The Hurtigruten from Bergen to Ålesund
On the west coast of Norway, Bergen is surrounded by Norway’s largest and most beautiful fjords, the Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord. Worn out by the drifting ice from a distant past, the blue sea arms enter the country for up to 200 km. The reflecting sunlight from the eternal snow on the surrounding mountain peaks sparkle the blue water. It creates a picturesque scene. The Norwegians are full of praise for the fact that National Geographic has given the fjord landscape the status of best preserved UNESCO World Heritage. The travel guide marketers are short of words and the 2018 slogan is “you have to be here to experience it” (Travel Guide Fjord Norway 2018). Those who want to experience the beauty of the fjord landscape often start the trip in Bergen.
I take the Hurtigruten from Bergen to Ålesund via the famous Geirangerfjord. The fjord has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2005 and is internationally recognized for its natural beauty. Once set up as a postal service, the ferry service sailed along the west coast from Bergen via the North Cape to Kirkenes near the Russian border to keep the cities connected to the outside world. After adventurers and researchers discovered the boat to reach the cold north, the well-to-do tourists followed. Even during the cold winters with the cutting polar winds and strong storms, the boat sails. The warm gulf stream ensures that the fjords remain ice-free and therefore accessible. Although commerce has prevailed, there is still an authentic feeling on board. No casinos or swimming pools can be found here. The area is the attraction here. The hundreds of islands, fjords, cleaved mountain walls rising from the water alternate. Depending on the season, the sunlight creates a wonderful effect on the environment. Nature on the rugged west coast feels like a theater full of spectacle.
Company on board
On board I am in a colorful company of tourists. The table layout encourages passengers to dine with strangers and interesting conversations arise. During breakfast I get to know a retired teacher from America. We exchange travel and educational experiences between delicious salmon sandwiches. The fact that I was the only one to board a bicycle makes me interesting. The majority of people will complete the entire 7-day journey from Bergen to Kirkenes near the Russian border. In total the boat stops at 34 ports where people come on board or disembark. After 1 night I think it’s great to continue my journey by bike. I get off at Ålesund and continue my trip by bicycle to Kristiansund.
D.Remijnse July 16, 2018