Friday, 22 April 2011

Straight to the source

We have learned that our Expeditionleader Karin can be fully trusted, so we have no doubt that we are cruising through Nordfjorden, if she tells us so on the PA system. It is not that anyone could verify this information this morning: Someone must have painted the ship's windows white, there is no way that fog can be so dense… But you can actually go outside and  have the same sensation of being "whited out". Hm, so it is really just funny weather. But as if the city of Olden has a contract saying otherwise, the fogs get thinner and then stay entirely behind us as we approach the pier. Even the sun makes an attempt to come out. A good attempt, because one hour later the whole fjord is bathed in warm sunshine, revealing the prevailing colors green and dark grey for moss and rock that go so well together here. 
Perfect timing indeed, for we all are leaving on different excursions. There is that fjord panorama tour, bringing you high up for wonderful views from a lofty perspective. Those who feel more active join the Briksdal Glacier Hike, a splendid walking tour to both sides of a roaring waterfall, up and up until the valley ends in front of a crisp blue-and-white glacier, source of countless waterfalls that all merge in a turquoise-colored lake which in turn is covered with a sheet of floating icecubes, glistening in the sunlight like obscenely big diamonds. This is a paradise, can't we stay a little longer? We can, getting an extra half hour to hang out and utterly enjoy this extraordinary day. The water, by the way, is not only about 500 years old but also so pure that they fill it in bottles right away and sell it to the world. "Olden" is a well-known synonyme in Norway for the still water bottled here. (Like Kleenex or Scotch, only for something more delicious in this case…)
Well, and then there was a small group of real fun-lovers who went and took a flight into the valleys - in a helicopter. They come back with a smile that doesn't want to disappear ever again from their faces. 
In the evening, our musician Bjørn presents a lecture on traditional Norwegian folk music, and so we listen to soundbits of the old times as we glide past the places where they were invented. What a treat!