Friday, 15 May 2015

A day in and out of Eidfjord!

Our extra day in Eidfjord turned out to be a great success. Our “Plan B” managed to turn (what seemed to be at first) an inconvenience into a day filled with excitement. Due to the technical challenges we encountered the day before; Fram was forced to stay in Eidfjord one more day, so the Expedition Team (and everyone else on board) worked late hours to come up with an alternative program for our guests. And so we did. Everyone was invited to join us on the famous Flåm Train for which we managed to organize four buses to the terminal.
The ride to the train station was of course a lot longer than the ride we had originally planned, but to make even this part of the excursion worthwhile, the Expedition team came up with interesting guiding information about the area we were driving through. One of the interesting things we saw on this (longer) bus ride is an underground roundabout in the tunnel(s) that go through the mountains. We also crossed the Hardangerbrua, a 1369 meter long suspension bridge over the Hardangerfjord. The bridge opened in 2013 and is longer than the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! We also drove through a series of tunnels and one of them was more than 11 km long! Norway´s second longest tunnel. On top of all of this, we managed to surprise everyone with two extra stops on the way: The Tvindefossen waterfall and the Stalheim hotel.
The waterfall is said to be 115 meters tall but is likely “only” 110 meters and is famous for its beauty and reputation for rejuvenation and revival of sexual potency! As many as 200,000 tourists from all over the world come here to fill up their water bottles and enjoy the scenery. The Stalheim Hotel is famous for its history and offers spectacular views that are famous from several paintings like “Fra Stalheim” from Johan Christian Dahl.
We also offered our guests a lunch at the reputed Hotel in Flåm which allowed them to get a taste of the local salmon that is of high quality. Like always, the ride to the Myrdal with Flåm was fantastic. 
Down at the start, spring is booming and at the top in Myrdal there is still two meters of snow! At one of the stops on the way up at the waterfall, we were surprised to see Huldra, an astonishingly beautiful woman with raw natural elegance and a seductive figure. Catching a glimpse of this creature of tale was like the cherry on top of our (Flåm) cake, as the French would say. Our other excursion to the Vørings waterfall and Nature center was also a great success. Guests had the chance to go to the Sysendammen Viewpoint for a bird´s eye view over the area. This was a perfect day to do this because of the great weather, making the views crystal clear.
As soon as we were all back from the excursions, we invited everyone to the Observation Lounge as we had news to share regarding our technical issues with the propeller. Unfortunately, while looking for a solution, we encountered more issues and it looked like we were not going to be able to leave Eidfjord that evening. On top of that, we were waiting for spare parts and more specialists to come to the ship. Of course we had already worked on another alternative plan which we were roughly able to present our guests at the same time.
Everyone was very understanding and we truly appreciate all the positive feedback we have had. In the evening we held a barbecue in the sun outside on the deck for guests to enjoy. Our Expedition Team member Ralf played accordion and everyone had a really good time. We also entertained guests in the observation Lounge on deck 7 with a Fashion Show! Many of the staff was there to show (off) the quality clothes we have in the shop and that we also wear ourselves.

At the end of the evening, we had very good news to share with everyone. Many of our guests were already sleeping, but as we promised clarity and honesty in this situation, we decided to make an announcement on the PA system in the cabins so everyone would hear. In fact, the technician that got on board just a few hours before, managed to find a solution which allowed us to depart Eidfjord that same night! And so we were on our way to Balestrand to resume our normal program the next day.