Prior to leaving the US, whenever anyone asked us where we were traveling, the answer always began with Norway – my (Jeff) top pick. The only place we were planning to go in Europe. The exceedingly tall western edge of Scandinavia. People often asked why we picked Norway. In reality, my desire to go to Norway all began with seeing pictures of the country — and in particular, pictures of the countless fjords that infiltrate the country’s coastline and serve as the base to steep, enourmous mountains that spring up directly from the water. Viking culture has always interested me, as well, but ever since I saw what those amazing views looked like in the fjords, I’ve always wanted to experience them myself.
To be honest, I sometimes felt a bit ridiculous with that being my answer. However, now that we’ve gotten to take buses, walks, ferries, hikes, canoes, and cruises into, through, around, and above them — I feel like it was a pretty good answer.
Looking around at the landscapes in the fjords, I could not help but think about how absolutely spectacular they are. On our rode trip from Bergen, we were lucky enough to bus and ferry through the largest fjord: Sognefjord. We continued with a ferry across Nordfjord. We looked out over Borgundfjord from the studio apartment we rented in Alesund. We splurged on a boat ride through Hjørundfjord to the town of Øye. And we traveled through Storfjord and Geirangerfjord on a day trip from the cabin we rented in Sykkylven.
Hjørundfjord is hailed as one of the most spectacular fjords in Norway because it has the tallest snow-covered peaks surrounding it. We took a small boat with six other passengers through the fjord and to the small town of Øye. Lots of wind and a little bit of rain, but some of the most memorable views and pictures ever.
Perhaps the most spectacular of all, we spent a day driving around Storfjord on our way to Geiranger, where we would take a car ferry back through the legendary Geirangerfjord on the way to the town of Hellesylt. We read that this car ferry was perhaps the greatest ferry ride in all of Norway, and it did not disappoint. We drove into Geiranger from the north and got to take in the views from a series of switchbacks down a steep hill into the town. The fjord itself is shorter in length than many others, but it curves back and forth perhaps more than any other and is crowded with waterfalls pouring down the sides of the mountains.
This has been an amazing bucket list item to check off. I’m not sure if there is anywhere else in the world with as much natural beauty as there is here in the Norwegian fjords. But that won’t stop us from looking around more.