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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Geiranger, Norway

Welcome back to my blog! For the last 6 weeks or so, I have had the pleasure of exploring the country of Norway. Today I want to show you Geiranger and Geiranger Fjord, home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world; the area has been named the best travel destination in Scandinavia by Lonely Planet.

Above: The view of Geiranger Village and Geiranger Fjord from the famous Flydal viewpoint.

Norway has a total area of 148,747 square miles and a population of about 5 million (it is the second least densely populated country in Europe). The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden and its extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean, is home to its famous fjords.

Above: Geiranger Fjord.

Geiranger Fjord is Norway's most famous fjord, shaped like an S, 16km long and up to 250 metres deep with several beautiful waterfalls such as The Seven Sisters, The Bride's Veil and The Suitor.

Above: A panoramic view of Geiranger Fjord, with the village to the left and the Ryndam in the centre.

Geirangerfjord is a branch of a greater fjord - Storfjord - that starts south of Alesund, narrowing as it winds its way inland between mountains rising ever higher.

Above: The Ryndam anchors in the bay and we use our lifeboats to reach the shore. This is because there is no dock big enough for cruise ships at Geiranger!

The landscape of the Fjord is very dramatic with mountain farms perched on ledges along the route. The area was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2005.

Above: Geiranger church in the centre of the village, built in 1842.

The third biggest cruise ship port in Norway, the small tourist village of Geiranger receives 140 to 180 ships during the four-month tourist season. Several hundred thousand people pass through every summer, and tourism is the main business for the 250 people who live there permanently. There are five hotels and over ten camping sites.

Above: The view from Vesterås Farm, with the village nestled in the valley below. Many popular walks begin here.

Geiranger is under constant threat from the mountain Åkerneset which could erode into the fjord. A collapse could cause a tsunami that could destroy downtown Geiranger.

Above: Goats at Vesterås Farm. There were also sheep (with bells) and even lamas!

One of the most popular walks is a hike to Storseterfossen (Storseter Waterfall), where you can actually walk behind the waterfall.

Above: Storseter Waterfall.

Above: The view from beside the waterfall.

Geiranger is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Norway but there many other fantastic ports that I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!

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