Exploring Norway’s Fjord Region – Solvorn to Geiranger

Exploring Norway’s Fjord Region – Solvorn to Geiranger
By Vivienne Chapleo, photos by Jill Hoelting

Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord

Continued from previous page – Flam to Solvorn

 

Solvorn to Lom – National Tourist Route Sognefjellet:

National Tourist Route Sognefjellet

National Tourist Route Sognefjellet

On our scenic drive from Solvorn to Geiranger we took the National Tourist Route Sognefjellet, and crossed Northern Europe’s highest pass – at 1434 meters, through the Jotunheimen mountains. Along the route we drove through Skjolden – Norway’s most inner port – where a cruise ship had arrived and swarming passengers were exploring the town.

Driving Through the Jotunheimen Mountains

Driving Through the Jotunheimen Mountains

The drive along the National Tourist Route was a slow one. It took us from the valley and up very narrow, steep and winding roads in the mountains. We spent about 45 minutes driving through fog, and although the road conditions were good, everywhere we looked there was snow. Even though most of the route was only wide enough for a single lane of traffic, it was a two-way road. So there were plenty of times when we, or oncoming traffic, would need to stop and back up to let the other vehicle pass. Definitely not for the weak of heart!

 

Lom Stave Church:

Lomskyrkja - Lom Stave Church

Lomskyrkja – Lom Stave Church

Our drive from Solvorn to Lom took about 3 hours without stopping, but when we arrived we made a stop at Lomskyrkja (a stave church) and went inside to view the interior. This massive stave church originally dates back to 1158-1159, and is still the main church in Lom. It was definitely worth stopping to see.

 

Lom to Geiranger:

Driving the E15 from Lom to Geiranger

Driving the E15 from Lom to Geiranger

The remaining 96 km drive to Geiranger took about 90 minutes as we travelled northwest along E15. Again, the area was remote and there was very little traffic as we travelled through spectacular snow-covered mountain scenery.

 

Geirangerfjord:

Jill at Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint

Jill at Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint

As we descended towards Geiranger we caught our first glimpse of the 16 km-long and 250 meter-deep Geirangerfjord, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was one of the most spectacular sights of the entire journey! Part way down the mountain we were able to stop at the Flydalsjuvet viewpoint where we (and a few tour buses) stopped to take photos of Norway’s most famous fjord and surrounding mountains. We were amazed to see three large cruise ships anchored in the fjord which had brought approximately 6000 passengers into the town of Geiranger for the day.

 

Utsikten Hotell:

Utsikten Hotell in Geiranger

Utsikten Hotell in Geiranger

Rounding another bend in the mountain road we spied our hotel for the night – Utsikten Hotell. The location was right on the road, but afforded amazing views that could not be improved upon. After checking into one of the 29 rooms (our tiny and basic room had a million dollar view of Geirangerfjord), we made another steep drive for about 10 minutes down the mountain road and into the valley and town of Geiranger.

 

Geiranger Fjordservice Cruise:

Geiranger Fjordservice Sightseeing Cruise

Geiranger Fjordservice Sightseeing Cruise

Our timing was perfect and we arrived in Geiranger just as a 90-minute fjord sightseeing cruise was about to leave. We were able to buy tickets (190 NOK/US$33) for M/S Geirangerfjord from the tourist office next to the dock, and thoroughly enjoyed the multilingual narrated tour through the fjord and back to town.

Enjoying a Sightseeing Cruise on Geirangerfjord

Enjoying a Sightseeing Cruise on Geirangerfjord

We cruised past people out fishing in their row boats, kayakers, the Fjord Ferries and tried to outrun a Princess cruise ship. This was well worth the time and a wonderful way to gain another perspective of the fjord and see many more incredible waterfalls, including the Seven Sisters, Suitor, Bridal Veil.

 

Dining at Utsikten Hotell:

Veal Filet with Roast Potatoes, Sugar Peas and Red Wine Reduction

Veal Filet with Roast Potatoes, Sugar Peas and Red Wine Reduction

After returning to the harbor in Geiranger, it was time to drive back up the mountain road to our hotel where we enjoyed a delicious 3-course dinner. The meal was a set menu featuring a smoked salmon starter, followed by veal filet with roasted potatoes, sugar peas and a red wine reduction. For dessert we enjoyed a flavorful blackberry soup.

Continue Reading – Geiranger to Alesund

 

If You Go:

Visit Norway

Fjord Norway

Follow more of WAVEJourney’s June 2012 travels in Norway:

WAVEJourney Explores Norway’s Fjord Region | Explore Bergen | Bergen to Flam | Flam to Solvorn | Solvorn to Geiranger | Geiranger to Alesund | Explore Oslo |

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