Sunday, June 26, 2011

Express boat through the fjords

We hit the Steens Hotel breakfast at 7 AM because we wanted to be sure of catching the 8 AM express boat departure.  We should have been even earlier – we arrived just as a tour bus was leaving, and by the time we got up to the more desirable second floor of the boat, all of the good window seats were taken. Still, the side windows were huge and the views very impressive throughout, and passengers were constantly going outside (though it was sunny, it was cold because the boat was moving so fast). After we left the mountains around Bergen, the landscape was relatively flat and the fjord very wide; we passed a couple of openings to the sea.  But once we turned into the Sognefjord, the mountains got rugged, high and patched with fields of snow.   We went by individual farmsteads perched on the mountainsides and small villages nestled along the shore.  We could even see glaciers at the tops of a couple of mountain areas.  Finally, we approached Balestrand where the daughter of the hotel's proprietor was there with a station wagon to pick up our bags so that we could walk unloaded to the hotel.

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