Farewell to the Vast, Serene Norway
Where to begin? After more than six weeks in Norway, we have a real sense of it. The word “clarity” comes to mind. It is so tranquil that it is possible to gain perspective beyond our everyday cares. The air is remarkable – affording eyesight and breathing that seems to have been vastly improved. The people handle isolation and camaraderie with equal grace and care deeply about their country, its environment, and its future. The landscape escapes description in its vastness, its extremes, and its sheer beauty. It is literally the case that the grass is greener here… although I am quite certain that I would not survive even one winter. In any case, we are richer to have experienced this.
On the way down the coast, we visited a whole new slate of places, from tiny villages to big cities, and placid fjords to gale-force-wind-whipped open seas. A tiny sample of our experiences is described below in words and photos.
Our Norwegian Captain Dag was determined to show us every square inch he could…including Trollfjorden, a passage only 330’ wide between steep-rising mountains. It truly felt as if we could touch the stone on both sides.
This gorgeous scene holds a secret – there is a salmon farm in the foreground. We spent a morning there, learning, for example, that something like 2/3rds of the world’s salmon comes from Norway, and that many see fish farming as the next big opportunity for Norway. While wild salmon is better tasting, of course, it is actually quite rare and hugely expensive. And while we’ve had reservations about farmed salmon in the past, having seen the conditions and regulations that Norway provides, we now have no qualms about this product.
Visiting the Rauma River Valley by train and van, we craned our necks to see the top of Trollveggen, Europe’s highest perpendicular wall.
In Skjolden, we had one last chance to experience Norway’s glory with a mountaintop visit that revealed giant glaciers, thundering waterfalls, very fat sheep, rushing salmon rivers, rolling farmland, and too many memories to count.
We are now setting off to explore the Shetland, Orkney, and Hebrides Islands, then on to Dublin to continue our explorations aboard The World.