If you have never visited the Norwegian fjords then put it on your “to do list!” Jaw dropping scenery, serenity, steeped in history the fjords are a truly magical destination. If you want to have a SUP adventure that will form everlasting memories then paddling in the fjords is a “must do” Below is an account of the WSA’s first trip to this spectacular area.
On board the MV Glaasten
September is a magical time to travel in Norway, the weather is stable and most tourists have disappeared. We were heading into some very special remote areas, accessible only by a long drive or boat to discover some amazing scenic paddling in Norway’s majestic fjordlands. Our SUP adventure deep in to the Fjords was to be by boat – but no ordinary boat! The MV Gaasten is a refurbished wooden Swedish minesweeper and skippered by Sven owner of Fjord Adventures. This beautiful refurbished vessel was to be home for the next few days and what a treat we were in for!
The boards slid away along the conveyor, turned the corner and disappeared into the luggage bowels of the airport, next stop Norway. Three hours after leaving London and one change we arrived in Molde, Norway, a municipality of Romsdal and in its own archipelago. In less than 20 minutes we were boarding the MV Gaasten, after being met by Sven the skipper, Jarrad the first mate and Izzy our personal chef. After our complimentary welcome drinks and following our on board safety brief we pulled anchor and cruised into the silence of the archipelago. Settling behind a small island we sat in silence and were treated to a stunning sea eagle flying overhead gliding on the afternoon’s thermals. The late afternoon was spent settling in to our accommodation home for the next 7 days. On deck that evening we were treated to a wonderful three course meal. The theme of five star cuisines followed throughout the journey, breakfasts, snacks, tea and cake and of course superb evening meals.
Following a leisurely breakfast and boards ready we paddled into a maze of islands with a light breeze on our backs. This area is truly amazing with interesting tidal features, swaying seaweed and crystal clear water. Our new friend soared overhead and after lunch spent on an uninhabited island we made our way back to the Gaasten.
The rhythm of the diesel engine began and into the evening we sailed onto our next destination. Each day and with each paddle we became detached from the routine of daily life and we became more in tune with our surroundings. The feeling of being remote and in tune with nature never fails to be good for the soul. Amazing waterfalls cascading from huge cliff faces treated us around every corner and the scenery was breathtaking. We took the time to swim in the crystal clear water and to fish off deck before relaxing around the galley to a wonderful evening mean cooked by Izzy. We visited remote settlements and ancient churches and learnt about learnt about the areas magical history.
Hotel Union Oye
Our last two paddles deep in the fjords completed a journey that we will all remember as inspirational. Ole, is famous for the Union hotel dating back from 1891 and is a historical journey in itself with its authentic rooms and original style. The hotel lies in peaceful countryside by the Hjorundfjord and has mountains towering above in all directions. A few years ago, the hotel was designated as “one of the world’s 12 most exciting hotels” and residents have included royalty, writers and romantics. It was a perfect break to stretch legs, wander and to travel back in time.
The grand finale and total silence as the Gaastens engines came to a stop at the head of Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This fjord is surrounded by some of the steepest mountains on the entire west coast and is very narrow and has no habitable shore area. It reaches more than100km inland from Alesund on Norway’s Atlantic coast.
We paddled deep into the Fjord, with powerful waterfalls crashing down majestically the most famous being the Seven Sisters waterfall. The geological structure of the fjord, scoured by millions of years of ice allowed us to paddle next to the bank where the edge drops down into the abyss. Lunch was spent alongside a waterfall that slowly cascaded below our feet and we reflected on an amazing journey.
Thousands of starfish lined the route as we paddled towards the head of the fjord. Back on board for the final part of our journey we moored onto the empty pontoons and took a trip onshore to the small town of Gerainger. This final day was one that will be etched in our memories forever – a truly magical paddling experience.
Water Skills Academy have planned another trip for September 2018. For more information please check out our website and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WSA guide unique SUP adventures, to find out more and join them in Scotland, Norway or Nepal, https://www.waterskillsacademy.com/sup-adventure-trips/
To become a qualified WSA Adventure or Expedition guide https://www.waterskillsacademy.com/instructor-courses/stand-up-paddle-instructor/