#FjordJourneys 2016: Norway and Jostedalen
Crystal clear waters, endless views and amazing people. The Fjord Journey – truly an experience of a lifetime.
We were the lucky ones. Fjord took us on a trip to see a real fjord in Jostedalen Valley in Norway. After arriving in a beautiful lodge right next to a glacier, we were delivered into the hands of some super-friendly outdoor guides. They not only became part of the group very soon, they also created a retina- and a mind-blowing experience, all while adapting to changing weather conditions, stamina and moods. Check out some of the highlights below to get a glimpse of what it was like.
DAY 1 (Thursday, July 7th):
Our journey began by meeting at the Oslo airport. We arrived from New York, San Fransisco, Madrid, Berlin and Helsinki to hop on a small propeller plane to fly to Sogndal, Norway, and begin our adventure!
Roope, our expert guide, picked us up at tiny Sogndal airport and drove us 1.5 hours to the Jostedalen valley through breathtaking vistas of snowcapped mountains, glacial rivers and abundant greenery.
We arrived at our base: Nigardsbreen Gjesteheim (beautiful restored old wooden house).
Janne, THE best chef ever and one of our other guides, prepared an amazing and tasty snack of eggs, tomato and bacon on toast, we settled into our rooms and then geared up for our first little foray into nature: Styggevatnet (1,200m above sea level), which is covered by snow from winter until early July.
We came back to our home base, relaxed and had an amazing dinner. And because it was the Euro Cup we of course had to watch the Germany vs. France game (disappointing outcome, but fun nonetheless!). Did we happen to mention that it NEVER got fully dark?!
DAY 2 (Friday, July 8th):
Our first full day in Norway began with breakfast at 07:30. Next we made ourselves a packed lunch, packed up our gear and at 9am headed out the door for a day long hike in the mountains around Sognefjord – the largest and most well-known fjords in Norway and longest in the world.
We hiked close to 13 miles and just over 1,300 meters up the mountain! Fresh air, silence, serenity, stunning vistas and the company of great friends.
After a long walk up to the summit we had our lunch and took a nap. Then it was time to head back down to relax at home base and have another amazing meal, lovingly prepared by Janne.
DAY 3 (Saturday, July 9th):
The day started bright and early with a hearty breakfast and then we were off for a lovely and gentle three-hour hike to ooh and ahh at one of the many glaciers, Unfortunately it started out a bit rainy, but we didn’t let a little rain stop us – and the sun did make an appearance. This was also our first introduction to native wildlife .
We returned to home base for some lunch and relaxing. Next on the agenda was white water rafting down Elvepurka (class 1, 2, 3 and 4 rapids!). The water was about 4 degrees Celsius and the whole experience was nothing less than breathtaking… What happens on Elvepurka stays on Elvepurka…ask one of us what this means :-).
After a big cheer, we warmed up and headed back to home base for a dinner to celebrate life. At dinner we learned all about why glaciers are blue from one of our guides, Andy aka #icetroll. Look it up, it’s fascinating!
Thanks to our adrenalin filled rafting adventure, we all slept like the dead that night.
DAY 4 (Sunday, July 10th):
Day four promised another exciting adventure of Kayaking and a glacier hike on Nigardsbreen.
After our jaunt, kayaking on the lake, we hiked our way to Nigardsbreen glacier for an experience not be taken lightly. Essential to our glacier hike was our expert guide Andy, campons (spikes that go on your shoes), harnesses, rope and your trusty ice axe.
As we learnt, there are three key rules you need to follow when hiking a glacier:
1. NEVER step on the rope
2. Never STEP on the rope
3. Never step on the ROPE
After our climb we sat and had a bite to eat… with hot chocolate, because… well… we were sitting on a glacier.
We came back to home base to unwind and share our last meal together. Janne outdid himself, making his grandmother’s famous overcooked pork, boiled potatoes, salad, cheese and avocado toast, and homemade pancakes. We all had a toast to our amazing time together and the memories we now share.
DAY 5 (Monday, July 11th):
We had a early start at 5am to gather our gear and head back home – #Fjordwards!
Thank you Fjord for an unforgettable experience – and a huge thank you to our guides Roope and Andy!