15-06-13 to 22-06-13 Bergen to Kaupanger to Ålesund

Skipper: Peter, Christoph

Crew: Peter, Lotti and Robert

We found our boat tied up before the beautiful Hanseatic Kontor houses
in Bergen, so it was clear that we would get plenty of Norwegian culture as
well as sea going experiences on our trip.

Once we had prepped the boat and had a good walk round, even finding a
Nespresso shop! We prepared to cast off.
There would be a music festival that weekend and the harbour was
packed.  We headed north and after
21miles found ourselves in Festo.  No
sooner had we arrived, than a party boat came in too, like a disco on the water
–  frying pan to fire…

For our first proper day, we would head for Skjerjehamn and the skipper
wanted us to practice our navigation skills in the narrow channels.  We were all surprised that the guides told us
to deploy fenders, but at Lindås we passed through a disused lock with a strong
cross current, so just as well we had them! Once in the open fjord, we
practiced MOB procedures, and with both skipper satisfied, continued to
Skjerjeham.  In total we have sailed 49
miles.

Here we found a beautiful Swiss style villa from the 1880s, now a
hotel, and the wonderful Konge-Öl Royal Beer as well as a great barbeque
buffet.

The next day we made our way to the mouth of the Sognefjord where the
mountains come down to the water, just like in Switzerland.  Snow capped peaks towered above us as we
berthed for the night in Bjordal.

We got in early, to walk in the meadows above the town and admire the
beautiful Hopperstad Stavkyrkje, a stave church from around 1130.  It and other beautiful historical buildings owe
their preservation to the archaeologist Peter A Bix who funded a lot of their
restoration himself.

After a fine dinner, we tried the local Gamalost cheese, made from sour
milk and with a very sharp taste.  We all
tried to like it, but no one could find the palate for it.

The next day we headed for Flåm.
After passing the huge statue of the Norse hero Fritjof the Brave, we
passed the Cape of Vangsnes (home of the best strawberries) and headed south
into the Auerlansfjord.  We were all
keeping a look out for the cruise ships that visit here, and they look unreal
from afar, like floating cities, absurd in the narrow fjord.

Flåm attracts many tourists and as well as souvenir shops has a famous
mountain railway, which rises 863 metres over 12.6 miles with a maximum
gradient of 55% and with many tunnels.
Unfortunately for Robert, our crew railroader, it was completely sold
out that day!

The next day bought the highlight of our trip, navigating through the Nærøfjord,
a Unesco World Heritage site.  On our way
to Gudvangen, the navigation was challenged and we had half a kilometre of
water below and a kilometre and a half of mountains above us – spectacular.

Because our boat is self-sufficient with her generator and large water
tank (and because our skipper could chat a little in the local language) we
were able to stay on a private pier in the pretty and small village of Bakka –
far from all the tourists.

Our final trip on to Kaupanger was conducted in the rain and we found a
berth in the new harbour by the ferry terminal, but unfortunately 3km for the
town.  A hike which Robert undertook, not
only to get food for a delicious dinner but also because he decided he needed a
Norwegian SIM card.   The rest of
explored the local stave church and admired the grave yard with stones
orientated towards the magnificent fjord.
Here swapped skipper Christoph for Skipper Bernhard.

Lotti

Stats:

Miles: 181.5

Engine hours: 29

Berthing fees: 450 NOK

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