I was a little concerned as the ship pulled into port this morning. I had been looking forward to our day in Geirangerfjord Norway as one of the highlights of our Norwegian Fjord experience.
I peeked my sleepy eyes out of the balcony door and saw a sheet of low, grey fog, just above us, obscuring our views of the top half of the fjords.
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As it turns out, even a foggy day in Geirangerfjord Norway is not a lost cause. Upon stepping off of the ship’s tender, we headed to the tourist information office (conveniently located right on the pier) to examine our options for activities.
The small town or Geiranger, Norway has a year round population of under 300 people. In the peak of summer travel seasons, this little town can see as many as 9,000 cruise ship passengers come ashore in a single day!
Dalsnibba, the peak high above Geiranger quickly became a front runner for destinations for one big reason. The bus driver had reported that it was sunny up there, as the peak was above the low lying clouds that blanketed the fjord. We were in.
The 2 hour bus trip to Dalsnibba set us back about $90 for the two of us, so it was a little bit of a splurge, but it was completely worthwhile and required little advanced planning on our part.
The fruits of our splurge were amazing. Stunning scenery as we drove up followed by a breathtaking high mountain lake with water so blue I almost thought that we were in the Caribbean. The grand finale was the view from the top of Mount Dalsnibba of of the tops of the Fjords sitting in a blanket of white clouds and a sea of blue sky.
On the way back down the mountain, we had asked the bus driver to drop us off at the turn off of the RV63 (the main road out of Geiranger towards Vesterås and also the trail head to Storseterfossen waterfall.
The tourist information office has a good map that you can purchase for a dollar or two that shows you exactly where to get off the bus and how to get to the trail (getting off on our way back down from the bus tour saved us about an hour of walking uphill to get to the trail head from town).
This trail is not for the out of shape of the faint at heart. It is steep, rocky and can be muddy if it has been raining (in fact, I would check with the tourist information office and perhaps reconsider my plans if it had rained recently, as the trail is honestly challenging enough even when mostly dry.) There is a bin of hiking sticks for loan at the bottom of the trail. I wished after starting up that I had grabbed one.
Half ways up, we started wondering if the view of the falls was going to be worth the effort that we were expending getting up to it. Do not doubt it for a moment. It was amazing, spectacular, fantastic, and it added another layer of memory to our already memorable day.
Once you huff it to the top, take a break in the meadow at the top of the falls. Catch your breath and continue down a short path from the meadow to the dessert for your efforts: A chance to walk directly behind a huge waterfall of pure, snow melt water, take pictures and stay mostly dry.
Again, the short path down to the falls is a little dicey; it is wet, slippery and narrow in places, but there is a sturdy chain firmly attached to one wall to help you with balance.
Hearing the roar of the falls and being underneath all of that water as it rushed overhead was an unforgettable part of my Norwegian experience, and one that I highly recommend to anyone that is able to get there while in Geirangerfjord Norway.
As the ship prepared to depart for our cruise back through the gorgeous fjords around Geiranger, the sun finally came out and I got the beautiful fjord photos that I had been longing for and had thus far been denied.
TIP: Find some other people on your cruise on your cruise’s Roll Call Board on Cruise Criticor once you get on the ship who want to split a car rental in Geirangerfjord Norway for the day. If we had planned further ahead, car rental for the day would have been 1,200 NOK (about $180 at the time of this writing).
What we wished we would have done: Hindsight is always 20/20. Had we planned out a car rental ahead of time, we would have been able to drive up to the top of Dalsnibba and continue on to a visit to the Briksdal glacier. It would have been a tight day (2 hours driving each way to the glacier up steep, windy mountain roads) but I think that it would have been sooo worthwhile.