Overcast, cold, windy, 39 degrees.
Our ship is the Hurtigruten, which means Express Route in Norwegian. It's the Norwegian Coastal Express. It is a Norwegian cruise, ferry and cargo operator. The company was founded in 1893 to carry mail, supplies and people from place to place on Norway's western and northern coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. Hurtigruten ships sail almost the entire length of the country, crossing the arctic circle and completing the round-trip in 11 days. The trip has been described as the "World's Most Beautiful Sea Voyage." It has the world's first hybrid cruise ship that sails on battery power.
The ship makes several stops today, but most are short, only 15 minutes, to drop off supplies to the small towns, Flora, Maloy, and Torvik.
The next town of Alesund is a port town at the entrance to the Geiranger Fjord. This Fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is surrounded by some of the steepest mountains on the entire west coast. It is very narrow and has no habitable shore area. The precipitous heights rise in sheer and rugged strata almost straight out of the water. Foaming waterfalls plunge into the fjord from jagged peaks. There are, however, a few mountain farms here, and of these one or two have such hazardous access, with wind blowing around steep precipices, that bridges are fixed to the mountain with iron bolts and rings.
The two most notable waterfalls are Seven Sisters Falls and the Suitor. Both falls face one another across the fjord, and the Suitor is said to be trying to woo the sisters opposite.
The Bridal Veil is another waterfall in the fjord, so named because it falls delicately over one rocky edge and when seen backlit by the sun it has the appearance of a thin veil over the rocks.
The Geiranger Fjord is under constant threat from the mountain Akerneset which is about to erode into the fjord. A collapse would produce a tsunami (a tidal wave), hitting several nearby towns in about ten minutes.
In popular culture, this fjord was featured in the 2015 movie "The Wave" and the 2013 film "Frozen".