Holland America Lines Cruise - Norse Legends & Northern Isles - 2018
August 2 - Geiranger
We arrived at the beautiful port of Geiranger at the head of Geirangerfjord at 7:00. According to Lonely Planet, Geiranger is home to the most spectacular scenery in the world and the best travel destination in Scandinavia. The port is so small that it has no space for a dock for ocean liners. We had to ride tenders to the shore. Tenders on our ship are the life boats.
We left the ship early because our shore excursion was scheduled for 9:00. The Bensons and Matutes joined us for a mini bus tour from Geiranger Fjordservice. We had an English-speaking Bulgarian driver/guide who took us and some other couples on a spectacular ride. We began by driving up a serpentine road to Mt Dalsnibba. Our first stop was partway up at view point called the Queen's Chair. There was a real heavy wooden chair anchored in concrete facing Geiranger and the fjord offering a wonderful view.
As we continued the climb, we detoured onto a short portion of the old one-lane road which gave us an appreciation of the engineering accomplishment of the new road. We passed waterfalls and mountain huts where farming could only be done in the summer. We skirted scenic Lake Djupvatnet as we wound around switchbacks. Eventually we ended up at the top of Mt Dalsnibba where we got out of the bus and walked around the viewing area. At 5000 feet we had a fantastic view of the mountains around us and the fjord below us. The viewing area has a skywalk with floor surface and glass guard that lets you look straight down into a clear drop of 2000 feet. I did not spend much time on the skywalk.
Driving down the mountain was just as spectacular as driving up. We were trusting the the breaks on the bus were well maintained especially at the switchbacks where we sometimes had to stop and wait for uphill busses to clear the turns before we could proceed.
Our bus drove through Geiranger and then up another series of switchbacks on the Eagle Road and stopped at Eagle Bend. We had another extraordinary view of the fjord as well as a limited view of the Seven Sisters Waterfall.
Back in Geiranger, the driver dropped most of our busload at the tender dock. Ellen and I decided to continue to the Norwegian Fjordcenter which was up the hill from town. We took a waterfall walk down the river and then walked through the very touristy part of town back to the tender dock.
This was truly a spectacular day of sightseeing.
We left port at 5:00. Dinner was in the main dining room again. We went to the evening's show on the World Stage. Comedian, Mark Palmer, had a slow start but he got much better.