Day 2,054 of Traveling the World | Geiranger, Norway | September 13, 2023

What do you think? You live in a small – tiny – itty-bitty town in Norway called Geiranger. You know everyone in town, with the population being 250. Not 250 thousand. Just 250. Cruise ships bring in almost half a million passengers during the four-month tourist season. Others arrive by car and bus. Our single cruise ship disgorged 3,000 passengers alone, just in the morning hours. They boarded buses, vans, taxis, boats, and bicycles, and rented regular cars and tiny electric two-passenger cars. The buses and vans took people to the viewpoints high in the mountains. The boats, of every description, took people on scenic cruises. And hundreds of tourists just walked around town. Then they were all gone by 5:00 pm. How do you handle all these people without losing your mind??? Geiranger does handle them, admirably. You live here in quiet peace for eight months out of the year and then work hard for four months to earn enough money to take it easy for eight months. Would you do it?

Geiranger sits at the head of a fjord, but since you travel from the Atlantic to reach the town, it feels more like it sits at the end of the fjord. When you disembark the cruise ship, you look back and realize that the cruise ship is huge. When you reach the top of one of the mountains and look at the scene below, the ship is just dwarfed by the dramatic, steep mountains. For cruise passengers, Geiranger is different because there is no dock for cruise ships, but (thankfully) you also don’t have to use tender boats to get to shore. Instead, the town comes to you with its Seawalk, a three-segment articulated floating pier. The walkway is almost 800 feet long and sits on 10 pontoons. It moves like a floatable jetwalk and can accommodate 4,000 passengers per hour disembarking the ship. There is a photo below.

We walked up what felt like 5,000 steps to get to the top of the Fossevandring, the waterfall that flows through the town and into the bay. It was a good workout! The water was very powerful at times, and when we reached “the top,” we realized that it continued much higher up another mountain. There were also waterfalls just running down the mountains that surround/make up the fjord. Its beauty was almost too much to take in. It had been raining early in the morning, but the sun came out while we were walking, and the sun changed the view completely. Rather than looking ominous, the mountains became radiant.

At the end of the day, leaving the fjord, we watched as nature unfolded before us, like a long movie that doesn’t repeat and doesn’t end. Waterfall after waterfall appeared and splashed into the fjord. The sun played hide-and-seek in the mountains, occasionally revealing itself. It was mesmerizing, and…free. We saw the famous Seven Sisters Waterfall, but it looked like eight streams rather than seven. It was all just fabulous to watch as we slowly sailed by. And, of course, a boat or ship is the only way to see what is buried deep in the fjord.

The town of Geiranger. The mountains dwarf the town.
Here is the Seawalk – the blue disks are pontoons, and there are several places where the walkway can be turned and moved in other directions, depending on the ship’s location and size. It was seamless, walking across the water from the ship to land.
From the 17th deck of the ship, we watched the Seawalk retract, swinging away from the ship and resting along the wharf.
The stores were like little kiosks and were covered with grass, in the Norse tradition.
This restaurant had a floating dock for al fresco dining, but it was in the low 40s, a bit too chilly to enjoy eating outdoors.
You can see the Geiranger Church up the mountain on the right.
Every house we passed had multiple apple trees in their yards, but none had apples as red and inviting as this one! They almost look like Christmas tree balls.
This is what the bottom end of the waterfall looked like as it neared the ocean, where we began our waterfall climb.
A little farther up, the water was more…rambunctious. We speculated about the people who live in the white house on the left – can they sleep in other places that don’t have a loud waterfall nearby?
At the top, overlooking the falls and the viewing platform. (And do you see how small our huge cruise ship looks, down in the bay?)
There were also small waterfalls flowing down the side mountains.
We thought we were back in Hobbiton…this tiny house whose roof was covered in vegetation was just sitting alongside the road, looking cute.
Geiranger Church was built in 1842 in an octagonal design, but it was closed when we visited.
Some of the houses built on the side of the mountain. All had apple trees!
The view from the top had this magnificent view of the fjord. And again, our cruise ship is dwarfed by all the glorious nature around it.
We came into the fjord starting at 5:30 am (when it was still dark outside), but left at 5:00 pm, so on our way out, we were able to photograph Seven Sisters Waterfall, located in the fjord about 4 miles outside of Geiranger.
One of about 100 waterfalls just trickling down the fjord cliffs.

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