Thursday, 21 April 2011

Of Vi-Kings and Vi-Queens

What is this? Drops that fall out of the sky…? Didn't we arrange for sun the whole time? Although these might have been the initial thoughts of some in the morning, it did not take long to realize that this also is Norway. And that it has its own, mystic charme. It is so much easier to imagine a Viking dragonboat emerging from the misty depths of the fjords than in plain sunlight. Yesterdays Vikings, however, seem to be off duty, cause they are rather to be found inside the ship doing presentations or teaching embroidery Part II. (To see our Vi-Queen Karin do that is a little bit like watching Arnold Schwarzenegger write a poem…)
The wonderful Jugendstil architecture of Ålesund, our first stop today, is not precisely emphasized by the greyness, though. But nevertheless most of us take a walk under the pouring rain. Feels nice to be back on board and have lunch! In the afternoon, weathergods are getting mollified, the skies break up and FRAM's entrance of Geirangerfjord sees many people on the outer decks, expecting no less than the worlds most beautful fjord standing up to its reputation. And it does. Dozens of waterfalls brushing down the immense slopes, here and there studded with lonely cabins (how on Earth do they get their stuff up there…?!!), deep cuts in the fjord's flancs - wonderful!
In the evening we drop anchor in Geiranger, which is now a peaceful haven. This will change in summertime, when the 230 inhabitants face up to 8000 visitors per day… but this is the perfect time, small boats on one side, posh ones on the other, wealth seems well organized here.

The Nature Centre is a very well-done exhibition, explaining every aspect of Geirangers history, culture and natural surroundings. A last dash into the souvenir shop or a xtra delicious coffee (great Baristas at work)! in the newly opened cosy coffee house, then it is time to return to FRAM, which - for once - gives us a romantic nightly display of its lights.