Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Hiking and More from MS Finnmarken on 9/27


I had a pretty good nights sleep.  But the bunk bed was not going to work for Marty.  We decided eat breakfast (which was delicious – lots of lox, veggies, and fruit choices) and then go talk to the information people about our cabin.

We stopped in Ålesund briefly at 9:45 but departed again at 10:15.

They offered us an extra cabin for 3000 NOK ($110 each) but it wouldn’t have a window. The one with a window would have bee about 600 NOK.   At first Marty was going to be in the extra cabin but I realized that I could do this blog posting at night without keeping Marty and Ellen awake.

By the time we finished that it was time for me to eat an early lunch and be ready for the excursion that I had signed up to do before we even left Portland.  I was a bit nervous about doing it because of 1600 ft of elevation gain in a short distance, but the weather looked great so off I went.

We docked in the Hjørundfjord.

I took a couple of photos before we exited the ship onto a smaller boat.

The boat held about 38 people (some of whom had signed  up to do a different expedition.  We were let off of the boat in Urke.

I took a photo of the small boat as it was returning to the ship to get more people.

We could see the Hurtigruten MS Finnmarken from the shores of Urke. Urke is a village in Ørsta Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. The village is located on Rånahalvøya by Norangsfjorden which is an arm of the Hjørundfjorden. It is about 11 kilometres south of the mountain Slogen. The village of Sæbø is on the opposite side of Hjørundfjorden.

One of the people going on my hike took a photo of me.

There were only supposed to be 16 people on my hike but they had opened it up to more people.  I was a bit disappointed but I don’t think we were more than 20.  This was the description of the hike:

Join a spectacular mountain hike in the Hjørundfjord region. The hike starts on an old farm road and continues on a tractor path. It’s a steep climb toward the top, and the last 1,600 ft you climb an old stone stairway. At the top you are rewarded with an absolutely amazing panoramic view of steep mountain peaks rising directly from the fjords to heights reaching 5,000 ft above sea level. Even in the summer there is snow on the mountains and numerous small hanging glaciers. At the top you can also visit an abandoned bear cave. If you follow a path even farther up the hill, you can see the village of Sæbø on the other side of the fjord. Before descending, you take a coffee break in the Leknes valley, overlooking the village of Urke, the fjord, and the beautiful mountains. You take the same farm road back down, and visit the local grocer before ending your excursion at the Kaihuset Café. There you are served an ice-cold ‘Slogen’ beer, named after the majestic mountain we see across the fjord.

Because there were more than 16 people, we had 2 guides.  Off we went. The first part of the hike was not steep and I was able to get a couple of photos.

The leader of the hike was moving very fast.  I soon discovered that I was dressed way to warmly so I had to stop to take off layers of clothes.  I was not keeping up too well.

This was way beyond our Friday Hike groups pace.  She never stopped for a water break, to adjust clothing, or to breathe.  We were getting a bit higher but hadn’t started the steep part.

Before I knew it they group was way ahead of me.  There was one other woman and me with the guide, Roy, that was at the back.  I was a bit ahead of her.  It was really steep.  Roy caught up with me and told me that the other woman was stopping and may be going back.  I couldn’t believe that he was going to let her go back down on her own but he said she is supposed to wait but he has no control and they are not responsible if she goes back on her own.

The views were wonderful.

I was really pushing myself.  I could see the group up ahead of me but I could’t catch up.  The trail was one of the rockiest and uneven trails I had ever hiked.  There were no places to put a foot that felt very stable.  I was determined not to turn back. A whole group of people passed me on the trail.

Roy pointed out a cable along the side that was about 100 years old.

At one point a man carrying his child on his back passed me up.

I could hardly believe that he was doing this. I took a moment to take his photo.

I didn’t have time to take any photos.  I just wanted to get to the top.  Finally I reached the 3 sided hut where people were enjoying coffee and treats.  I drank a bottle of water and at my gorp.  I had made it this far.

Roy took a photo of me at the hut.

The other people in my group had gone up to the top to see over the ridge.  I wanted to go up there but Roy said I would not have time.  Then I saw the other people coming back down.  I was happy I had made it this far but disappointed that I didn’t get to the top.

I took a photo of the name of the hut.

We started back down.  As we were walking, Roy told me the story about the woman named Bentelu but I don’t have a clear enough memory to actually retell it.  It was something about her hiking this area every day and then having this hut built.  I think she died of cancer and her husband continued to develop the trails in the area.  He built a hut on a mountain across the way.  Sadly he died when skiing.  So they say that their spirits communicate from his hut to hers.

It was actually much more difficult to get down than I had anticipated on the way up.  The rest of my group passed me by and so did the man with his child on his back.  Roy told me the story about

After a while we came upon the woman who had stayed behind and he Roy was helping her get down.  He then began also giving me a had over the steep or slippery spots.   There were many.  At one point I even slipped with his holding me and twisted my knee backwards.  That was pretty scary and I was relieved to not be really hurt. At that point I decided it was time to take a photo of the trail where I slipped.  We often had a choice of uneven rocks or roots of trees.

Gerta, an 82 year old woman was walking down with us.  I was so impressed with her because she had actually made it all the way to the top.

We arrived back at the Finnmarken and the ship started it’s voyage back to Ålesund. On the way we attended our first astronomy lecture.  Our instructor is Dr. John Mason.  Our first talk was titled, “Exploring the Artic Night Sky” and was about some of the things we can see i the Arctic Night Sky.  He is very entertaining.

Ålesund is a port town on the west coast of Norway, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord. It’s known for the art nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was rebuilt after a fire in 1904.

Some of the people took a excursion to view the town.  Marty, Ellen and I took our own walk around the town.  I took many photos.

There was a strange sculpture of a man holding a bow in this window.

Jane and Sue also went to town to find a pharmacy.  When they left the building that held the pharmacy, they went out a different door and got lost.  A couple that was buying ice-cream cones drove them back to the ship.

The town was very cute.

Marty, Ellen, and I arranged for a later dinner time to make sure that we had enough time in the town.  I had time to put an icepack for my knee before our 8:00 dinner.  It was a sit down-served dinner with a set menu and it was delicious.  We had

  • Carpaccio of Clipfish from Dybvik with semi-dried tomatoes, pickled carrot, scallion and Sugar kelp
  • Salted leg of lamb from Hellesylt with vegetables, oven-baked potato, and red wine sauce
  • Caramelized Apples with Nýr-Cream crumble and skjenning ice-cream.

Our first full day on the Astronomy Cruise was fantastic. A bonus was the wonderful sunset.

We are so lucky to be having this wonderful weather.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

4 thoughts on “Hiking and More from MS Finnmarken on 9/27

  1. All very interesting. So proud of you girl!


  2. Poles, Nancy! Are you using them? I don’t see them in your photos. 😉


  3. Keep staying upright!


  4. The hike sounded very challenging and memorable. You are one determined woman!!


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