Geiranger, a change in perspective

26 May

Yesterday I wrote about the magical mists in the forests of Molde Fjord, and how memories like those keep me awake in my dull and gloomy work hours aboard the ABC RypMeOff. Today’s port of Geiranger toppled that majestic experience with a sight so terrific that even our mentally derailed manager momentarily lost his anger. We have seen some beautiful places in these past weeks, but nothing compares to the grandeur of the fjord town of Geiranger.

Fjord Town Geiranger

Geiranger looks like a rock giant just dropped a bunch of houses on a mountain side.

In the morning we shot passenger pictures on the gangway. Even that was a magical experience – every photo is beautiful with the amazing background of nearly vertical rock faces, lush green forests, and literally hundreds of waterfalls. Of course, the shooting ended in a debacle, since the manager ordered we should stay until noon, while our higher ranking photographers decided we should leave our posts forty minutes early. While our superior team members slowly waddled along the two-hundred metres of gangway, rambling in Portuguese, Mateja and I simply decided to run ahead, and make use of the time we were given by lunching at the buffet. Half an hour later we met the same two ramblers on our way out, complaining that they had gotten in trouble for leaving early, while we were simply gone from sight. Other than the disgruntled team mates (which we already are used to) there was no late fallout for the two of us. Maybe this is the new strategy for avoiding trouble: run from your own responsibility, and let the manager catch someone else.

Anyway, the day literally cleared up when I started my three-hour hike through the fjord town of Geiranger. The environment is so peaceful that even the cruise tourists either ignored me, or smiled and waved. That is a fair improvement over their usual reactions – avoidance or glares of hatred. It probably is the sense of isolation and age that makes peace palpable in Geiranger. The only ways of reaching this town are via ship or through a long and winding road trip. Thus, it is not overrun by tourists, and has not developed any manufacturing industry either. It’s just a big Northern village, dropped into a valley of brown rock and green pasture. Sunny weather, fresh air, cute houses, and an overabundance of nature make people happy, and so our great fjord visit increased the mood of all those passengers that our department depends on.

Aerial view of the Fjord Town Geiranger, Norway

Old woods on older mountains, with a side of waterfalls and sheep pastures. That’s Geiranger in a nutshell.

In the afternoon I even received my first assignment of responsibility: a few of us were sent up to the viewing deck, and shot passengers while the cruise ship slowly made its way out of port. The scenery along the fjord is marvellous, and I stayed out for about half an hour longer than my coworkers, just enjoying the view. I still hate my job as a beggar. Particularly if there are four of us on deck, and we repeatedly run into passengers who already said “No” to two other photographers. But as long as the company surrounds us with greenery and waterfalls, I won’t object to go begging on the viewing deck.

For your own view on the fjord beauty click here.

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