Chasing Waterfalls and Fjords from Ålesund - Part 2
After being a 'girl about town' in Ålesund (see the previous post), I am pleased that today's activities of actually chasing fjords and waterfalls do not involve climbing 418 stairs up a mountain and down again.
But first, to get my 'not so 18-year-old self' out of bed. Our hotel, with its ever so striking exposed wooden beams, has a privileged position on the Brosundet canal and a barely worth talking about walk into the centre of activities.
I ached out of bed and went to indulge in a sugar rush breakfast of more brunost on rye. That's sweet brown Norwegian cheese with a taste I find not too dissimilar to condensed milk.
'When in Norway...'
And if, like me, you love fish, then in Norway, there's always fish on the menu. Everything from herring to salmon! Not to be outdone, I think Norwegians love salt more than West Indians do.
By the way, the hotel is great for a romantic weekend getaway! Just saying
Waterfalls cannot be chased from the breakfast lounge inside Hotel Brosundet. So we set off to catch our half-past nine Hurtigruten ship - MS Finnmarken, a very leisurely 10 minutes walk from the hotel.
Once onboard and tickets are sorted, the top deck is the place to be. The best of the scenery is captured from there. Of course, everyone else is up on the top deck.
A little like a cruise ship's 'sail away'. The boat starts its departure out of Ålesund and what is just cold air has become biting air rushing past the boat.
Not wanting to miss a thing, I was sure my newly bought, just for the occasion, red and white hooded windcheater would do the job. So whilst the locals took to the warmth of the enclosed upper deck, we stood outside, braving the elements. After all, I could not come all this way and miss opportunities to capture those red wooden houses you see dominating Norwegian postcards. But then it started to drizzle. The drizzle became driving rain. We gave up and went into the less stormy Atlantic environs of the ship.
Whilst we are on a nonstop four-hour ferry service from Ålesund to Gerainger, which is a daily service during the summer months, it is worth noting that Hurtigruten also does cruise type itineraries on their ships. As some of the passengers that boarded alongside us declared.
With the top deck and bar area seemingly hosting everyone on board, we found a very quiet and elegant restaurant downstairs serving tea and cakes later in the day and refrained from further exploring the ship. Besides, the smacks of drama and beautiful scenery outdoors were not worth missing.
The rain lifted, the temperature not so much.
The little villages on the flats had long since disappeared, and traditional farms clinging onto the sides of mountains kept us craning our necks upwards evermore in disbelief. Just how did they?
Now and then, when the direction of the ship changes, glimpses of the snow-capped peaks we can see in the distance become closer. Water gushed over mountainsides teasing of the more voluminous falls ahead.
Calm waters all the way and air so clean my lungs did cartwheels.
If I have not said it already, Norway is a beautiful country. When natural beauty was being dished out, Norway must have been in the front row. Rugged mountain peaks, dramatic fjords, blue-green lakes and gushing waterfalls. It's all here.
According to World Waterfall Database - Norway features ten of the world's top thirty tallest waterfalls. In Norway, the waterfalls are not just about height; they are also about the parade down the mountain.
Geraingerfjord, where we are headed, has its fair share of falls.
Just about to settle into a cup of coffee, and chatter on the outside and upper decks increased. Legs in a sprint for best in position, cameras came into action. The chase was on.
And there he was...
Friaren (The Suitor) Waterfall
In all his glory! Ok, maybe not all his glory as he seems to hide his upper half in the cover of the gorge. But what's on display is worth swooning over. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in volumes. As per my new found Norwegian friend with his very professional camera, legend has it he too had his chase, proposing seven times and seven times he was refused. If nothing else, he is a very determined suitor.
Intrigued, I wanted to know who the lucky lady was. My answer was quickly satisfied by an explosion of camera clicks as heads turned in opposite directions.
De Syv Søstrene Waterfall
Flirting down the opposite side of the fjord is, or should I say, the heartbreakers - The seven sisters. The suitor proposed to each of the seven sisters cascading down the mountain. And why would he not? Well, the picture says it all. Far too stunning to be tied to anyone, they all declined!
Just as well, six sisters do not quite have the same ring!
There are a few more falls in Geraingerfjord, but the above two are my favourite as they have a story to tell!
Our ship docked in Gerainger, and we easily found ourselves in an old boathouse turned little chocolate shop called Geiranger Sjokolade singing... Don't go chasing waterfalls...
A little of me wonder if TLC had seen these falls before they wrote those lyrics?
What about you? Would you visit Alesund? Would you go chasing waterfalls?