Most individuals go to Norway from the consolation of cruise ships however I fancy seeing it from the land so I be a part of a Fjords of Norway guided strolling journey.
For eight days I discover the area close to Ålesund utilizing a combination of ferries, lengthy street tunnels and naturally my very own two ft. The strolling is comparatively straightforward, by no means rather more than 5 hours, though it may be steep in locations.
Getting across the fjords
Getting round is comparatively straightforward however transfers could be fairly lengthy, significantly in case you miss one of many ferries. In fact the views, as you drive alongside the fjords, or climb the excessive mountain passes, are merely gorgeous. The outdated Geiranger street has gradients of 10%, consists of 29 hairpins and took 300 males, working for eight years, to finish it in 1889. It’s closed in winter and even in early June, snow ploughs are busy working, conserving the way in which clear.
Norwegians actually do like the outside and round two thirds of them frequently go strolling, a quantity that’s rising yearly. They take it so severely that even the Norwegian equal of Package Kat, “Fast Lunch”, options mountaineering trails on the within of its wrappers.
On the summit of each hilltop or mountain you may signal a “Match Ebook”, and council officers tot up who’s been that month’s most energetic particular person. I don’t suppose I’ll be successful any prizes however I do handle to achieve the summit of Mount Haugsvarden at 2,828ft and add my signature.
I additionally get to the highest of Mount Hoven from the city of Loen, and I solely take 5 minutes to climb from sea degree as much as 1000m. In fact I’m dishonest, taking the model new Loen Skylift, a excessive tech cable automotive up the sheer sides of the Nordfjord. I have to admit to feeling barely giddy as we plunge into the mist, shrouding the edges of the mountain, however I’m quickly stepping out into the shiny metal and glass Hoven restaurant. I take pleasure in a scenic Sunday lunch, however there’s a community of mountaineering trails operating across the tops if fancy some train.
It’s straightforward to see why the 15 km Geiranger Fjord has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Website. It’s breathtakingly dramatic, its sheer sides rising 1700m upwards and the waters plunging to a depth of 260m. Deserted farms perch precariously on skinny mountain ledges the place youngsters had been solely allowed to play in the event that they had been secured by ropes. Spectacular torrents of water tumble over the cliffs and the 2 waterfalls going through one another are referred to as the Suitor and the Seven Sisters, one attempting to woo the opposite.
In addition to common ferries, massive cruise boats ply this Fjord and the city of Geiranger is stuffed with memento retailers, barely too touristy for my style. I desire the isolation of Norangsfjord, an arm of Hjørundfjord, which appears untouched by time. At its head is the Lodge Union in Oye, relationship from 1891, which has been restored to its former glory and furnished appropriately.
Every room is called after a well-known visitor, together with the German Kaiser Invoice, Knut Hamsun, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the composer Edvard Grieg, playwright Henrik Ibsen and the explorer Roald Amundsen. Room quantity 7 is supposedly haunted, the sobbing of a suicidal chambermaid conserving you awake all evening, however I hear nothing.
Simply down the street is the Urke Kaihus, a bar and café which opens at any time when thirsty clients give them a hoop. Outside tables vary the water’s edge and if makes the proper place to view the encircling peaks and dream of reaching the summits.
The 1564m Slogen is the one to deal with right here, nevertheless it makes an extended day’s hike and I’ve bought to catch the ferry again to Ålesund. As a substitute I climb up by way of the woods for yet one more spectacular Norwegian panorama. Even after eight days, the sight of snow-capped mountains plunging dramatically right down to glowing fjord waters nonetheless takes my breath away.
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PACKAGE: Headwater’s eight evening Fjords of Norway Guided Strolling vacation prices from £2,099pp. The value contains prime quality lodges, with buffet breakfasts, all lunches (2 in native eating places) and all night meals, baggage transfers and floor transportation, together with ferries. Flights could be organized from most UK airports to Ålesund Vigra airport, Flight inclusive value (from London Heathrow) is £2349pp.
FLY: KLM flies to Ålesund from Heathrow through Amsterdam.
MORE INFO: Go to Norway has vacationer info.