Archive For The “Europe” Category

Lysefjord, in southwest Norway, is one of the country’s major tourist draws. Waterfalls plunge down cliffs that extend over a thousand feet above and below the water surface. The walls are so sheer in both directions that you can bring a boat within touching distance of shore without getting a depth sounder reading, and in…

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Haugesund

Haugesund

We only planned to make a quick pit stop outside Haugesund for gasoline before continuing south through the main channel. But as we left the fuel dock, we made a last-minute decision to take the waterway through town and another last-minute decision to stop for the night. We ended up staying for three. That kind…

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Akrafjorden

Akrafjorden

Langfossen gushes into the Akrafjorden from 2,008ft (612m) above, with a vertical drop of 400ft (122m). The waterfall was rated the best in Norway in the World Waterfall Database (and the best in the world using an earlier rating system). After a 60-mile run from Bergen to the Romsa Islands, the following day we made…

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Mt. Floyen to Mt. Ulriken

Mt. Floyen to Mt. Ulriken

A popular outing for Bergen residents is the 8-mile (13km) hike between Mt. Floyen and Mt. Ulriken. With a funicular railway at one end and a cable car at the other, you don’t have to climb up or down to take in the sweeping city views at each summit. The cable car at Mt. Ulriken…

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Bergen Arrival

Bergen Arrival

Seven mountains surround Bergen and the city rises up from vibrant Vagan Harbour into the steep hills behind. We moored right downtown and spent our first day on a walking tour of Norway’s second-largest city. It’s easy to see why many consider Bergen to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Below…

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Herdla

Herdla

Herdla, a small island north of Bergen, is full of military ruins. During World War II, the occupying German forces turned most of the island into a military base and built an air strip and torpedo battery there. Norway kept the torpedo battery in operation during the Cold War, modernizing it several times until it…

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61°30′ Latitude

61°30′ Latitude

On May 11th of this year, we passed north of 61°30′ latitude and returned back south of that line recently as we approached the Bergen area. This latitude is significant because our insurance policy, Jackline, explicity excludes travel north of this without purchasing an additional rider. Prior to this, the farthest north Dirona had ever…

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Briksdal Glacier

Briksdal Glacier

Briksdal Glacier is one of the few European glaciers not constantly receding—the size changes depending upon temperature and precipitation. Between 1935 and 1951, the glacier receded 800m and exposed the lake below, but from 1967 to 1997 it expanded and covered the whole lake and was the only glacier in Europe that was expanding while…

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Mile-High Skala

Mile-High Skala

The annual Skala Opp race from Loen to the summit of 6,062ft (1,848m) Skala regularly draws over 1,500 participants, and the record for reaching the top is 1 hour and 7 minutes. After a hike of just under four hours, we were pretty tired and couldn’t imagine running up. Whatever pace you choose, the views…

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Via Ferrata Loen

Via Ferrata Loen

Via Ferrata means “iron path” in Italian and is an increasingly popular mix of protected climbing and alpine hiking where participants use climbing gear to safely ascend exposed routes with spectacular views while attached at all times to iron cables, rungs, ladders and bridges. A number of Via Ferratas have opened in Norway in recent…

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Hjorundfjord to Nordfjorden

Hjorundfjord to Nordfjorden

We re-rounded the infamous Stad on our continued southbound return trip along the Norwegian west coast, travelling 135 miles fjord-to-fjord from Hjorundfjord to Nordfjorden. Conditions at Stad weren’t quite as settled as on our northbound leg, but we had an easy run around. The winds fell as we ran up Nordfjorden, with spectacular scenery reflecting…

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Hjorundfjord

Hjorundfjord

Starting September 2, the Hurtigruten coastal ferries switch from their summer run to Geirangerfjord to a cruise down Hjorundfjord. On the first day of that switch we were excited to see “our ‘Gruten” the Kong Harald appear at the mouth of Norangsfjorden, an arm of Hjorundfjord. (This is the ship we travelled on from Kirkeness…

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Slogen

Slogen

The hike to the summit of 5,131 ft (1,564m) Slogen is considered one of the top ten in Norway due to the scenery en route, the views from the top and the fact that it rises directly from Norangsfjorden. It was the most strenuous hike we’d done so far, with an elevation gain from trailhead…

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Norangsfjorden

Norangsfjorden

Norangsfjorden is similarly scenic as nearby Geirangerfjord, but smaller and not nearly as busy due to a 42-ft (13m) bar that prevents larger ships from reaching the head. From the anchorage at Honningdalsvagen we made a short, 23nm run to anchor of the village of Oye surrounded by waterfalls and 5,000ft (1,500m) peaks. Below are…

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Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord is one of the better known and popular fjords in Norway and is part of the West Norwegian Fjords UNESCO World Heritage Site. Full-sized cruise ships regularly travel the waterway, as do the Hurtigruten coastal ferries, local ferries and countless other craft. We’d already visited Geirangerfjord on a road trip up the Trollstigen route…

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Alesund

Alesund

Ålesund is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. After a devastating 1904 fire destroyed much of downtown, the city was rebuilt in an art nouveau style with many of the buildings overlooking a canal that runs through downtown. From Åndalsnes we travelled 55 miles south to Ålesund, stopping for a few nights…

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