Chasing Waterfalls and Fjords from Ålesund - Part 2
After being a 'girl about town' in Ålesund (see previous post), I am pleased that today's activities of actually chasing fjords and waterfalls does not involve climbing 418 stairs up a mountain and down again.
But first, to get my 'not so 18 year old' out of bed. Our hotel with it's ever so striking exposed wooden beams has a privileged position on the Brosundet canal and a barely worth talking about walking distance 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 disimilar to condensed milk. 'When in Norway...' And if like me you love fish, then in Norway there is always fish on the menu. Anything from herring to salmon! Not to be out done, 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 sorted, the top deck is the place to be. The most of the scenery from up there. Of course everyone else is up on the top deck. It is a bit like the 'sail away' on a cruise ship. The ship starts it's departure out of Ålesund and what is just cold now became a biting cold from the air rushing past the ship. Not wanting to miss a thing, I was sure my newly bought; just for the occasion; red and white hooded wind cheater 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 non stop 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 had luggage.
With the top deck and bar area seemingly hosting every one on the ship we found a very quiet and elegant restaurant downstairs serving tea and cakes later in the day. We refrained from exploring the ship any further in the event we were to miss any of the beautiful scenery outdoors.
The rain was lifting the temperature not so much.
Little villages on flat land have long since disappeared and traditional farms clinging onto the sides of the mountains cause us to strain our necks upwards ever more in disbelief. Just how did they? Every now and then when the direction of the ship changes, glimpses of the snow capped peaks we can see in the distance become closer. Here and there water streams over a hillside teasing of the more volumous 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 stunningly beautiful country. When natural beauty was being dished out, Norway must have been in the top 5. Wild 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 has its fair share of falls on display.
Just about to settle into a cup of coffee and chatter on the outside deck increased. Legs in sprint for best in position to capture and cameras came into action. And there he was...
Friaren (The Suitor) Waterfall
In all his glory! Ok, maybe not quite 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 proposed 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, quickly satisfied by an explosion of camera clicks as heads turned in the opposite direction.
De Syv Søstrene Waterfall
Flirting down the opposite side of the fjord is or should I say the are 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 does not quite have the same ring to it!
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 quickly found ourselves in a little chocolate shop called Geiranger Sjokolade singing... Don't go chasing waterfalls... Then I thought to myself, I wonder if TLC saw these falls before they wrote that song?