The Fjords in Norway

November 12, 2012

Post image for The Fjords in Norway

You come to Norway to see the fjords.  These narrow inlets of the sea are book-ended by steep walls of rock or craggy cliffs: wildly dramatic, the effect is heart-stopping, breath-taking, and awe-inducing.

To be honest, Norway was never on my short-list of places to visit, namely because I knew nothing about the place except that it was very cold during the winter, was known for its Vikings, and had fjords.  I have never seen a picture of Norway, let anyone met anyone from there. It was one of those places I had heard of and nothing more.

But now that I have been, now that I have seen, I tell you this: you must go to Norway.

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I feel compelled to spread the word: Norway is one of the most naturally gorgeous places I have ever been to.  After a day of admiring the colourful houses in beautiful Bergen and contemplating the view from the city’s cable car, Liebling and I hopped on a ferry and embarked on a two day tour of the Sognefjord and the Fjaerlandsfjord, two of  the most impressive fjords in Norway.

Take a fjord cruise

The best way to tour Norway’s fjords is via special ferries, known as fjord cruises. While there are a great deal to choose from, Liebling and I opted for the Norway in a Nutshell tour, the country’s most popular fjord trip, which itself has a variety of routes and itineraries.   For the first leg of the cruise, we did a four-hour stretch from Bergen to Balestrand, which showed off the best parts Norway’s fjord network.  Now, I have to admit that, as someone who frequently gets motion sick, I worried about how I would fare on such a long ride on the open seas.  But Norway in a Nutshell hooked us up: our ferry was HUGE, brand new, and extremely comfortable! I didn’t feel sick for one moment.
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Salivate over the majestic Sognefjord and beauteous Fjaerlandsfjord

If you’re looking to be wowed by crazy scenery, one needn’t look any further than the fjords in Norway.  At 204 kilometres long and 1038 kilometres deep, the Sognefjord is the king of all fjords, the largest in Norway;  and the emerald-green Fjaerlandsfjord (say THAT five times fast!) is the crown jewel.  Bow down, lowly serf!  The immensity of the water-filled valleys is almost intimidating, especially for me since it is well-documented that I can barely swim.   But I’ll be damned if I didn’t drape myself over the railing time and time again to get an amazing picture of the fjords in Norway.

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The takeaway

I am smitten with the fjords in Norway and realize that the only reason tourists don’t flock there in droves is because they don’t know that beauty like this exists there. Norwegians seem to be a humble people, unwilling to sing their country’s praises in an international forum, but there’s no reason that Norway shouldn’t be a prime European travel destination like France or Spain or Italy. I was duly impressed by all the natural beauty Norway had to offer and and am hoping that, after my seeing my photos and reading my words, you are, too. Because if Norway isn’t on your travel hit list… then you should put it on. Like immediately.

What do you think of Norway?  Has it ever figured on your travel wish list?  Have I convinced you that you absolutely need to go before you die?

 I was a guest of Visit Norway USA, but all opinions and kick-ass fjord photos are mine.