A Morning in Geiranger

We were staying in Hotel Union Bad & Spa at the top of the small tourist town at the end of the Geiranger Fjord. For us English speakers we struggled with this self-description as a ‘Bad’ Hotel…the location was great, the views were magnificent and it was right next to two walking trails that were delightful. It was well into the day before we discovered that ‘bad’ in Norwegian meant ‘bath’. There is no such thing as a bad bath!

We started the day by taking the trail that promised to take us up the mountain beside a waterfall to a farming area that gave great views over the fjord. It wasn’t long before we got our first panoramic view of the fjord but we realised that this was just the start of the trek. The trail was well paved so it was easy walking but we realised that we wouldn’t be able to fit in both the walk up hill and the waterfall trail that travelled down to the fjord in the time available to us this morning

We could see that Geiranger was a beautiful place but we hadn’t realised it was part of a World heritage site. According to the UNESCO website… “Situated in south-western Norway, north-east of Bergen, Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, set 120 km from one another, are part of the west Norwegian fjord landscape, which stretches from Stavanger in the south to Andalsnes, 500 km to the north-east. The two fjords, among the world’s longest and deepest, are considered as archetypical fjord landscapes and among the most scenically outstanding anywhere.”

We walked back down hill and this time crossed over the bridge over the raging stream opposite our hotel to the World Heritage and Norwegian Fjord Centre.  We didn’t have time in our schedule for a visit to this centre but informative signs were conveniently placed up outside at the start of our amazing waterfall walk.

The Ice Ages started around 2.6 million years ago…Underneath the glacier, gravel, sand and stones froze, which meant that the glacier worked like sandpaper when gliding across the landscape. Glaciers dig deepest where they are heaviest and thickest, and where the speed of the ‘sandpaper’ is greatest….”

The walk down hill beside the twisting, turning mountain stream/waterfall had to be one of the most beautiful walks of my life. At no point did the wow factor give out until we reached the bottom of the hill that Geiranger was built on and the water eventually settled down to flow peacefully into the fjord. I was interested to note that folk who gained the prime spot in the camping ground at the lake’s edge merely had to get their camp chairs out and settle down for the morning watching the mountain water arrive at its destination.

Leaving Geiranger

The photo below was taken at a lookout (Flydalsjuvet), most of the way up the mountainous end of the fjord , looking back down on Geiranger. It showed the winding road on which we had arrived the previous day and gave us the full vista of the fjord that cruise boats only dream of.

This road out of Geiranger was the usual winding road that slowly criss-crossed the mountainside. There were lots of camper vans coming into Geiranger from this direction so careful and watchful driving was essential. We had packed a small lunch so when we found a spot towards the top of the mountain that had car parking and a view over a mountain valley that promised wonderful views, we pulled over. The mountain huts that were lined up on a ridge the other side of this valley suggested that hikers were regular visitors to this area.

Continuing on after lunch, we weren’t far along our journey when we came to Djupvatnet Lake. To the left of the grey building in the image on the left below, there was a sign pointing off to Dalsnibba, a mountain to the north-west of this lake. The road takes visitors to the top of this mountain where there is a tourist facility. The road was built in 1939 and was considered one of the most ambitious road-building projects ever attempted in Norway at the time. In 2016 the Geiranger skywalk was built on the very top of Dalsnibba and visitors get great views of Geiranger and the Blåbreen glacier.

From Sveggen to Geiranger it had taken us over four hours for the drive but the distance to Stryn, our next destination, took us only a little over 2 hours.


Stryn is a village on the shore of a small bay that is part of the 106 kilometre long, sixth largest fjord in Norway called Nordfjorden. Our accommodation was an old-fashioned hotel, right on the edge of the bay. Given that the day was turning cold by the time we arrived, we only had a small walk around the area of Hjelle Hotel to check out the views over the lake.

Stryn is blessed with a lot of local industries that means it’s a very liveable village. Farming, forestry, animal breeding for furs and tourism are the main sources of income. Tourism is very important to Stryn and some visitors come to check out the glaciers and sometimes they even go skiing on them!? In the area the other big attraction is the third highest, free-falling waterfall in the world.

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