Trondheim University across the river. Because of the university and a research institute, Trondheim is the recognized technilogical capital of Norway.
Trondheim - Nidaros Cathedral. Built on the site of the grave of St Olav (construction began in 1030), it is Scandinavias largest medieval building.
I climbed Nidaros Cathedral tower up the VERY narrow spiral steps to take in the great view of the city.
Another view of the University - this one from the top of Nidaros Cathedral.
Here is a shot of a portion of those VERY narrow spiral steps. These steps are from the original part of the cathedral and nearly 1000 years old (from 1030).
From Trondheim we worked our way to Kristiansand. On route we stopped here for a quick view of the river and tall, steep mountains with waterfalls pour down from the snowcapped tops.
We took a stroll thru Kristiansand Posebyen section. A beautiful residential area with wonderful houses dating back to 1695. This is a tower at the top of the park there.
From the top of that tower.
Kristiansand Cathedral - Norway's third-largest cathedral with seating for 1800 was constructed in 1894.
I decided to take a ride around Kristiansand with this Norwegian girl in pigtails on her bike.
En route from Kristiansund to Alesund.
Across from Alnes is the island Godoy (we took at least 3 LONG tunnels to get there). This is a pretty small island with a very quaint fishing village called Alnes - and this is Alnes Lighthouse.
Alnes Lighthouse is an all-wood structure built in 1876.
The climb to the top of the lighthouse is fiver floors of steep, narrow stairs - more like ladders.
At the top you can check out the light itself.
And the views thru the windows on the way up.
It's pearched up on top of the hill in the middle of this tiny fishing town - this fishing town is at the end of a long, single lane tunnel thru the mountain.
We strolled the cobblestone streets of Alesund - hi-fiving the local paperboy...
Checking out the wharf.
And the trolls...the most Norwegian of Norway's supernatural beings, which emerged in Norway at the close of the last ice age. Trolls inhabit gloomy forests, moonlit lakes, deep fjords, snowy peaks and roaring waterfalls. They're creatures of shadow and darkness. Any troll who is exposed to direct sunlight turns to stone - so the Norwegian legend goes.
Dennis and the troll.
Early morning stoll in Alesund.
Across the wharf from our hotel - that's where we had dinner and even pre-dinner drinks at an Irish pub called Dirty Nelly.
We continued our morning walk to the other side of the wharf and up to Alesund Cathedral.
And then off to Atlanterhavsparken (a.k.a. Atlantic Ocean Park). A cool aquarium with great displays and information on local fish and ocean life.
Even an outdoor penguin display.
And even an indoor penguin display (although this would have been more appropriate had I been wearing my tux).
And then on to our next destination - the town of Valldal where we will pick up a ferry boat to Geiranger thru one of Norway's most scenic Fjords.
On our way, we stopped in a town, Stordal, to see their Rose Church. Constructed in 1789, the roof walls and every last pillar are sumptuously painted with scenes from the bible and saints.
Scenic overview looking out on the Fjord. The Fjords of Norway rank among the most dramatic landforms on earth. Cliffs plunge down to barely populated shorelines and vertiginous waterfalls drop from impossible heights into waters of extreme depth.
Hanging out in Valldal waiting for our ferry boat to arrive. Valldal is Europes northern most orchard - famous for their strawberries. Its festival at the end of July is one of Norway's favorites.
And we're off on our tourist trip - a 2-1/2 hour ferry boat ride from Valldal to Geiranger.
This ferry boat ride takes us along three Fjords, Norddalsfjorden, Sunnylvsfjorden and Geirangerfjordan - all three list as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This is called the Seven Sisters. It doesn't look like much when you first look at the photo until you notice the boat at the bottom of about the third waterfall and get a perspective of how huge these falls really are.
Dennis on the boat with another one of the dozens of water falls along the route.
And me too...
Now we are on our way out of Geiranger to our B & B accomodations, but we couldn't continue without stopping at the lookout point 500 Meters (or 1600ft) above the Fjord we had just come out of.
This is a great vantage point to look back down at the beautiful Geiranger Fjord.
And this is looking at the end of the Geiranger Fjord at the town of Geiranger. Geiranger's Fjord is considered the masterpiece of Norway's Fjords.
Our B & B is located about 10 miles outside of Geiranger, perched high on the mountain with a spectacular view of the Geiranger Fjord again.
We took a hike after dinner around the mountain around our B & B enjoying the views from here.
These views are amazing...more than we could have imagined.
This is the view from our B & B.
And the sun is getting ready to set on another great day - although this was taken at about 9pm and the sun won't be setting for another 2 hours (and will start rising again around 3am - and it never really gets completely dark this time of year here).
Woke up early this morning at our BandB just outside of Geiranger and headed out for a hike up to Blahornet...WOW.
The hike up to this point was amazing and very, very cool. Most of the way I was surrounded by clouds and mist as I hiked thru the farms and mountains dotted with ponds and lakes. I was beginning to think I was going to get to the top and not have any view at all because of the clouds hovering around...
I didn't want to leave this spot. Every which way I turned was a spectacular view.
And having started my hike just after 7am, I was the only one on the trail and the only one up here - so incredibly peaceful.
360 degrees of amazing views, and each way different.
Before I realized it, an hour had passed and I just wanted to stay up here for another hour taking it all in.
Talking pictures and enjoying the view.
But alas, time to head back down to meetup with Dennis for breakfast.
This is still the trail back down from Blahornet and still I haven't been anyone.
Here is Dennis on the deck at our B and B.
This B and B sits up on this mountain and this is the view for each of the rooms and cabins..
Time to leave Geiranger and head to our next stop...but we couldn't resist another stop to look out over the Geiranger Fjord and town.
That boat down there is the car/passenger ferry boat we had taken the day before...a very large ship!
Another pit stop along the way - Dalsnibba for the highest and perhaps the most stunning of the many views of Geiranger valley and fjord.
Dalsnibba is perched up 1500m (about 5000ft). In one direction is the Geiranger valley and fjord, and in the other is a beautiful glacier and glacier lake - but this is the really impressive side and view.
We are working our way to our next B and B in Sogndal, but I read about this Stave Church, Urnes Church that was on our way...sort of...just a small detour. The last 20 miles took us along Lustrafjord was what appeared to be a one-way road...but it wasn't...it was just only built for one car. Everytime we came to another car coming in the other direction, which was thankfully VERY infrequently, we had to slow to a near stop and squeeze past each other.
This was not all that unusual for Norway's roads - we were on MANY of a road like this on our journey
Back to Urnes Stave Church, the oldest preserved church. The timber for this church was felled in 1129-1130. Of the original approx. 1000 stave churches in Norway, only 28 remain and Urnes is the eldest and most highly decorated.
In case you were wondering, Staves are uprights that form the framework for the elevated central space.
We finally made it our B and B, which turned out to be more like a hostel. It is a realy working farm harvesting apples, pears and rasberries and making juices right downstairs. We got up early the next morning for a brisk hike along the fjord beaches. This was one of the farms we passed on our hike.
After our morning hike in Solvorn, it was off thru Sogndal and towards Bergen, our next stayover. This was just a stop I had to make because I couldn't get over the view of this lake from the road just outside of Sogndal.
I didn't realize just how many pitstops we keep fitting into this journey. We had read of the Stalheim Hotel with what they called "Norway's most spectacularly sited hotel."
The view from this hotel is amazing and the waterfalls on our way up to hear and down were just spectacular.
Bergen - during the 12th and 13th century, it was Norway's capital. It is now one of the biggest tourist cities in Norway. A major port for not only Scandinavia's trade, but also for cruise ships. A wonderful city filled with history and an enchanting old quarter that runs along the harbor and wharf. This is the funicular that runs up to the top of one of Bergen's hills - I chose to climb it rather than take the funicular :-)