Away from it all in Eidfjord

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There’s only one better way to see the Norwegian fjords than from a cruise ship gliding serenely past vertiginous cliffs and spectacular waterfalls, and that’s from the air.
Yesterday I enjoyed the best of both worlds, sailing on Saga Pearl II through Hardangerfjord to the village of Eidfjord, and then clambering aboard a helicopter to look down on the snow-covered mountains of Hardangerjokulen from above.
It was worth waking early to throw open the door to my cabin balcony, take in the morning air, and enjoy the final approach to Eidfjord while catching up with the latest election results on the television news.
Not that I could have had a long lie-in; the dulcet tones of Captain David Warden Owen were piped into the cabin shortly after 8.00 am with his daily welcome and a message about a “hung government” back home.
After breakfast, two coachloads of passengers set off to visit the Voringfossen waterfall, while others strolled through the street of Eidfjord in the spring sunshine.
It would be unfair to call this a one-horse town – there are about half a dozen providing pony and trap rides – but the arrival of 400 people aboard Saga Pearl II boosted the population significantly. The place must be completely over-run when bigger vessels make their way to the quay
After lunch, we set off for our helicopter, which was waiting at the Sima hydro-electric power plant. It might be one of the biggest in Europe, but you would hardly think so because there’s nothing to see apart from a few electricity pylons. The massive turbine hall is hidden at the end of a half-mile tunnel under the mountain.
There was plenty to see from the helicopter, as we rose to 6,000-ft, flying over the ship and onwards to the largest mountain plateau in Europe. Snow and ice stretched beneath us for miles, broken by the towering stump of Harteigen, a mountain known as the “grey direction post.”
All too soon we were brought back down to earth, and our friendly local driver took us on a brief scenic tour (actually, I think he got lost) before returning to the ship in time for afternoon tea and scones. So very civilised, life on board with Saga.
The political wheeler-dealing back in London seems like a million miles away, and it’s certainly not a hot topic of conversation among the Saganauts. They’ve seen it all before, and have probably worked out that it makes little difference to them who ends up in Number 10.

By | 2010-05-08T08:04:31+00:00 8 May 2010|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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