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Woke at 7am local time, had a bath and then went down for breakfast. Treated myself to bacon and eggs.
Discovered at reception that some local entrepreneur was offering fjord flights in a light plane and I put my name down for one, but the weather was rather marginal. Although the sun had been shining for much of the morning already it was heavily overcast. Kept enquiring about the prospects and meantime had a couple of games of space invaders (the technology was still a novelty then!) and wrote some postcards. Finally I gave up on the flight and instead took myself off on a walk to Tjugenseter ("seter" meaning summer pasture), a local beauty spot reached along a mountain path.
Loen, the Tjugenseter path
The forest scenery was fantastic, and I was amazed how it was possible to get to such an altitude and yet still be below the tree line. I didn't have as much time as I would have liked and had to turn back after an hour, but I did get to see an impressive mountain stream thundering through the gorge.
Forest path, Tjugenseter
There was a set menu at the hotel for lunch rather than the usual buffet. This turned out not to be a good idea as most of the time was spent waiting for the next course to turn up. Having booked myself on a coach tour at 2pm I had to rush dessert, a great pity as it was a sorbet - with a fantastic, crystalline melt-in-mouth texture. Would like to have lingered over it, but...
At 2pm Geoff, Zay and I set off on a tour to the nearby Briksdal glacier with Nordfjord Sightseeing. The coach went back the way we'd come in yesterday as far as Olden, then turned down a side road past Oldervatn (Lake Olden). Here was yet more fantastic scenery; soaring mountains, waterfalls, glaciers spilling over cols in the ridgeline. To the east were vast corries hanging between and below mountains that rose to 5000ft and more. The glacier of Melkevillsbreen looked fantastic.
We arrived at Briksdal Fjellstove, the end of the road. Soaring, jagged peaks rose on every side, waterfalls crashed for thousands of feet down sheer sides. The Briksdalbreen glacier, a tongue of Norway's great central Jostedal icefield, lay about 3km down the track to the south. We could have got a ride on a cart pulled by one of the lovely blue-eyed Flording ponies but they only moved at walking pace so we chose to stroll the distance instead. The highlight of the walk was the Briksdalfoss waterfall, a powerful, thunderous wall of water, noise and spray. The track crossed the gorge just below the fall and it was necessary to run across or risk getting drenched in the spray.
Briksdal; the pony path and Briksdalfoss
Briksdalfoss and a Fjording pony
From here the path wound uphill in a series of zigzags and shelves. Then we came to the pony park and from here we were on a rougher path through the forest. There was such an abundance and variety of vegetation here! On the far side of the forest section we came to a boulder field that looked like the result of a landslip. Finally we reached an alluvial beach on the shore of a lake. The glacier itself dipped into the far end of this lake and was calving icebergs into it! The sky above was a vivid, intense blue and the bare rocks and boulders almost seemed to shine. As we approached the glacier itself along the shore of the lake we saw that its surface was rent with fissures and crevices, each one glowing internally with a shade of cool blue from refracted sunlight.
The end of the pony path
The Briksdal glacier
We went right up to the edge of the glacier and I was fascinated with the natural ice formations, the crevices and cavelets and their shape and colour effects. That vivid, cool blue predominated. I used up a whole film here.
Ice formations, Briksdal glacier
We walked back to the coach park, had a cup of tea and then returned to the hotel in the tour coach. At dinner that evening I was invited to share the table of a couple from Kenilworth, the Carters, who were talking to us in the lounge the previous evening. After dinner the weather turned dull but it was still going to be light for several hours yet, so I took myself off on a walk to Lo Seter along another forest path. It was a pretty and rewarding expedition. I felt amazingly fit that evening and found myself ascending like a mountain goat. Maybe it was a combination of the air, the food and the sheer exhilaration of the scenery. Loen was a beautiful, invigorating place. There was no further activity and I slept very well that night.