Thursday, May 29, 2014

During My Cruise I'd Walk On a Glacier

Have You Visited Alaska?
Wasn't It Amazing?
Want To See More Spectacular Views?

Imagine a place where you'll see fertile valleys, majestic mountains, waterfalls and glaciers. Yes, you can even get up close to a glacier like the people in this picture. Join us on our journey to Norway and the exquisite Norwegian Fjords.

Geiranger, Norway

View from Your Balcony

I've left you imagining the Norwegian Fjords long enough. I can assure you that the picture you have in your mind is about to be surpassed. To the left is a picture from our balcony as we arrived in Geiranger, Norway. The stillness of the morning was broken by the sound of rushing water. The ship doesn't dock alongside a pier in Geiranger. Instead, the ship uses its lifeboats to tender the passengers ashore.

We booked the Journey to Briksdal Glacier RCCL shore excursion so we were one of the first passengers to disembark the vessel. We boarded our motor coach and drove through the small village of Geiranger arriving at the Flydal Gorge (approximately 1,000 feet above sea level) where we had a fantastic view of the fjord and ship below as you can see in this picture. Look how small the Jewel of the Seas looks in the middle of the fjord. From this overlook, we continued our journey up the mountain to Dalsnibba which is at 4500 feet elevation.

Dalsnibba is a mountain in Møre og Romsdal, Norway. It is located above the town of Geiranger, 7 km away from Geirangerfjord. It offers very good lookout opportunities and thus is a very popular tourist destination. Dalsnibba is often covered by the snow even in the summer. It is hard to tell whether you'll have a good view until you get to the mountain top. Unfortunately, there was extensive cloud cover and fog when we arrived. It did start to clear as we descended the mountain peak. Note the hairpin curves that the motor coaches had to make. There were times when one bus had to back up to allow another one to pass. It sure makes one glad they aren't the driver. Even with the overcast sky, the view was amazing.

Our tour continued as we drove down the mountain on our way to Briksdalen Mountain. When we arrived at at the Briksdalen Glacier, we disembarked the motor coach and entered Briksdal Inn for a typical Norwegian lunch. Following lunch we had free time to explore the glacier on our own.

There are three ways to get near the glacier - walking, riding in a horse cart, or riding in a jeep. Regardless of the method you choose, you will still need to walk on rugged terrain to get close to the face of Briksdal Glacier. Since we had limited time there, we opted for transportation by jeep. There is a nominal charge for both the jeep and the horse cart, so make sure you have some cash. You will definitely want to have a good pair of hiking shoes.

Here is a closeup of the glacial ice for those of you that haven't seen a glacier before. You'll notice the telltale bluish tint to the ice. It is possible to go onto the glacier itself, but it isn't practical with the limited amount of time during this particular organized tour. You probably wouldn't guess that we weren't on the glacier when we took this closeup picture. With today's cameras, it's possible to get great photos from a distance. We have two albums with pictures from this shore excursion. See our Geiranger album and Briksdal Glacier album for some more photos of this wonderful port of call.

Our tour wasn't complete at this point in time, so next time I'll tell you about our trip back to Hellesylt where we rejoined our ship.

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