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Travel Logs March 2013

Triptalk'en

The Adventurous Rapid River Ride in Norwegian Fjords

By Bobbie Green

Swerving and curving — what a thrill ride this is. Everyone was having a grand time, while hanging on and marveling how well our float suits were working. Thank goodness. My uncovered nose and mouth told me it was very cold even though this was in July.

vt_green0313Our small group of mostly seniors looked among ourselves and wondered — did we really want to make this trip on a RIB boat in the freezing waters of the Geirangerfjord, out of Stavanger, Norway, to have a close encounter with the Bridal Veil and Seven Sisters waterfalls? We all signed up for this tour from our cruise ship docked at Geiranger.

Uncertainty filled the air as we entered this odd-looking room, in a small building located on the shore of the Geirangerfjord, filled with piles of what looked like red snowsuits. We could see the piles labeled in sizes of small, medium and large. Our tour guide said to put them on. Overhead there were numerous clothes hangers connected to lines dangling from the ceiling, for our use to hang our own jackets, etc.

Arduously we climbed into our water and wind-proof floating suits. Felt as though we were clad in a space suit, or the snowsuits we all wore as youngsters. We awkwardly followed our guide for a short walk to the rubber inflatable boats (RIBs).

Instead of traditional seats, our boat has padded horizontal beams for us to straddle. You must throw one leg over—just like mounting a saddle. Anyone not able to do this would have to ride in a boat with traditional seats. Our guide said this type seating provides a more comfortable ride. Soon our boat was bouncing off the top of the water like a jet ski, and we recognized our good fortune to be straddling the seat with a hang-on bar.

Swerving and curving — what a thrill ride this is. Everyone was having a grand time, while hanging on and marveling how well our float suits were working. Thank goodness. My uncovered nose and mouth told me it was very cold even though this was in July.

As we drew close to the falls we slowed down to take in the majestic beauty of the fjords. The UNESCO world heritage protected Geirangerfjord is 600 meters deep. We felt very small on our little boat with the high cliff around us.

The cascading waterfalls were not the only points of interest on the steep terrain. To our delight wildlife on the banks and birds flying overhead, added to our experience.

We had previously sailed by these falls on our cruise ship. Seeing the falls from our RIB boats gave us an entirely new perspective. There appeared to be much more water falling than we could conceive from the cruise ship. We were close enough to feel the cold spray and hear the roar of the water.

They allowed us plenty of time to take photos and view the scenery before taking another thrilling ride back to our dock.

The whole excursion was only 1.5 hours, but not a wasted minute. This adventure is one of our top ten trip excursions we have ever experienced. If your travels find you in Stavanger, Norway, do not pass up the chilling and unique perspective viewing of the fjords and the falls or the fun boat ride, even if you can’t straddle the saddle.

Prices are quoted in Norwegian Krone, they may vary with conversion rates. The RIB Safari Adventure is approximately $80.50 per adult and $53.50 for under 13 years of age. For more information www.geirangerfjord.no

 

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