Viking Ocean Cruise Into the Midnight Sun Post #3, Geiranger
I have traveled many places over my 56 years of traveling this world. I have to admit that none have been as strikingly gorgeous as Geiranger was with Viking Cruises. Obviously never having been to Norway and beginning with a Bob Dylan concert, I had no idea what to expect as we sailed into this small port in Norway. We cruised from Bergen north and along the coast we were close enough to see many structures and small communities such as this below. I have an 80 to 200 zoom lens for my Sony camera, so it was nice to pull these small towns into view.
Along the coast we passed so many waterfalls it was staggering. I’m guessing it was about 6:00 AM to 6:30 AM and we were having breakfast in our room with room service I believe, or taking advantage of the in room coffee maker. I couldn’t believe how stunning the coastline was. I’ve never seen this amount of waterfalls located close to each other including our many visits to Hawaii.
Just as we began to enter Geiranger Bay we passed this small village on the corner. I love European architecture related to farming and small townships. It brings back memories of my youth and helping on my Grandfather’s farm in Kansas. That was most assuredly very hard work, but there is a rewarding feeling when you complete this type of physical labor. I had no way of knowing as we turned into the bay what lay ahead or how beautiful the bay and Geiranger Fjords were going to be.
This would be our first of several Tender experiences while aboard the Viking Sun. I have to be honest and say how unsettling my thoughts of riding these water taxis into shore were. The mind plays games with one and I was concerned I might be claustrophobic or become seasick by the rocking of these small boats. My fears were soon belayed as the process was totally organized and without issue.
There it was. Geiranger Bay appeared to be a very lovely port and one that photographers would drool over. How little did I realize how oversimplified my thoughts were. Each evening prior to the various ports, the cruise director and ship operations managers would convey their knowledge and views of each port we would be touring the next day. This was invaluable to Kim and I as we combined this with the daily newsletters to resolve our plans for each days’ itinerary.
The primary focus of their talk for Geiranger was the eleven switchbacks that everyone riding the buses to the top would endure. I was actually fearful that the constant turning might make me sick to my stomach. I am very hesitant to ride in the back seat of an automobile, especially on very warm days. I tend to become deathly sick at my stomach. We disembarked and went ashore without any unpleasant consequences.
We had to wait a few minutes for our tour bus and for the guides to set up. We decided we should visit the gift shop and see what was available. With thoughts of stuffed animals for our two year old grandson we entered the store. To our surprise it was filled with different Norwegian foods and the traditional wool winter clothing from Dale of Norway. Their designs are fairly well known throughout the world. I was dumbfounded to discover the shop sold both Moose and Whale sausage. I am comfortable experimenting and tasting new foods, but without a method of maintaining refrigeration we couldn’t think about buying any moose sausage. I don’t think I could eat the whale sausage!
Given the pricing, which in all cases was extreme, I am pretty sure the fur accessories were all faux goods. As a rule in Norway goods of all kinds are very expensive as Norway has the fourth highest cost of living country in the world behind the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland in that order. We were astonished by the pricing structure in this country.
After maneuvering several switchbacks in the bus we stopped a pullout and were able to take photos of several waterfalls. One of the more popular set of falls is the “Seven Sisters” waterfalls. They are among the most photographed waterfalls in Geiranger Fjords. They have a fall of over 800 feet a year. Legend has it that that the “Seven Sisters” were all unmarried, and the waterfall on the other side of the fjord has been called “The Suitor” after several unsuccessful attempts to court the sisters. The Seven Sisters falls are about 6.5 kilometers or four miles west of Geiranger and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This support under a free flowing waterfall near the Seven Sisters Waterfalls, was very interesting with its platform that flowed over the glass structure. It was constructed to insure soil erosion was kept to a minimum. I thought it was unique and warranted a photograph and inclusion in the blog post.
Queen Sonja of Norway is the wife of King Harald V since January 1991. The Queen was awarded a chair to recognize her work in Fjord tourism with both personal and private visits to this area. This is highlighted in the verbiage on the chair’s plaque above. She and I have something in common. We have both sat in the chair only once!
Queen Sonja is a passionate mountain hiker and HM Queen Sonja’s Panoramic hiking trail was named in her honor. This is one of her favorite hikes in the Hardangerfjord region. The trail is in the soaring mountains between Kinsarvik and Lofthus. It offers magnificent fjord views. The hike is both long and difficult with an extreme decline in to Lofthus. You will walk through forests, mountains and plush orchards. Follow the dirt road from Røte up to Heng at 750 meters above sea level. From here the trail is marked with blue Ds, The Norwegian word for Queen is Dronning.
From the Queen’s chair we drove a little farther up the mountain. We stepped off the bus and walked to an overlook. What I saw literally took my breath away. It is, without a doubt one of the most magnificent views I have ever seen. Looking out over the Geiranger Fjord bay was mesmerizing and I definitely knew this was a special place. I fought to keep my emotions under control. I know that everyone who has experienced this view will agree. It rewards you with a memory of a lifetime. I think I was actually drooling all over my beard at one point. I will never forget the view!
We drove another few minutes to the top of Geiranger Fjord where a cafe and gift shop exists. We finally were above the tree line and the snow was evident across the mountains of slate. Behind the cafe was a frozen lake with beautiful waves of ice and snow combined. Hopefully it is translated through my photos. It was gorgeous, if not blinding!
As we were sailing to Lofoten, the cruise director made an announcement. She told us to look to the Starboard side and grab our cameras. We were passing this globe, which represents the Artic Circle. I was thrilled to have captured the moment with my zoom lens. The small structure alongside the globe is a lighthouse I assume. We passed several of these along the coast of Norway. I would not want to navigate these treacherous waters without the aid of lighthouses after dark.
There is a ceremony on cruise ships that initiates one into the Blue Nose Society as is illustrated below. You have to get into the freezing water and emerge having a blue slushy concoction placed on your nose. After a bad experience exiting a Sauna in the Men’s Spa and getting into the mandated freezing water I declined. This act almost caused my second heart attack and I didn’t want to take any chances.
I may have not communicated this well enough, but this particular port was definitely one of my favorites on our Into the Midnight Sun cruise. Onward to Lofoten home to breathtaking jagged peaks and sheltered bays!
*** Portions of our cruise were sponsored by Viking Ocean Cruises. All opinions, as always, are those of my own.
Posted By August 2, 2019
I assume this is Norway since VIKINGS come from there at least I think lol. That said nice shots and thank you for sharing.
With all this beautiful places in Geiranger, Mike this is too cool. Heart attack during the ceremony? Thanks for applying wisdom for the declination. The blue nose ceremony, can you tell us more about it? How’s the state of health, now?
My heart attack was in 2003. Geirangerford is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have been on this earth. I hope one day you can visit!
The Blue Nose ceremony is for those brave souls who don’t mind jumping in the freezing water. It is a ceremony done as we crossed the Artic Circle. They have their noses painted blue (because of the cold water) and photos are taken.
Yes It is Norway. Thanks for your nice thoughts on my photos, etc,
You sir have great talent. I do not know if you are a pro or not but this is amazing. Look at the beauty of nature.
You are too kind. Thank you very much for your nice thoughts! I appreciate the compliments.
I have never been to Norway myself..I hear their are a lot of waterfalls their..I wish to visit this country one day
This was my first visit. Yes there are many waterfalls and it is a gorgeous country. I didn’t realize how beautiful it was until we went. I would highly recommend everyone go, if they are given the opportunity! Thanks.
This was like taking the cruise of life into the sun. I like waterfalls alot, the seven sisters waterfall would have been a great delight for me
It definitely was a trip of a lifetime. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise! Thanks.
I’m so curious about the Blue Nose Ceremony for Crossing the Artic Circle. From your description up there it is like it one thing I would love to do
It certainly is a wonderful experience, although really cold I would think. I actually didn’t have the Blue Nose experience! Thanks.
The stories I have been hearing about Norway is pretty cool. I would love to witness several Tender experiences while aboard in the Viking Sun. My fears are am I safe when a board?. I am planning to visit Norway come November. Where will you advise me to visit among the above list places?
Obviously my first recommendation would be Geiranger fjord! It was the most exhilarating of all! Thanks.
Amazing shots. The waterfalls and coastlines look completely unmatched and must be truly remarkable to see in person. I particularly liked the one named “The Suitor” with the Seven Sisters origin behind it. Thanks for the detailed review and sharing your thoughts and feelings on the experience.
The waterfalls and coastlines were gorgeous. The waterfalls were beautiful! Thanks for your thoughts.
I would love to see the Seven Sisters Waterfalls in person. I have read so much about it.
My sincere apologies. Somehow I didn’t see your comment. I am truly sorry. I pride myself on responding quickly (normally within 24 hours at the most) and failed in this case. The Seven Sisters waterfalls are gorgeous and a wondrous site to see. I recommend if at all possible you visit and see them in person!Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
The Viking ocean cruise is definitely going into my bucket list. I have to experience this some day!
It definitely was a wonderful experience! Thanks.
I can’t get over how amazing the waterfalls look. You did a great job with the photos.
Thanks for your nice words. I appreciate your compliments! Thanks.
The View from the Higher Up Geiranger Fjords is unbelievably beautiful. It’s like a slice of paradise on earth.
It was the most spectacular site I have ever witnessed! Thanks for the nice words!
The Geography of the place is a scene to behold!I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.
I agree. The beauty was outstanding and probably the best I have ever seen!
The area seems to get a lot of rain. It would be wise to check the forecast as one plans a visit.
There usually is a great deal of rain, but we were very lucky. It didn’t really rain that much! It normally rains two out of every three days!
I am very scared of heights. Standing atop some of the waterfalls would be scary for me.
I am also. We really didn’t stand on top of very many waterfalls. I understand completely! Thanks.
The pictures are very good and well taken. You have some good talent.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your kind thoughts and words!
Norway is truly a beautiful country. Everyone should visit it at least once in their life.
Daphne,.can’t agree more young lady!Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I have never been to Norway but from what I see here I definitely ought to visit this great country. There’s not a thing to not love 🙂
I truly had no idea how gorgeous it was! Thank you kindly for your thoughts!
Geirangerfjord is a very beautiful place then, at least from your description of it here, it worth visiting and I hope to do so someday.
Geirangerfjord is just about the most gorgeous place I have ever visited in my life. Just an FYI for you. I truly thought it was magnificent!
The pictures here are electrifying I wish I could make my dream come true now by cruising up here. The Geiranger Bay from the Queens Chair is so lovely.
I can’t disagree. It was a magnificent place to visit and I would recommend everyone visit!
From the article itself, it really looks like beautiful. I really would like to experience this one.
I’m sure everyone would love for everyone to visit and see this gorgeous area in Norway! It’s truly a wonderful experience!
These pictures are just breathtaking, I can’t just keep my eyes off the waterfall. it so lovely to behold. viewing this will make my day.
I truly appreciate your thoughts and want to thank you for the kind words!
I’m an adventurous person and I wish I could have a sponsor to help me take an ocean cruise just like this, it will be a jolly one for me.
I think this cruise would be perfect for you, especially if as you say, you are adventurous! Thanks for your kind words!
The ice got my attention. A thing of beauty and yet can be very dangerous. On the other hand, it also has that warmth as shown by the green areas of some of the shots. Good job.
You are too kind. Thank you very much for your warm thoughts my friend!
The waterfall is stunning to me, I will have really loved to experienced this physically, I love to watch the waterfalls, it reminds me of life itself.
I like your thoughts and appreciate your comments. It appears we have a great deal in common my friend!
I have heard about how beautiful Norway is from a friend. From your photos here it really true that Norway’ is a really lovely place to visit.
I honestly had no idea how gorgeous Norway was until our visit. It really is magnificent! Thank you kindly for sharing your nice thoughts!
This is so inspiring that I wanna go their to visit or at least this place is on my radar now. Thank you for showing us how wonderful this part of the world is.
I really didn’t know how magnificent Norway was until our cruise. It is a truly inspiring country filled with beauty at every turn! Thanks for your nice thoughts!