(if you click on the photos they get bigger and you can scroll through like a slideshow.)
So, here's where it gets reallllly Norway-y. Ready?
From Oslo, Jim, Clementine, Tone, Magnus & I jumped on a plane for Alesund, up in the...northwest-ish part of the south-ish part of the country? Do you like my geographic sense? Actually, I have a pretty good sense of geography, but Norway really throws everything off by being so looong and going about as far north as a country can go. And being all coastline, yo. I read this crazy number that says that if you measure the actual coastline in all its fjord-riven, island-scattered...never-straightness...it's like 50,000 miles. It sounds like I made that number up. To make it sound more like I made it up: Norway has about 50,000 islands. Really.
The view from the airplane was crazy gorgeous.
And Alesund wasn't bad either...
Right? Alesund is known as the Art Nouveau city, on account of having burned down in the early 19th Century and being rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style. I would say that if a city had to burn down and be rebuilt, 1904 was a good time to do it. Also, um, that situation? Kinda reminds me of Arendale in Frozen, which makes sense, because: Norway.
The flight was about an hour, and we rented a car at the airport for a few days of driving around. We only spent a morning in Alesund, and then made the goooorgeous drive to one of the most famous places in the country.
A fjord along the way:
We were so so lucky to have blue skies on this day! The colors! The light!
Oh. I mentioned a few posts ago that we saw like a hundred thousand lupines over the course of our trip? Here are a few. So. Many. Lupines. I wanted to make the hugest bouquet of lupines ever gathered, but was never in flower range and vase range at the same time.
This house! This abandoned house! Look how pretty!
After a bit of a meander, we had our first of what would be many car ferry experiences.
Norway knows how to do car ferries. Easy, frequent, on time.
And not long after that we reached our destination: Geirangerfjord, aka fjordorama.
First glimpse. That's a cruise ship. You know, I put it there for scale.
Next viewpoint. Wow.
Embiggen this. This place. Wow. It's not one of the bigger fjords. On the map it's quite wee. But it's perfect. The sheerness of the cliffs, the magnitude of the waterfalls. I don't know.
I'd made last-minute reservations at the big Geiranger Hotel, and was surprised to be able to get "fjord-view rooms." But when we checked in and were given our keys to the second floor, we thought, well dang, that can't be much of a view...
And then opened the doors to this:
So okay. No complaint there.
(the water was SO COLD.)
View as the sun finally reached the mountains:
The next day we found out how lucky we'd been to have that blue sky!
We took a fjord boat in the morning, and it was like this.
Beautiful in a different way altogether. Again, cruise ship for scale. Convenient.
(You can pretty much always find a cruise ship in Geiranger.)
Okay, but this is more fun for scale. See the waterfall below?
There's a mountain farm next to it.
Here it is, a little closer.
These farms! These intrepid people who farmed on cliffs!
No one has lived in these homesteads since the 1960s, though you can visit some of them. The king and queen of Norway celebrated their silver wedding anniversary at one of these.
The boat tour narration told how this farm had lost seven inhabitants to landslides in the day. *shudder*
Also how they had to tether children to keep them from falling off cliffs.
So there's some super Norwayness! So stunning! Every moment as you drive the landscape takes some new sight out of its pocket and holds it up to the light.
Still more Norway to come!