Hardangerfjord, 179 km long and home to many thousand of apple and cherry trees. However it seems there will be no early blossom this year, far into the fjord the snow on the ground and the ice on the fjord have only just cleared.
Rosendal is home to Skaalurens Shipbuilders founded in 1855, its skills in traditional methods highly regarded. Torris Skaaluren built both Gjøa ,used by Amundsen through the North West passage, and finished Gurine a classical wooden “hardangerjakt” in 1875. Gjøa is exhibited in Oslo ,and the latter is currently being restored by volunteers back at its birthplace. Excursion guests were invited to take a close look inside and out and the work taking place today, as well as being introduced to the Yard’s historical collection.
A second trip travelled by coach along the fjord and then inland for a view of an arm of the Folgefonna Glacier. Taking a walk in the stunning countryside, the local guide explained that the now surging waterfalls had been frozen solid until yesterday’s rain.
Between ports Karen explained and demonstrated Hardanger embroidery, Arne and Katya gave lectures on Scandinavian Art and Stave Churches respectively. Tendering for a second time in the day at Ulvik, we could easily witness remnants of winter. The morning winds had gone and the temperature was pleasant enough for strolling at leisure, but the farmers must be anxious for the ground to warm quickly.