June 16, 2010

beautiful balestrand

After the late night heavy metal concert in Bergen, we were all very ready for some peace and quiet. We found it in Balestrand Norway. To get to Balestrand we took the early morning Ferry out of Bergen, and came up through the Fjords to get here. The Beauty of the Fjords is beyond describing in words, so here are a few pictures. First, leaving Bergen on the Ferry:

From Bergen, we travelled North, between the coast, and all the little islands that protect the coast from the North sea. After about two hours we turned inland into Sognefjord, The longest and deepest fjord in Norway. From here on, it was just one beautiful sight after another. Here’s a typical picture from the back of the ferry:

All along the fjords you see these nice houses either up on the hillside, or tucked down near the water. Sometimes there is a boathouse right over the water as in the picture above. Notice how still the water is, and the contrast of the green of the trees on the shore with this stunning blue water is just great.

When we arrived in Balestrand we were met by our host, one member of the family that owns and runs the Balestrand Hotel, which is in my mind the nicest and friendliest place we have stayed yet. The rooms have an amazing view out over the fjord, as you can see from this shot out off the deck of our hotel room. If you go to Balestrand, you should definitely stay here, and don’t be afraid to upgrade to the fjord view, it is worth it.

The rooms here, have no TV in them, but who needs a TV when you have a view like this? We did go downstairs to the lobby area where they have a breakfast room, a reading room, with computer, and a TV area. We enjoyed watching some football with a very international crowd. Its interesting hearing the perspectives of the other people on the games, and of course its different to watch the football match when the announcers are speaking in Norwegian. The truth is its kind of a welcome relief from the English announcers. All they do is talk about England this and England that… I suppose the American announcers are the same way, and they probably talk way too much. The truth is you don’t need an announcer telling you much when you watch football.

Balestrand is not a very large town, we were able to walk everywhere from our hotel, and see just about everything. There is a small aquarium that shows you some of the sea life living in the fjords, a couple of small lunch places and one other hotel called the Kviknes. Hotel Kviknes is the largest wooden structure in Scandanavia. We ended up having supper there last night and it was quite good. I had a wonderful veal, Jane had risotto, Kaia pasta, and josh had a triple decker club sandwich. While were were seated we struck up a conversation with an older british couple and had a very nice chat. It is interesting to hear the English perspective on what is going on with the BP oil spill in the gulf of mexico. It is clear that although the british people have been supportive of Obama in the past many are taking his anger at BP somewhat personally. Of course football is alway another good topic to take up with the Brits, luckily this couple were very sportsmanlike about our competition.

This morning we were able to sleep in and have a nice breakfast in the hotel. At noon we board the ferry again, and head for Oslo. Today is a travel Odyssey, we’ll be on two ferries, a bus, and two trains to take us to Oslo. We won’t get in until after 11:00 tonight, but of course it will still be broad daylight so we aren’t particularly worried. I’ll leave you with one more image of the fjords and beautiful Balestrand.

Location:Balestrand, Norway