The Queen leaves First, The Passenger Guide to Hurtigruten, The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage, Olden, A Skylift

Post 164: 1 August 2017, A Walk to the Skies from near Olden

In the evening, at about 6pm, it was time to leave Bergen. But first we had to let Queen Elizabeth depart.  There seems to be protocol  amongst cruise ships.

In addition, there were three other ships in port. The small one on the left is the Hurtigruten coastal express Kong Harald (King Harald). 

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A ship leaves everyday in the evening to Kirkenes, near the Russian border, passing North Cape, Europe’s northernmost mainland point. The whole outward and return journey involves calling at 34 ports and rightly is described as ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage’. 

Between March 2009 and May 2012, I completed four varied, memorable and exciting trips on Hurtigruten ships and became the ‘Passenger Guide to Hurtigruten ships’ on their web-site.

The ships on the right are the much bigger MSC and Costa ships, which are not able to access the smaller fjords and ports.

2 August 2017

As we entered Nordfjorden and then Innvikfjorden, my ‘night shift’ came on and dawn shoots became the norm. This despite dancing and drinking until about 12.30am. This picture was taken at about 5.40am. A lie in, as sunrise was at 5.00am! However, there are delays in the sun rising over the mountains as shown here. The best light for photography is often at or just after dawn.

This is a problem on midnight sun trips I have done in the past as there is no real sunrise – it doesn’t really set! Proper sleep in a bed has been known to be as low as 3.5 hours per night, but I hate missing the gorgeous scenery and excellent light.

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This was an Aida ship, which is mainly for the German market.

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We were getting close to Olden as the Mount Hoven Loen Skylift came into view. This was to be used for our walk.

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Approaching Olden

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Someone was having an early morning swim at about 7.30am

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We had to tender off the ship as again a bigger ship got priority for the mooring.

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After breakfast we had a short coach ride to the bottom of the skylift passing a husky dog which, judging by the equipment, likes climbing!

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Mount Hoven Loen is Europe’s steepest cable car ride and one of the steepest in the World, and was opened by Queen Sonja on 20th May 2017. The cable car lifts one from the fjord to 1011 metres (3316 feet) in 5 minutes. There are short and long hikes from the top and a magnificent restaurant. There is also a via ferreta for experienced climbers with the longest Gjolmunnebrua 120 metre suspension bridge in Europe. The cost was in the region of £120 million.

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Our ascent began

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Our ship (right) got smaller!

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A glacier in the far distance came into view. This was taken using my big zoom lens.

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The fjords looked tiny

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The top of the skylight was reached.

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I took some more photographs from the viewing point and then decided to go higher by walking one of the shorter hiking paths.

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There was a horseshoe to wish me luck on my hike!!!

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Miles walked 0 yet – other than around deck of the ship!

 

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