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29th June, 2015


Another overnight run took us south along the coast and into Hardangerfjord. The small village of Jondal was a new call for me and another anchorage for the ship. In fact there was not a great deal of room to anchor due to the depth of water, which was very deep right up until around a quarter of a mile from the shore. With such a relatively tight ‘parking space’ I elected to stay on board and forego our intended hike up to the Folgefonna Glacier with a dozen or so passengers. I spoke later with a few of those who did go and they had great fun, donning snow shoes and venturing over the ice like some intrepid Arctic explorers.

The morning had dawned with cloud and rain, but as the day wore on the cloud lifted, allowing those who had gone on tour to see more than we had expected. Some were off on a ‘Traditions of Hardanger’ experience which took in a boat preservation centre at Nordheimsund where skilled boatbuilders, ropemakers and blacksmiths were using traditional methods to preserve and restore old wooden boats.

Another tour went off to see ‘The Barony of Rosendal’, Scandinavia’s smallest ‘palace’ dating back to the 1650’s. A Danish nobleman, Baron Ludvig Rosenkrantz, married Karen Mowat, the sole heiress of a vast landowner with more than 550 farms. In 1678 King Christian V of Denmark gave the new manor the status of Barony, the only one of its kind in Norway. These days it is owned by the University of Oslo. Many fine paintings lie within the palace and outside there is a 300 year old Renaissance rose garden and a Victorian landscaped garden with views taking in fjord and mountain.

Back on board we had to pick up the anchor after the wind rose and ‘stretched’ the cable. We ‘hovered’ outside in deeper water, so when the last tour returned they would have not been able to see the ship. Initially disconcerting perhaps, but we would have soon come into view once the tender came around the headland.

Captain Philip Rentell

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