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Norway: Fjords!

Norway is not known for a lot of stuff, but a few things have made it into the international consciousness. One of them is the fjords (fjord, los fiordos, i fiordi), most famously the ones on the west coast of Norway. I usually describe fjords as deep inlets going from the sea into the land. Wikipedia describes the fjord as "a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity." Norway's coast, and especially the western coast, has a lot of fjords and in general the coast line has a lot of ins and outs and islands; very unlike the "smoother" coast lines of for instance northern Denmark.

Allow me to use another quote from our friends at Wikipedia, who explain this so much better than I do:

The seeds of a fjord are laid when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley through abrasion of the surrounding bedrock by the sediment it carries. Many such valleys were formed during the recent ice age. Glacial melting is also accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice load and eroded sediment is removed (also called isostasy or glacial rebound). In some cases this rebound is faster than sea level rise. Most fjords are, however, deeper than the adjacent sea; Sognefjord, Norway, reaches as much as 1,300 m (4,265 ft) below sea level.


The usage of the word fjord is slightly wider in Scandinavian languages than in English – we for instance use the word for narrow freshwater lakes as well.

Some of the most famous fjords are the Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, and Geirangerfjord, all on the western coast of Norway. They are all characterized by being long, deep, and with beautiful steep mountains on the sides. Sognefjorden and Geirangerfjorden are the most visited by tourists – and the most famous ones that I have seen.

One of the best ways to see the fjords is to take a cruise on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Hurtigruta), which I will write about tomorrow. The ship goes from Bergen on the west coast to Kirkenes in the very north, close to the Russian border.


Comments (8)

Beautiful photos! Thanks for the information.

Great post! I'd definitely heard of fjords but didn't know exactly what they were or what they looked like. So beautiful with the mountains right by the water like that.


Great photos, and the fjord cruise sounds really beautiful.

Canada has one fjord that I know of, in Quebec where the deep Saguenay river meets the St. Lawrence flowing up from the Atlantic. The site where they meet is gorgeous, and the confluence seems to stir up the kind of food that beluga whales enjoy, so in the summer it's possible to see these beautiful creatures, playing and diving to feed!

It must be incredible to see these fjords in person. Beautiful!!


I have long wanted to see fjords in person. I remember in my early twenties talking about how cool a Norwegian cruise would be, and my sun-destination friends looking at me like I had two heads! One of the things I am looking forward to about my trip to Newfoundland this summer (aside from spending time with my "bfflaebl" lol) is visiting Gros Morne national park. The landscape in this park is supposed to be very similar to the Norwegian fjords.


Greetings, I am a born and raised Norwegian and I really enjoyed reading about Norway from your point of view. It is indeed a country filled with beautiful sights.

Idar, thanks for your comment! Glad you like the sights!


Hello, i'm Norwegian and i would like to give tourists a warning before coming to Norway. So they don't get shocked when they arrive.

Norway is a very expensive country, and if you come for hospitality and good service you might have come to the wrong place.

Its not that we are mean spirited. Its just that we are abit hard to get to know. But when you get to know us, we are very friendly.

And about service, as i said its expensive in Norway, and the people that work in the service business are not so experienced nor as polite often. As one should expect.

If you come to Norway, visit our beautiful natural wonders, like the troll ladder, Geiranger Fjord, Atlantic Road and many more.

And hopefully, you will meet wonderful people, that wont be as hard to get to know. As i fear most of we Norwegians are! ;)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 10, 2009 4:25 PM.

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