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Whilst we were in Haugesund the weather was dull, but mild and dry. Once we were back on board the rain started and continued, off and on through the night. It was still raining when we arrived in Olden and the clouds had descende almost to sea level. This gave a magical atmospheric look to the mountains, so that you could believe in the myths of the Trolls(bad) and the Nisses (good)

Season of Mists

Season of Mists

We had not booked any tours for Olden as we had been a few times before, so we decided to have lunch aboard ship and see what the weather was like later.

Before lunch there was a boat drill exercise for the crew and it was both interesting and reassuring to see how thorough and efficient it was.

Two ladies behind me on deck were discussing the mist and decided that there must be a foundry or something to make so much “smoke”. I suddenly realised that those who spent all their lives in towns had probably never seen low clouds drifting across their lawns, which had been a common sight when we lived in West Wales!


Olden-mist starting to lift

Olden-mist starting to lift


After lunch the clouds ascended and the sun came out so we decided to take one of the new sightseeing buses from the pier out to the glacier.

Quayside Olden

Quayside Olden

Balmoral in Olden

Balmoral in Olden

The tour lasted just over an hour. We drove out through the village past the old church and the new church alongside the beautiful Olden Lake to the end of the Nordfjord. By some trick of the light the lake was a glowing turquoise blue.

We saw the glacier from afar but did not make the hour long trek to cross it 🙂

On the way back we stopped to take photographs of the waterfall.




We returned to the quayside and bought a few presents in the souvenir shop and then back home to the Balmoral!




Monday June 20th we anchored off Olden at 8am.

We had travelled along the beautiful Nordfjord to the innermost end, Oldendalen a lovely fertile valleywhich goes 20 Km due south, bordered by steep slopes rising up to 1700 metres.

I had mixed feelings about returning to Olden because on our previous visit it had rained solidly all day long and the only thing I remembered about it was the row of sounenir shops on the quayside!

When we arrived this time there was a lot of low cloud, but an hour later this had lifted and the sun was breaking through.


We were ferried ashore by ship’s tender and decided to take the town train around the area. This took us by the side of the lake to the centre of Olden and then past the Old Church. This church was built in 1759 on the site of the 14c stave church. Timber from the stave church was used for the doorposts and pews in the Old Church. A new church has now replaced the Old Church.

This is a very fertile valley, quite different from the stark landscapes we had seen earlier that week.

mist almost gone! This picture really doesn't do justice to the lovely garden. The owners must have been dedicated gardeners because it would be under snow for several months each year.


The electicity captured from this waterfall powers the whole Oldendal and the surplus is sold to the National Grid.

A few wildflowers by the fjord (in case "no one showed them" to my fellow traveller :))

Was this what my long ago ancestors looked like? Viking guarding the shop.

We had a relaxed afternoon, where I revised my ideas about Olden, and sailed away at 6pm back along that gorgeous fjord.

I heard from my old friend B (the Scottish musician from Bergensfjord days) He has lived in Oslo nearly 50 years now, but we have always kept in touch and met when we could. He texted to say that he had flown over to Bergen and would meet us from the boat next day. What a lovely surprise.

Sunday 19th June

This was spent cruising back down the coast, and our last day in the Arctic Circle.

There was the usual varied programme of activities on offer, interdenominational church services, several lectures, various fitness activities and games, art classes and, of course, bridge!

I went to Captain Bray’s lecture on the Naval war of the Atlantic and  JW  went to his art group. The lecture was only for one hour so I spent most of the morning at my favourite occupation, watching the ever changing scenery, tiny islands magnificent snow topped mountains, isolated farmsteads and the occasional power station.

En route to Olden

Some people were watching from their loungers by the pool and combining their sightseeing with a chance to top up their tans in the beautiful hot sun.

I tore myself away from the deck to go in for a quick coffee and was delighted to see that there was a vacant seat facing one of the large windows. As I was sipping my coffee I was startled by the utterance from the lady opposite, (who sat with her back to the window), “Not very pretty is it?”

Amazement kept me (uncharacteristically) speechless, for a few moments, then I said, “It is far more than pretty. It is magnificent.”

Ignoring my reply she said, “They said the scenery was beautiful, but there’s only sea and mountains!  When we went to Switzerland there were pretty chalets with lovely flowers! There are no flowers in Norway!”

When I pointed out that there were lots of tiny flowers at the North Cape she grumbled, “Nobody showed them to me.”

Aren’t some people strange?

More coastal views

The inner passage is very tricky to navigate so we had several different pilots, each with his own specialised local knowledge.

A new pilot arriving

High point of the afternoon was a “Chocoholic Tea Dance” and raffle in aid of the RNLI. The chefs had put on a magnificent spread of cakes and chocolate fountains. I was very restrained and only went round the table once :), but it was wickedly tempting.

After dinner we went to the evening show and then back on deck for our last glimpse of the midnight sun. To my great joy, as we gazed at the sun, someone shouted, “Whales” and, sure enough,  a pod of whales had come to put on a show for us, just as the whales had performed as we left Iceland last year and once again they were tantalizingly near enough to see but too far to photograph.

It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.

We woke early and stood on deck entranced by the magnificent scenery as we travelled along the fjord towards Olden.

Fjord Early morning

Whichever side we looked the views were breathtaking.

Further along the fjord


When we arrived in Olden Bouddica (Fred Olsen Line) was already there before us, and as there was only one dock we anchored in the bay and disembarked by ship’s tender.

Olden is a pretty little place surrounded by wonderful views so once again we had not booked a tour. Some of the passengers went off to explore nearby glaciers, but we stayed “local”

Once again we enjoyed browsing through the shops nearby.

This shop sold a lot of reindeer skin products (unsurprisingly!)

We left Olden at 10 pm and enjoyed the cruise along the fjord again as we travelled towards the sea again and then northwards to Alesund.