Saturday, 22 August 2015

August 21st 2015: Norway: Geiranger

Monty the Motorhome is feeling exhausted and is extremely grateful to be wild-camping for the night on a high plateau which is the westernmost reaches of the Jostedalsbreen National Park.

Driving today has been a series of dramatic climbs and descents. First off was the drop down into Geiranger along the Eagle’s Way. The road twists down an almost sheer slope, before finally emerging at sea level in the village/town.
We soon spied the main parking area and I saw a good sized parking bay next to one of the several other motorhomes that were already parked up. The couple in that vehicle vehicle wandered over and greeted us in perfect english. More Brits. As it happens they had seen us before, the day we had an abortive attempt to find the Grønsvik coastal fort, while travelling up the Coastal Highway. They had parked next to us while we were out blundering about trying to find the fort. When we returned to our van we did see another British registered van, but there was no-one with it at the time, so we moved on.
Anyway we met Andy and Michelle at last. We all went off on the Geiranger Fjord sightseeing cruise, an hour and a half trip along what is cited as Norway’s most spectacular fjord. Waterfalls cascade down steep sides and small farmsteads, long abandoned, cling to small nooks and crannies. It is just so breathtaking.

Looking down to the village of Geiranger, with the fjord we took the cruise on stretching out beyond

Back in Geiranger Andy and Michelle moved on. They are six weeks into a nine month tour of Europe, so our six and a half weeks pales into insignificance in comparison. We also found out they were two retired police officers (Devon & Cornwall); can’t seem to get away from them!
We stayed for a while, enjoying the sunshine and waiting for the daily Hurtigruten visit. Just after 1.15pm the Vesterålen sailed in - the very ship we had visited in Brønnøysund earlier on our trip. The quayside is too shallow for large ships like this, so a small ferry went out to receive passengers who were going to do a bus trip, covering the same route we had done over the last few days. They will re-join the ship this evening in Molde.

The Hurtigruten coming into Geiranger

We moved on and drove south out of Geiranger, climbing to just over 1000 metres in the space of just a couple of kms, seeing the temperature drop from 28 to 18 degrees centigrade (yes it was that hot).
Our route took us through the towns of Stryn, Loen and Olden, before yet another steep climb to our overnight location. We are on a large car parking area, designated as a picnic site, which also doubles as parking for skiing in the winter. Adjacent to our parking spot are  ski lifts, now silent and very much a blot on the landscape. 
Internet reception is just about non-existent, for the second night running, so this post may be going out late.

Posted Saturday 22nd August.

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