This was a new stop to make up for missing our 2 northern stops. It is a small town but we are staying overnight so it was just nice to be able to come and go all day and enjoy being in town at night. We walked all around and enjoyed the waterfall and the views from different levels of the town as we walked higher and higher up. I really enjoy wandering the small towns and just enjoying the quiet slow pace. In this little town it almost felt like we were the only ones there besides few people that were working in the few stores in town. This port is more of a pit stop for people on their way to Geiranger which is our stop tomorrow.
Only about an hour away from our last stop we pulled out of Hellesylt at 5:30 am and arrived at our next stop and were ready for guests to disembark by 8 am. Geiranger is located at the end of the Fjord and doesn't have a pier so this was another tender port. We were really the only ship in town and the tender ride was very short so it was easy. Geirganger is another small town of only about 260 residents but it gets a lot of summer vacationers. This seemed to be the adventure port offering things like hiking up to waterfalls, kayaking on the fjord, biking around town, along with some bus tours to things like a fjord farm. We opted for the ship's excursion for kayaking. Normally I would check out a 3rd party supplier but in this case I couldn't find one. That can be the drawback to going to some of these very small ports. The ship's excursion was OK but since we were a group of about 20 and not everyone could paddle very well the group had to stop and wait for the slower ones so we did not get as far down the fjord as we had hoped. I understand that they need to keep it safe but having to stay with the group was frustrating to us. It was still a beautiful day so we made the best of it and enjoyed the amazing views. Our excursion was early so we were back in town with a few hours to explore still. As we wandered through town we saw that we could have rented a kayak and went out on our own. I have learned over the years sometimes it is great to just wing it and then other times not so much as you just never know what might be available at each port. My thinking is if there is anything you really have your heart set on doing then it is probably best to book in advance and anything that you think might be fun if it works out then maybe wing it. There was another large waterfall in town that had a lot of steps to walk up right next to it. It was neat to see that here along the fjord there were lots of campgrounds right on the water that look like they probably are pretty full all summer long. On our way back up the Fjord there were ore breathtaking views including the famous Seven Sisters Waterfall. Our ship was able to go by slowly and even turn around so that no matter where you were on the ship you could get an up close view. Now that we are almost at the end of our cruise I am thinking it could have been called the land of waterfalls as we have seen many very impressive falls during our visit. During this time of year all of the snow on the top of the fjords is melting which is would made for all the amazing falls.
Our last port of call is Bergen, which is the 2nd largest city in Norway. It is a town that was totally built by the Germans originally. Bryggen is a World Heritage site which were the first buildings along the harbor built in the 11th century. We decided to just explore on our own. We walked through the Byggen and there were some really neat shops with local handicrafts. We then walked to the funicular that took us up to the top for some amazing views of the city. We opted to walk back down instead of taking the funicular back. It was a nice walk down and mostly in shade which was a nice since it was a pretty hot day in Norway getting into the 80s. On our way back to the ship we walked back through town and fish market. If you were looking for shopping this was definitely the port for that. On our way out of port we went under a few bridges one that looked like we just barely fit under. Then we were on our way back to Rotterdam. We had one sea day to get there which is a nice way to end a cruise so you have time to relax and pack up.
We are spending a couple days in Amsterdam after the cruise. Many times you won't get much time to explore the port you start and end in so adding a day or 2 before or after can be good. It might also help with finding a better flight option too. I also find that coming in early and staying a little after takes away some fo the stress of traveling long distances too.