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23rd July, 2013



In the early hours we entered Hardangerfjord, the third largest in the world and, as daylight returned a few hours later, its beauty was there for all to see. If they had been awake that is, the great majority were not, perhaps understandably and it wasn’t until after six when a few sleepy eyed souls came out to populate the upper deck.

Jondal is a pretty village nestling at the base of the slopes of mountains which rise to almost 4000 feet, it has no big ship berth and the fjord remains very deep to within a mile of the shore. Consequently the bow anchor went down in over sixty metres, but with the advantage of our stern anchor, the ship could be placed very much closer to the tender landing. In lovely sunshine and calm winds the folks commenced disembarking shortly (after an early breakfast), off on tours to see the Folgefonna Glacier or the boat preservation centre (in the Norwegian language spelt ‘Fartoyvernsenteret!) at Torvikbygd where traditional skills are being taught in order to restore old wooden boats to their former glory.

Saga Sapphire

I took some time just to take the short journey ashore, not having been there before, and walked up to the charming old wooden church where a free piano and organ recital was taking place. An enthusiastic local lady silently indicated for me to enter, but I had to politely decline, gesticulating time and duty but really meaning that some obscure Norwegian composer was just a tad too heavy for my taste.

As I returned to the quayside a few locals were lazily watching the tourists while attempting to catch the odd fish, while the ‘mature’ skipper of our chartered local tender was waiting to bring back our folks on tour. A very peaceful scene on a gorgeous day.  

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.