The final two stops of our cruise were in Norway….Bergen and Geiranger.
Geiranger is a small tourist village in the western part of Norway. It lies in Stranda at the head of the Geirgangerfjorden. Home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, the Geirangerfjord area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site sine 2005. The Seven Sisters waterfall is located just west of Geiranger. Since we were there in July, the falls were not flowing very heavily…still…they were amazing. I can only imagine what they must look like in the spring!
The entire fjord was lined with waterfalls. I have a weak spot for them, so took lots of pictures!
This is third biggest cruise ship port in Norway and receives 140 to 180 ships during the four-month tourist season, which runs from May to early September. A floating dock has been installed to help cruise passengers get ashore quicker. These photos were taken from the dock.
Geiranger is a very walkable town. There is a river that flows down the mountain, straight through town. They have built a walkway with stairs right next to the river. The climb is steep, but the views are incredible.
After our day in Geiranger, we sailed to Bergen. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway. We docked in the industrial port area and had to take a bus to the city center, where we purchased the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus. It is a great way to see the city and get the lay of the land! We drove past some really cool buildings, which have been preserved and now have new roles.
The city of Bergen was traditionally thought to have been founded by King Olay Kyrre, son of Harald Hardrade in 1070 AD, four years after the Viking Age ended with the Battle of Hastings. Modern research has, however, discovered that a trading settlement was established already during the 1020s or 1030s. In the middle of the 14th century, North German merchants who had already been present in substantial numbers since the 13th century, founded one of the four Kontore of the Hanseatic League at Bryggen in Bergen. The buildings of that time period still remain on the docks in Bergen, a great place to walk and discover some of the history of Bergen.
There are other old building still standing, such as this church we came across. The designs of the cobblestone streets were also intriguing.
Bergen has a wonderful outdoor seafood market….Torget Fish Market. We were able to purchase several types of sausages…whale, elk and reindeer. There are several stalls selling these items, plus salmon caviar and a product called Kaviar. (The merchants are happy to give you a free sample!) Kaviar is a paste consisting mainly of lightly smoked cod roe that has a salty/sweet/fishy taste and a lurid pink/orange colour. Kaviar can be eaten at anytime, although it is typically consumed for breakfast or lunch on slices of knekkebrød (crisp bread), with perhaps some slices of boiled egg. Most people never spread kaviar with a knife; they just squeeze it straight from the tube and make satisfying arcs of pink goodness on pieces of crisp bread.
Norway is a fascinating country. We have been to Oslo in the past, but never this side of the country. Next on the bucket list is to make it above the Arctic Circle in June, for the Summer Solstice.
I hope you get a chance to explore Norway and discover all it has to offer.