Call of the North (16): Fjords

July 25-26

The simplest way to see some of the fjords is “Norway in a nutshell”, a package trip taking you to the most famous UNESCO heritage fjords. Train from Oslo to Myrdahl, one of the most scenic train routes in the world, from there bus to Voss, and then by boat to I dont’ remember the name, from where you take the train to Bergen. All in one day, leaving at 8am from Oslo, at 8pm arrival in Bergen

It’s worth it.

Of course, I was tired, and the train effect kicked in – I cannot stay awake in trains, so fell asleep during the first part of the scenic route. When I woke up, I saw stuff like this

The Mirror-Lakes are what I remember most vividly from this region. Something I haven’t seen before.

Like a trip companion said, “I thought this exists only in postcards”.

.

Another defining element for the area are cascades, big foamy ones

or narrow tall ones.

We “reached the water” and started the boat trip, with seagulls playing with the air currents around us.

I learned that fjords are glacier valleys where the sea water infiltrated. The difference between a glacier valley and a river valley is that glaciers can “dig” till below sea level, which rivers obviously don’t. This way the sea water could enter in these valleys once the Ice age with its mammoths and saber tigers & squirrels melted down. Now it looks something like this

like bit swiss lakes, more complicated maybe sort of large Vierwaldstaedter See’s.

With waterfalls thrown around like by a God’s dice,

This was the scenery for a few hours. Then, by bus we cruised Transfăgărăşan/type valleys,

more waterfalls, more mirror-lakes.

Shortly after arrival in Bergen, the sun set

with a fish and chips with two good friends made on the trip. My friends then left to their “appartments”, while I continued to roam the city

since I had only one night available. Climbed with the last cablecar up to the panorama spot (alone in the car, had it all for myself)

and it was worth it.

The Bergen harbor sunset view is eerie, with a mercury-colored water.

After descending with the last cablecar down, continued roaming the city

a must being the trademark hanseatic houses in the harbor

next to party-full boats.

I felt the place “decadent”, and thought that even though Bergen is sheer splendid, I feel here less “at home” than in a Copenhagen-type metropolis. Guess this extreme partying atmosphere is tiring me. Partly age, partly preference. So I thought of checking out a more quiet place, e.g., the cathedral

and this artificial lake behind some houses in the centre,

before going to bed. In the morning, my bus was leaving at 7:30, when the city was still asleep.

After a little stress with finding accomodation back in Oslo (I had decided to return), I managed and felt much relieved starting the trip back along another fjord, the Hardanger (pronounced “hardanyer”, and Oslo is pronounced “Ooshloo” :). It was “more of the same”. From Bergen, bus to Nordheimsund,

take the boat through corners of Nordic paradise

towards Voss.

At the beginning, when climbing the boat,

I thought I heard the guide saying “hi, my name is Adina and I will be your guide today”. Hm… Adina sounds Romanian, and haven’t heard it in any other language. I’ll look into that, I said, and then fell asleep in my chair. Woke up later, coz it was cold at 9am on the water, and went to look for the guide.
She is indeed Romanian, from Tulcea, summer guide in Norway and winter guide in Lapland, Finland. Wow.

We made a stop and at her recommendation I took a trip to some waterfall

in the middle of nowhere, where I found… another Romanian girl working at the hotel.

After a pleasant conversation in mother tongue among fjords and cascades, we went back along more waterfalls

and incredibly green valleys

and – there I was, back to Oslo, in a room with two fun Polish guys who had come specifically for the Ice Cube concert (what a transition in 3 days, from Iron Maiden to Ice Cube). Let’s get some sleep, coz tomorrow is a(nother) long day.

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