I’ve always been one for stunning natural scenery, and if there’s one thing that fulfilled it, one thing that I was so excited to see on this cruise-within-a-cruise to Norway, it was the infamous fjords.
A big cruise ship delivers incredible views of the Norwegian fjords, but if you want to go deeper – into the “fjordlets” as my mum and I nicknamed them – a little day cruise is the answer.
This is what we did in Stavanger, our first stop on the cruise me and my family took to celebrate my dad’s birthday. It was a perfect way to spend time with family post-solo trip to Central America and pre-moving to Canada. Plus, I got to explore Norway again; something I was keen to do considering my last trip there was as a grumpy teenager when I didn’t have quite the same appreciation of travel as I do now.
And so we climbed on board to see Lysefjord, meaning “light fjord”, apparently a name given because of the colour of the granite rocks on its side. Apart from getting very cold while the boat was at full speed, it was a relaxing trip, envying the Norwegian summer houses, admiring the little islands and the towering fjords. I didn’t expect as many waterfalls as there were, but it just emphasised the powerfully natural element of the scenery.
Here’s my photo diary through Norway’s fjords – a sight for sore eyes and a view I’d love to see more of in my life. And why wasn’t I born in Norway again…?!
A couple of the summer homes on the islands before the fjords. Some Norwegians come here during the warmer summer months and commute to work in Stavanger by boat (the dream, right?). When winter rolls around, they go back to their city homes to stay cosy and because the water can ice over.
I would love to spend a summer in one of these houses! They looked like the typical stereotype of Scandinavian style – minimalist but modern cabin by water, surrounded by forests. Sigh.
Can you see the heart shape in the rocks? One thing I love about the Nordic countries is the folklore they have. The story to this is that there was a troll here who fell in love with a human girl; he wanted to be with her so much and was so mesmerised by her that he came out at day time (which if you know your troll trivia, is bad news) and turned to stone. His love became forever immortalised in this rock.
Apparently, a lot of couples get married here and have their wedding pictures beside that little bench under the heart shaped rock. Quite sweet, really. Definitely a beautiful place to get married.
The boat was small enough to reach into these little alcoves – they often had little waterfalls in the crevasses and you could tell how pure and clear the water was. Looking up onto those tall rocks also made you feel so small – it made me think about who was on top of the rocks looking down.
Goats! This was a cute little surprise on the cruise. These resident mountain goats often get fed by the cruise staff as they go on happily with their bouncy lives. That baby goat (or kid, to use the right term) was so shy and clearly new to the feeding aspect – he/she would run away from the food before realising it was something yummy for him/her to nibble on.
See that square rock jutting out on the far right? That’s Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) – I was so desperate to go to the top, but we didn’t have time given that it’s about a 10-hour hike. It’s famous for having sweeping views over the fjords, and there are no barriers so you can genuinely dangle your feet over the edge. The prospect becomes all the more scary when you can see from the bottom how high up it is. Regardless, I would actually still love to do it – seems too good an opportunity to miss if you’re already up there. Next time, Norway!
We got really up close and personal with this waterfall (something I’d find would be a main activity in Norway!) which was amazing. I love how from a distance waterfalls look so graceful and beautiful, but up close you can hear and feel the pounding of the water on the rocks.
The water of these fjords is so pure that you can drink it – so the cruise staff collected a couple of buckets full of the water straight from the thundering waterfall and handed it out in cups for people to taste. It was refreshing, and just like any of the bottled water we buy!
I got a bit too carried away drinking it before I decided a picture would be a good idea, so excuse the minimal amount of water in the cup – there is some there, I promise!