Viking Travel Journal––Day 8

The Wife looking toward Geiranger

Geiranger was much like Flam.

It’s a town of 250 people whose economy depends almost entirely of tourism.

Geiranger sits on the plain between the shore of the fjord in front and mountains behind.

My pics don’t do the place credit; it’s better to look at the pic on Wikipedia here.

Teri had gone on the RIB boat excursion again in Ålesun to see birds. She said it was the third worst experience in her life. She said it was it two hours of white knuckles as she held on to the seat in front of her to keep from getting tossed out of the boat as it skipped across the waves, all to get to a place and watch birds for 20 minutes.

Needless to say, Teri passed on the RIB boat adventure in Geiranger and joined Ann, and The Wife’s mother and father on the bus trip on the winding road along the cliffs and up the mountain to the glacier. At the port talk they warned this was not a trip for those with a fear of heights, and from what the group said when they returned, this was true.

I don’t have a fear of heights—just of falling—but The Wife and I decided to opt out of the excursions and go into town, if you can call it a town. It’s really just a few shops. The Wife said it was the best shopping yet and came out with many bags of purchases to prove it. I don’t know what makes for good shopping. I think there is some correlation to how much I have to work when I get back home to pay for it, but I am not sure.

Geiranger is the site of the Norwegian disaster movie, The Wave, where a landslide into the fjord creates a 60 foot tidal wave that wipes out the town. I watched the trailer for the movie on the Internet. I shouldn’t have. The rest of the day I was looking at the crevasses in the mountains and hoping we could get out of there before something broke loose. They said in the movie it was only a matter of time.

On the way out of that death trap, we sat at the back of the ship, while the sun shone through the mountains, and we passed waterfalls on the left and right. I tried to burn the images into my memory so I would never forget the beauty. It was stunning.

As we were heading out of the fjord I was also reading Frank Donovan’s book, The Vikings, one of the books on the GSB tour reading list. The more I read, the more I was appalled at the wickedness of the Vikings before they were converted to Christianity.

The Vikings were all about killing, stealing, and destroying. They had the same job description as the Enemy. And it was this wicked people that lived here, in one of the most beautiful places on the earth. I couldn’t decide whether this was evidence of God’s  sense of humor or mercy, or both. GS