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::: Nordstjernen :::

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    At around noon we arrived in Åndalsnes, where lunch had been arranged for our group in the Grand Hotell Bellevue.



    There was just time afterwards to briskly head downhill and cross the railway line to the shore, taking a few grab shots on the way, but there is much more considered photography of the town in other threads on the forum, and I’ll simply offer you this genial-looking troll.

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      Looking at what I’ve just written about photographs of Åndalsnes, I’m really wondering quite how, or even if, to continue with pictures of Trollstigen given the outstanding images by Sterkoder and pakarang in another thread. But this account of Nordstjernen’s last trip wouldn’t be complete without continuing this version of Hurtigruten’s regular summer northbound offering.

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          Peering upwards, this “skyscape” was my first glimpse of the viewing platform, new since my only previous visit here back in 2003.

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              A thrilling climb!

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                It seemed our guides were a little cautious of loosing people once we reached the top, stressing the time to be back in the bus, and almost discouraging slower walkers from going all the way to this farthest viewing platform. I always hurry directly to the most distant point in these situations, so as to be aware of the time required and more exactly pace myself on the return, even be able to linger, especially if the return is more downhill! Nevertheless with several large groups around there is not always the desired configuration of people in one’s photographs, although I did quite like this one. Perhaps it is the brightly coloured clothing, and I wondered, a moment later as I stood out on the edge of the platform, whether my characteristic bright blue Fram anorak would be pleasing or annoying in other’s photos! Increasingly I felt fortunate and blest with the “configuration” in the skyscape photo of post #1584


                The view from the platform:

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                  No one was lost in either walk or souvenir shop, and we had time for another short stroll at Gudbrandsjuvet, where I was as fascinated in taking photos of these sinuous railings on the path as in the gorge and waterfall themselves.

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                    It was a delight to be driven through such charming scenery as the strawberry fields of Valldal…




                    …and on to the ferry at Linge which takes the bus across the Fjord to Eidsdal.







                    I took a lot of photos of the ferry – but here’s the one going the other way!

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                      On the road again… and then came the most striking thing about doing this route “backwards”. Have you ever driven down an unfamiliar road or walked a path, which subsequently you took in the opposite direction? In the absence of specifically recognisable buildings or landmarks, everything seems like a new fresh experience, and yet there is an underlying feeling of déjà vu, an increasing sense of familiarity.

                      No sooner had these thoughts materialised than a day back in 2003 came together with this one and merged, and suddenly there I was, at the top of the Eagle Road, perched high above the Geirangerfjord!

                      There was a huge white cruise ship at the head of the fjord, MSC Poesia. In 2003 it had been Crystal Symphony there –with an officer called Jan-Olav Storli aboard.




                      Swivelling to the right, my camera and my gaze shift towards the bend of that deep-dark water. Geirangerfjord is once again about to manifest her magic…

                      …to be continued…

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                        Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                        An interesting report of a place i have also been, however many years ago, in 1986 and 1996. I like so much your on-the-road-pics, such an amazing sharpness out of a running bus!
                        Nice to see the rememberance to our captain while looking down to Geiranger, while my rememberance to him is more connected to #1589/2!!
                        It is allways a little bit funny to see this hype about Trollstigen, while most people know a lot of road passes in the alps, which are in a similar way spectacular. And also in Norway there is a lot of other spectacular roads.
                        But if a place once is listed as famous...
                        Your feelings while driving back the road is pretty much the same if you are returning a river or canal with a house boat. It is never boring, because it has completely new and unknown views. On the other side it is familiar and relaxing, because you already know where to find the next baker, supermarket or the place you want to stay for the night.
                        Last edited by Ralf__; October 16th, 2012, 16:52.
                        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                          Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                          Originally posted by Seagull View Post
                          The view from the platform:

                          Stunning! I want to be 25 again and storming those hairpins on my bicycle.

                          But questions questions ...
                          • Why was the road on the far side re-routed? From the lie of the scree, I'm guessing the original stretch was victim of regular rock fall and they decided the steeper slope associated with the shorter route was the better of the two evils.
                          • Why did the road engineers decide to bridge the main stream at this point when that means an additional three bridges to cross the side-stream? Bridges (and their abutments) are expensive so there must have been a compelling reason not to stay on the near side of the main stream and cross it further down. I can only imagine the largely unseen slope on this side of the main stream is too steep to take a road.


                          EDIT:

                          Doh, I've got it! Of course the two questions are related. The original route required only one bridge over the side-stream. When the road was re-routed to avoid the scree-fall, extra path-length was required to preserve the gradient and the only way to achieve this was by crossing the side-stream twice more. What we see is maybe not optimum but the result of having to remedy the original design. An expensive mistake - I don't suppose there was much change out of 30 million NOK!

                          EDIT:

                          Wikipedia says:

                          Trollstigen was opened on July 31, 1936, by King Haakon VII after 8 years of construction.
                          and

                          In the summer of 2005 the road was repaired and about 16 million NOK was spent on protection against rockfall, making the road safer to drive on.
                          So I have to retract "mistake" - the original route lasted for nearly 70 years! And the cost was maybe not as bad as I thought, though it does say that the road was repaired AND about 16 million NOK was spent ...
                          Last edited by Clipper; October 17th, 2012, 03:47.
                          ---------------------------
                          Harald Jarl, Honningsvag to Svolvaer, Summer 1985.
                          Deck plan geek.
                          The first 5 days after the weekend are the toughest.

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                            Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                            Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
                            ....Nice to see the rememberance to our captain while looking down to Geiranger, while my rememberance to him is more connected to #1589/2!!....
                            Very much appreciated your insightful comments Ralf.
                            And yes, I also got very excited boarding a Fjord1 ferry!!!!!!…only just managed to resist phoning the captain of another one to tell him!!!!!!!!


                            Originally posted by Clipper View Post
                            ....But questions questions .... Doh, I've got it!....
                            Marvellous discussions from you too, Clipper. Yes, you answered your own questions! I can only add that the bridge across the main stream simply has to be where it is. Looking at the view at a different time of day and/or lighting it might be more obvious that there is a steep precipice of exposed rock, and that the bridge is at the first point upstream where the road can cross onto the slopes above that rock. Upstream of the bridge is the higher part of the waterfall where the “precipice” curves round to the other side of the stream, as you can see in this photo I took on my previous visit.



                            While looking for that, I found my viewpoint photo (actually 4 joined together, 2 horizontally and 2 vertically, as I didn’t then have sufficiently wide angle lens!!!) from that earlier visit in 2003 which predates the new road routing you discussed.



                            I also found I’d taken this interesting photo, which shows that it had already been necessary to repair and resurface the original stretch of road following probably frequent rock falls before they decided on the re-routing solution:



                            While on the subject of Trollstigen, and as it doesn’t have it’s own thread, I’d just like to add the link to Sterkoder’s recent photos of Trollstigen, and another to pakarang’s absolutely amazing time-lapse video.

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                              Nordstjernen in Geirangerfjord

                              The tour bus had just arrived at the viewpoint at the top of the Eagle road, and, having taken a photo of village and cruise ship, I turned to look towards the waterfall at the bend in the fjord. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

                              I think I gasped out loud. For round that bend at that very instant, that moment in time, Nordstjernen came into view, so tiny amid the towering grandeur of the surrounding mountains.



                              She looked so small in that setting that she might have seemed vulnerable, but she didn’t, rather I would say, plucky, eager, ready for anything. But always that lingering question hung in the air…would it be the last time for her, here in this place?

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                                The waters of the fjord, so often green in colour had turned to silvery-tinged grey, reflecting the increasingly hazy sky. Silky-smooth before her bow, her masts reflected in the water; behind her spread a fan of complex ripples.

                                I watched as she moved into the mountain’s shadow where green-blue waters were tinged inky black.

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