Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A stroll in the Valley Of Roses

We visited the village of Rosendal yesterday, in the company of our good friend: the sun. Our guests were shuttled ashore with the help of our polar circle boats.
Once on the pier, everyone noticed the tranquillity of this place. There was a very peaceful vibe and many flowers in the fields and gardens around us. Rosendal is located on the southern shore of the Hardangerfjorden and has 768 inhabitants. The economy relies on ship building, agriculture and of course, tourism. It is most known for the Barony of Rosendal, an estate and manor which history dates back to the 1650s.

From the pier, most of our guests took a right turn into the village to visit the information centre, do some souvenir shopping, sending their post cards and head up into the valley to have a look at the stone park. Rosendal was also the starting point of our Bondhus Lake and glacier arm excursion. From the pier, guests could join a bus ride that took them to Sunndal along a small part of the Maurangerfjord. On the way they went through several tunnels and saw a big waterfall that is very close to the road.
The walk took our guests through a troll-like landscape with big boulders covered in moss and streams with little waterfalls on every corner. The impressive and serene Bondhus Lake was their target at the end of the walk.
They then headed to Ola Løa where traditional Norwegian "Lefse" and "Melkekake" was served along with coffee and tea. 

The other excursion guests could join was the Rosendal Shipbuilding & History Tour. The local guide took us to the museum of the ship building and told us about the restoration work that is being carried out using traditional techniques and assisted by modern technology.
Our Expedition Guide Ralf went on a little Kayak Adventure with a small group during the morning which allowed them to explore the area from a unique perspective.
The afternoon started with a cruise through the scenic Hardangerfjord. Those who were standing outside on the decks enjoyed the scenery passing by and captured nice photos. Our lecture program informed passengers about the formation of fjords, the ice & environment changes and the upcoming days and the excursions that they might join.
In the evening, we got very close to Bergen and sailed under the famous Askøy suspension bridge. Many of us where standing outside to catch a glimpse of Norway´s second-most populous city. 
We finished the day with a traditional evening in the Observation lounge where Expedition Team member Olav taught us a few Norwegian Folkdances. Many of the guests joined us and we had an amazing time together!