A drive and ferry ride later, the famous Geiranger fjord in Norway leaves us feeling as if we were in a dream world
Having explored the different facets of the small city of Trondheim in Norway the last couple of weeks, we decide to widen our radius of exploration by travelling south-west into the fjords of Norway. It is June and the weather’s perfect to travel to Geiranger, about 400 km south of Trondheim. We decide to take the coastal route, knowing it will take us past a lot of fjords.
Originally, we had planned to take European Highway E6 only to discover that several pelotons would slow us down for most part of the trip. So, we decide to take a detour from Trondheim to Halsa, which is like a normal city ride but after that, it’s like opening a bottomless gift box. The Halsafjorden is cold, windy and mesmerising. It’s the first fjord of my life. The Kvernes Stave Church, built in the 14th century atop a grassy plateau, offers astonishing views of the Kvernesfjorden, the bridges across it and the tiny boats that skim along the borders of the fjord.
The highlight of the coastal route is the spectacular Atlantic Road that connects the mainland Romsdal Peninsula to the island of Averoya. The viewpoints along the road are placed like powerful silences between notes of a music composition. Of the chain of eight bridges along the Atlantic Road, the Storseisundet is the longest and curves on all three planes, making it a stunning ride.
Good morning, world!
You can take two ferries through Geiranger fjord —the Hellesylt-Geiranger ferry that sails from Hellesylt to Geiranger or the ferry that goes from Geiranger to Valldal. We take the former. I open the porthole curtains the next morning to the whole new world of Hellesylt, with its snow-capped mountains waiting for the meltdown, small rivers and the thawing waters of the Hellesyltfossen or waterfalls. The Hellesyltfossen keeps your camera clicking for a long time. Located between two bridges, the Hoge and the Hellesylt, the granite rocks peeping through the waters make a beautiful sight.
The season to visit Geiranger is summer, between May and September, when the area is at its scenic best. What makes the Geiranger fjord so astonishing is its perfect S-shape, and of course the numerous picturesque falls such as the Seven Sisters, the Bride’s Veil and the Suitor, making it one of Norway's most visited sites and part of the World Heritage Site list.
As the ferry leaves the waters of the Sunnylvsfjorden to sail through the Geiranger fjord, around the first curve we get a panoramic view of the entire narrow and steeply curved fjord. It sets your heart pounding to hear the sound of the waterfalls cascading down the steep mountains. First, all you see is the side of the falls and then as the ferry makes the turn voila! There they are — the Seven Sisters who never fail to impress, standing tall at about 250 metres. On the opposite bank is Suitor waterfall, which looks a bit like a bottle, with rocks visible down the centre. Legend goes that the Suitor was determined to propose to the Seven Sisters and each time he was turned down, he got drunk. Soaring above and keeping pace with our ferry are our avian friends, the seagulls, waiting to share our breakfast. The hour-long ferry ride ends at Geiranger port.
A little over 20 km up the mountain from Geiranger port is the summit of Dalsnibba, a dream spot with its innumerable stone cairns and spectacular views. Cold and silent with snow-capped mountains bathed in sunlight surrounding it on all sides, Dalsnibba is certainly a place to remember. Nimbus and cirrus clouds cast dark shadows on the snowy white peaks, creating a marvellous natural mosaic. From one side we see a breathtaking panorama of the bright blue Geiranger fjord. However, it is at Ornevegan, a viewpoint on one of the upper bends of the zigzagging road, that we find the most dazzling view of the fjords with the Seven Sisters waterfall.
Coming back, we take the Trollstigen, a twisting road with 11 hairpin bends. On a viewing balcony between the two mountains, we drink in more sights of the entire Trollstigen road and the cascading Stigfossen waterfall. As we stand watching, encompassed by the mountains, a rainbow emerges from the falls. It feels like we are living in a dream.
Hike to the Storseterfossen and stand behind the waterfall
Try your hand at fjord fishing – hook a cod or catfish
Sea kayaking, in some of the world’s best waters
A handmade troll, a cute Norwegian monster
Woollens, which are beautiful, although expensive
The famous smoked salmon
Freia milk chocolate — delicious and available widely
Strawberries, berries and other fruit