also get to know more about how life was on the abandoned farms along the fjord's banks, such as Skageflå, Knivsflå and Blomberg. Skageflå (farm) is a 25-minute walk from the fjord. Pick up a map of some of the paths in the area around the Geirangerfjord with easy or medium difficulty. All the paths are marked well and are easy to find. Just ask for the map in the reception area!
Organized Ship Tours: You can take ship excursion tours between the two towns of Hellesylt and Geiranger. The two towns are quite small, but the countryside beyond them is really breathtaking.You would need to book an overland excursion between the two ports to do this. Check out what your ship excursions offer.
Abandoned farms. Goats with bells around their necks are not bashful
Along the fjord's sides there lies a number of abandoned farms. Some restoration has been made by the local preservation society of Storfjordens Venner. The most commonly visited among these is Skagefla, one of a handful of farms that can be reached on foot from Geiranger. Although it was abandoned in 1916, it was once one of the richer goat farms in Geiranger and had 2 or 3 mountain pastures for its animals.... Knivsfla (near 7 Sisters Waterfalls) was abandoned in 1898 due to danger of falling rocks. Knivsfla and Blomberg require a boat excursion. Excursions can be arranged to all of these farms.
Knivsfla: Another view of the Seven Sisters waterfall, this time you can see the abandoned Knivsflå farm beside it. This farm was pretty inaccessible and the children who lived there were apparently tied to the house with a rope in case they fell over the edge! Skagefla: To the right is Skageflå farm. It has an extremely isolated position, at some 250 metres above the fjord. At the height of its prosperity, Skageflå, which was abandoned in 1916, was one of the most important goat farms in the area and one of the largest in Geiranger. In one year the farm had 120 goats, 60 sheep, 6 cows and a horse. As spring came early at Skageflå, the goats could graze outdoors for most of the year and in spots that no other animals could reach. A lot of butter from goat’s milk was made on the farms in days gone by.
The View from Vesteråsfjellet
This is a hair-pin turn that you will find climbing the fjord mountains. At Flydalsjuvet you'll find the springboard-shaped rock formation for viewing the harbor. Dalsnibba - At 4,757-feet above sea level, offers panoramic views that includes the village of Geiranger and the fjord.
CRUISE SHIPS SCHEDULE HERE
Tips: Make sure
that you have local currency available for visits to the public bathrooms in
hotels and on other sites. (approximately 5 Kr per visit--and by the way:
Herrer means "Mens'" and Damer or Kvinner