One Fjord For All
If you’re only going to see one fjord, let it be Geiranger. It’s utterly awe-inspiring, even if we did have to get up at 6:30 in the morning to worship its full majesty.
How in the world did they build this little farm, perched hundreds of feet up on the sheer rock face above the fjord, next to the Seven Sisters falls? Not to mention how in the world was it possible to live there, back in the day, no power, no phone, no Internet, no road, no car, no nada except the pure awesomeness of total isolation in a splendid place.
Coming into the tiny town of Geiranger, population 250, on a ship carrying 2000 people. We weren’t the only tourists in town, though, as there were campers and cars with license plates from all over northern Europe, and as far away as Italy and Estonia.
Specially for the tourists, I suppose, there were lots of weird foods in the Geiranger grocery store.
We weren’t having any, but we did buy some delicious elk sausage that accompanied our happy hours for a couple of days afterwards.
High above the fjord at the idyllic and 300 year old Herdal Mountain Farm, we admire the sturdy Norwegian fjord horses, as well as the goats that make the milk for their caramelized gjetost, a sweet brown goat cheese often found in the US under the Ski Queen label. The animals spend their summers on the mountain,
and the winters 10 kilometers downhill in pretty little Norddal,
where the gravestones in the little churchyard have individually planted flower beds.
On the way back down the 11 hair-raising hairpin turns of the mountain road, we stop to admire the wakes of the boat traffic in the fjord down below. I’m not sure that the Vikings have anything on our bus driver, for sheer bravery. Those hairpin turns are enough to freeze your blood, even in summer, and the road is open all year. But not for us, as we’re headed south, staying in Norway for another couple of days before sliding down towards Amsterdam.