You may be surprised to hear that when traveling in a group of seven, it takes a little bit longer than expected to get going in the morning. For example, this morning we planned to leave the Walaker at 9 am. However, after eating breakfast, packing the car, filling the car with gas and buying groceries, we were actually ready to leave at 10:30. We weren't exactly sure of our plan today, as we had a couple of different options- should we go straight to our new destination, two cabins at a Scottish Highlander farm, do a little bit of hiking around the Lustrafjord (even though some of us were more than a little sore from yesterday's excursions), or head a bit off course to Geiranger, cited as the home of one of the most beautiful fjords in the world?
We headed out toward the north side of the Lustrafjord, and onto Sognefgellet Road, billed as "the road over the roof of Norway," according to one of our travel guides. It is the highest mountain road in Northern Europe and was very different than the landscapes we have been seeing in the past ten days: rocky desolate terrain, snowcapped mountains, and icy lakes. The scenic highway carried us to Lom, where we had a decision to make: head to the cabins in the southeast, or up to Geiranger in the northwest? Since the day was rain-free and partly sunny, we voted for Geiranger, and drove the two hour stretch to the fjord.
Before we got there, there arose such a clatter,
That we looked out the window to see what was the matter.
And what to our wondering eyes did appear,
But a rather large herd of awesome reindeer!!
It was pretty cool. No Rudolph sightings though.
Dad bravely drove us through the hairpin turns which descended 1300 meters to Geirangerfjord. It was a steep slope, but we loved the views the hilly terrain provided. After winding our way to the bottom of the valley, we then proceeded to climb back up the opposite mountainside to a famous lookout point called Flydalsjuvet.
After that, chaos ensued as we determined we needed to see even more or the Geirangerfjord, and not fifteen minutes after being at the lookout, we found ourselves in two thirteen-foot 20 horsepower motorboats. No guide, no oars, no sanity - at least in Kayla's opinion! Captain Jim took charge of one boat, while Kevin and Peter navigated the other, and the seven of us cruised through the fjord waters. The journey included multiple waterfalls, and one in particular, called the Seven Sisters, was spectacular. While six of the sailors enjoyed the views and took in the sea smell, Kayla was holding on for dear life and praying the motor wouldn't give out.
After our hour long self-guided tour of the fjord, we headed to our cabins at the Scottish Highlander farm. Along the way, we saw a ptarmigan and an elg. There seems to be some controversy over what we Americans call moose, because Norwegians have translated this word elg into elk/moose, much to the chagrin of Keely and Arin. This particular moose crossed the road right in front of us before delving into the brush and trees. Very exciting!
Our internet has been a bit spotty as of late, so we are not sure if we will be able to post this before we arrive at our cabins. We are forty-five minutes from our destination, and hope we will be able to write again soon!
-Kayla et al