Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A day amongst the fruit orchards

Our first stop in Norway was in Ulvik yesterday morning. Fram arrived in the Ulvikafjorden at 8 AM and we soon started our tender operation with our polar circle boats to bring guests ashore. At the same time, the first rays of sun also made their way over the high mountains next to the fjord, down to this beautiful little village that has just over 1000 inhabitants.

We then began our excursions that started at the hotel where we shuttled the guests to. First to depart was the Farm visit. This tour allowed our guests to learn about (Norwegian) agricultural traditions in the 21st century. After a quick slide-show presentation about (amongst others) the history of farming and a tour around the property our hostess offered us Home-made apple cake with whip-cream and apple juice! Along with the sunny weather, this made for a perfect excursion.
Then, a small group of 11 joined us on a walk around Ulvik and a visit to the museum to learn about the life and poetry of Olav H. Hauge, one of the most important Norwegian poets. To give an idea of his influence, his works have been translated into 25 languages! During the walk we also visited the church of Ulvik and a few other places of interest like the Skeiemylna mill situated near the old stone bridge from 1896. Our guide was very kind and knowledgeable and spoke many languages. We had a very interesting tour and learned a lot about Ulvik and its history.  
At noon it was time for us to head to a different location to explore and enjoy the amazing weather even more. Our Agatunet excursion on the western side of the Sørfjorden allowed guests to get a first glimpse of Norwegian spring in all its glory. The soil around the fjords in this area are extremely fertile and therefore perfect for fruit trees. Many orchards can be found here and it turns out we are here at the perfect time as all the apple, cherry and prune trees are blossoming now. Many types of bees are flying around here and the aromas of the awakening nature really add to the experience. Our walk along the fruit trail in Ullensvang was a perfect way to witness the Norwegian Spring as well. We were all overdressed and ended up carrying our jackets and fleeces around our waists. 
In the early evening we set sail for Eidfjord where we arrived earlier than expected. Guests were able to go ashore and a few of them did. Most enjoyed an evening in the Observation Lounge while listening to music from our musician Bjørn as we will be able to spend the next day in Eidfjord as well. The weather forecast for the trip looks rather good and we hope we get to enjoy more sun on our spring adventure here in the Norwegian fjords.