The legendary fjords of... Norway
Paula Jacobson travelled to Norway on a Cox & Kings tour and was captivated by the vast landscape that the country has to offer.
Norway has been my number one dream destination for years, and when I was invited to visit by Norwegian; the national airline, and Visit Norway, it was like Christmas had come early. (It might have had something to do with being closer to the North Pole…)
Growing up I had always been fascinated by stories of Vikings and warriors and the land that they came from, and visiting this part of the world truly brought all the myth and folklore to life. I was awestruck by the landscape of the western fjords, it looked like it had not been touched for thousands of years, and there was not a soul in sight. Norway is in fact the second least densely populated country in Europe.
Far from bleak, at this time of year the snow had not yet fallen, and lush greenery carpeted the mountains next to the glittering silver water of Geiranger fjord. A renowned UNESCO site, this fjord is regarded as one of Norway’s most impressive, snaking its way through the great, carved mountain faces to the enchanting village of Geiranger.
I zipped through the fjord on an RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), an experience that quite literally took my breath away. The boat took about 25 minutes to navigate its way through the fjord, with the speed and strong wind robbing me of my ability to speak to my fellow passengers, but allowing me to concentrate on the view.
Highlights of the fjord included the mountain farms, precariously balanced hundreds of feet up on the mountains. These farms were inhabited by families many years ago, and they were on a gradient so steep, that it was necessary to ensure the safety of their children by tying rope around their waists!
Before arriving at the town, we passed the notorious “Seven Sisters” (De Syv Søstrene) waterfall, which is faced by the single waterfall, “The Suitor” (Friaren) on the other side. Legend has it that the friar asked seven sisters to marry him and was turned down by each one of them. As a result of this rejection, he took to the bottle, while the seven sisters continue to mock him by playfully dancing down the rocks.
Some of the hotels I visited were spectacular, such as the Juvet Landscape Hotel. This unique property features seven cabins, which are designed to give the effect of being inside a camera, with their huge windows acting as the lenses. The cabins feature shutters next to your bed, where you can hear water running past, as well as the floor to ceiling windows that reveal incredible vistas of rugged Norwegian scenery.
I know that Norway has so much to offer, and in short; I cannot wait to see more of this majestic country.
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