Thursday, July 31, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 153

As usual I was picking up postcards from almost every place we visited on our recent trip.  The photograph on the postcard above is the view looking down on Geirangerfjord in the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal, Norway.  We counted ourselves lucky to be able to visit this fjord, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway.

Our flight from Seattle took us over the pole to Frankfurt, Germany, then after a few hours layover a smaller plane took us to Bergen, Norway where we spent one night.  The next morning we took a shuttle plane to the small airport that serves Volda, Ørsta and Hovden.  A cousin who had visited me in the United States lives in Ørsta and had invited us to stay with them.  They had places they wanted take us to see and one of them was Geirangerfjord.  We would have to drive a couple of hours north by car from their home, park the car at the small town of Hellesylt and walk on the ferry that would take us up the fjord to Geiranger.   The day we planned to go turned out to be one of the very few times when it rained solidly all day.  Even so the trip was wonderful, the views spectacular, the company delightful and the day a success.

Geirangerfjord extends for a little more than 9 US miles or 15 kilometers and is a branch of the larger Storfjorden or Great Fjord.  The ferry ride was an hour or more of fantastic views, countless waterfalls, steep mountainsides, and tiny little abandoned farms clinging to the slopes.  What with the heavy rain and the snow runoff we probably hit the maximum water flow coming over the falls.  Out of the 100 or so falls we saw and took pictures of there were a few that stood out including a series of waterfalls called the Seven Sisters shown in the photos below.  There were unbelievable torrents cascading over the cliff.  

Across the fjord is another large waterfall called The Suitor.  Legend says that the sisters are dancing playfully down the mountainside and the suitor is flirting and trying to woo them from across the fjord.  Bob loves waterfalls and was delighted with so many to see and photograph.  Even though it was raining he managed to find a small covered place on the ferry deck to stand to take pictures.   The rest of us stayed dry inside enjoying views and taking photos through the windows.

The Seven Sisters waterfalls

A closer look at one of the Seven Sisters

The Suitor

Looking at Geiranger through the ferry window

A large cruise ship
Apparently there are times when several of these large cruise ships are anchored in this bay.  

We are used to the ferries on Puget Sound that have both ends open allowing cars to drive on and off.  Only the front end of this Norwegian ferry opens to let the cars and passengers enter.  After everyone is aboard the ferry turns around and starts the journey to the opposite end of the fjord.

A constant threat is rock slides from the erosion occurring on the mountain Åkerneset.  If a large section of the mountain falls into the fjord it would cause a tsunami and impact nearby towns including Geiranger and Hellesylt.  Another possible threat to this beautiful area is a disputed plan to build power lines across the fjord.   In 2005 Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjorden were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites so it is hoped that it will continue to be protected. 

The postcard below has a map of Norway.  The third picture up from the bottom left is Geirangerfjord.

For more information, please see:,_Norway

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