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Aandalsnes

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

1st March, 2013

Snowy Aandalsnes

Aandalsnes is a small town situated in Norway’s fjord network and offered us a beautiful sail into port through the rugged wilderness despite the intermittent sleet, to remind us that winter still had yet to release its grip on Norway despite it now being March. Known as the ‘village between the mountains and the fjords,’ it’s setting is predominately lined by mountain peaks and is set at the mouth of the Rauma River.

We are a little on the large side for the local pier, with over a third of the ships length still overhanging the end by the time it was decided that going ahead any further would be hazardous. Our stern ropes were set across to the neighboring wharf, effectively blockading any small craft using the marina in between.

Mountains in Aandalsnes

Once safely alongside and the gangway ran out, the tours commenced, offering a trip along the Rauma railway for some, or a scenic trip to Molde for others. Another on offer was a trip to view ‘Trollstigen’ which I myself, hopped aboard. ‘Trollstigen’ translates to troll path and is a steep winding mountain path, which ascends to approximately 2600 feet and offers tourists a chance to negotiate its eleven hairpin bends.

However, due to the current winter conditions surrounding us, we unfortunately were unable to experience the road as it is shut during the harsh winter months and only opens to traffic in the summer. Nearby we were able to catch a glimpse of the ‘Trollveggen’ or Troll Wall, although the summit was hidden by a thick fog. Trollveggen is Europe’s highest vertical rock face at 6,000 feet and is thought to be the ultimate challenge for rock climbers. Parachuting was also very popular here but after several accidents this led to it being made illegal in 1986. However our guide told us that during the summer months if you are up early enough you could sometimes catch sight of a few daredevil rogues out for an adrenaline rush. We also stopped at a local guest house for a quick refreshment, where I caught sight of a few of our passengers throwing snowballs at each other and making snow angels in the lovely fresh powdery snow. Our return journey to the ship took us back to Aandalsnes port through the scenic Isterdal Valley.

Arriving back aboard, the ship was prepared for our passage to Alta. The forecast out at sea was for bad weather so fortunately we had been able to change our route to use the “inside passage”, a series of fjords and islands that ran along the coast and would protect us from the sea. Some parts of the journey would involve unprotected sections but these would be in areas where the worst of the storm would not reach. Imparting this information to our passengers we let go our lines and headed out along the fjord for Alta.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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.

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