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11 July 2005

clinging to the steep

i woke up at 0600 in the lounge surrounded by morning people germans. haben sie gut geschlafen? nein. bright sun. i was still incredibly tired. i didn't sleep well on the hard couch; my body sending all reserve power to repair my burned skin. i felt something i can only describe as 'pressure' surrounding me; this existed both inside and outside the vessel. still, i was excited for today. the ms nordlys would be traveling into the geiranger fjord. i applied some sunblock to my face, gathered my food from the locker (the unlocked locker; how far i've come), and headed outside to make myself a sandwich. first port of call was torvik at 0720; a short stop with no shore leave. next to alesund, with forty minutes of shore leave, barely enough time to buy some fruit to ward off the scurvy. i was a little concerned about the weather; the sky was a milky gray and white.

over the next several hours, the white clouds were pulled aside like a sheet of paper and the ship traveled over 100km into the geiranger fjord through some of the most spectacular scenery i'd ever seen [gallery]. i've tried to include other ships in the photos whenever possible to give some sense of scale. simply stunning. the deck on which i'd been amongst only a few others the day before was now overrun with people. into the mountains, clouds delicately draped over the mountain tops, farmhouses clinging to the steep hillsides, through the spear fjord and past the waterfalls known as the seven sisters and the suitor. finally to the town of geiranger where many people boarded another boat to go on a fairly expensive geiranger excursion [i passed on all of the excursions in part for financial reasons but mostly because i was seeing everything i wanted to see from the boat. i also didn't particularly like the wording of the catchphrase in the book which outlined the details of the excursions: 'those who choose to go ashore will see so much more.' my translation: 'give us your cash. now.'.] once all of the geiranger excursioners were gone (we'd pick them up in molde), i had my deck to myself once again. back out of the fjord for a second look at all of the magnificent mountains to dock in alesund again; the weather had changed significantly from this morning. on to molde; where i found this exploded bang snap on the sidewalk. a beautiful sun. i relaxed on the deck at midnight before retiring from this spectacular day.

posted by paul on Mon 11 Jul 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)

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