As our boat took us further up the waterway, our eyes lifted to the tall cliffs’ peaks that towered over us, as if the shadows of long-melted glaciers hovered around us. We were eager to experience the beauty of the Norwegian fjords.
What is a fjord? Fjords are deep waterways that reach inland. These narrow saltwater inlets were formed by glaciers sliding slowly as they carved the soil and rock around it. Many of them left steep mountains and cliffs which adds to their magnificent beauty.
Fjords can be found in Norway, Alaska, New Zealand, Canada, Greenland, and Chile.
Traveling through fjords has become a popular pastime of tourists, my husband and I included, because of the fjord’s beauty and lack of turbulence—important to those who suffer from seasickness.
We have been fortunate to visit several fjords including the Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska and two, Lsefjord and Eidfjord, in Norway. Each of these beautiful fjords has its own captivating beauty.
Lsenfjord, the fjord near Stravanger, Norway, was our most recent visit. Our tour group set off on a boat with Pulpit Rock being our primary goal. Along the way we saw traditional villages and summer cabins along with salmon dome fisheries. (These fisheries are closed on the top to prevent eagles from lunching on the babies and closed on the bottom to keep salmon feces contained to keep the waters pure.)
The walls surrounding the fjord became taller as we went further on our exploration. The
slashes in the granite, made hundreds of thousands of years ago by the slowly moving glaciers, grew more distinct as the cliffs became taller. The water below us deepened as we approached Pulpit Rock, a granite outcropping extending almost 2,000 feet above the water. This platform, which occasionally serves as a venue for parties, is approximately 80 feet by 80 feet—although I am not certain that I want to be on a rock 2,000 feet up with very many people! (A hiking trail to Pulpit Rock was developed by a
Nepalese mountain guide that takes about 4-5 hours with moderate difficulty.)
Further down the fjord we took in views of Hengjanefossen Waterfall where the crystal-clear water drops over 1,300 feet to the waters below. Ship captains often get a bucket of water to let visitors sample the purity.
Our last stop of the cruise was to get a closeup look at a family of goats, which brought smiles to every face. The goats are accustomed to be being fed by cruisers so they raced down the steep mountain side to greet us. We did not disappoint them—they received more snacks from us.
Although we did not see as much wildlife at Lysenfjord as we did in the Kenai Fjord National Park where eagles soared high above us, the beauty of the water and the surrounding cliffs made us want to observe the beauty of more fjords in further travels.