20 May 2014 (Tues): Nigardsbreen Glacier Hike
After a quick photo stop at the Stegastein Viewing Platform, we continued our journey for 3 more hours to Jostedal, passing by more tunnels and the amazing scenery continues. =)
With so many fjords in Norway, it's common for the highway to end suddenly and the only option to continue the journey is by ferry. This was the Mannheller-Fodnes/Rv5 ferry which took about 25 min and costs NOK103 (RM56). We've traveled in Norway by rail, flight, bus, car, and now ferry, what else are we missing? :P
Beautiful weather and scenery along our way. =)
Entering Jostedal Glacier National Park, the scenery just keeps getting better!!
After 4.5 hours of driving, we finally arrived Breheimsenteret (Glacier Visitor Centre) at 10.45am. Our timing was perfect coz we had to pick up and pay for the glacier hike tickets at about one hour before the hike starts at 11.45am. There were several glacier hike options available and we chose the Short Blue Ice Hike at Nigardsbreen Glacier. In fact, the tickets weren't cheap, NOK460 (RM250) per pax, but we didn't want to miss out on this experience. How often do we get to see glacier, moreover walk on it! :P
Nice view of the glacier and its surrounding from the parking lot where we waited for our guide.
Our glacier guide helping to fit our gears before we start our hike. There were a total of 4 couples in our group and the other couples were at least 20 years older than us.
We thought we would be fitter than the others in our group but surprisingly, they hiked faster than us...lol!!
The glacier looked so near from the parking lot but it was deceiving coz we had to hike for about an hour through rocky grounds before arriving at the glacier.
I shouldn't be complaining when I'm surrounded with such breathtaking scenery along the hike. :P
There was this part where the water stream was too wide for us to leap over so our guide brought some planks to help us over. =)
Finally arrived at the foot of the glacier!! Time to put on our harnesses and strap the crampon to our shoes. Our guide also explained about how to use the ice axes and how to walk on the glaciers.
For safety purposes, we were all roped together in a line with the guide at the front of the line followed by me then Daniel and the rest of the group. So basically my front view for the entire hike was our guide's back(side)...lol!!
As you can see from the pics, we were hiking up and down on ice and thanks to the crampons, we didn't feel slippery at all!!
It was cool to walk by cracks and deep blue holes with water gushing into them, I don't even dare to imagine what would happen if someone falls into these crevasses.
The glacier is lot bigger close up filled with crevasses, tunnels, waterfall shafts, valleys and seracs! We were told that the ice is not white and looks kinda 'dirty' coz of the dust that gathers on it.
Took a break for lunch and snacks halfway through the hike. What an experience to have a simple 'picnic' with such a cool backdrop!
And a view like this!!! Absolutely AMAZING!!!
Time to begin our descent after a short lunch break.
We spent about 2.5 hours on the glacier but it felt longer than that. We both concluded that choosing the short hike was sufficient coz it would have been too tiring if we went for the longer one. We were very lucky that the weather was very nice and the skies were blue, but we ended up pretty tanned from the sun reflecting off the ice. =)
We completed our glacier adventure at about 4pm and all we wanted next was a good shower and dinner.
Checked-in our 2nd cabin for this trip. Our 1-room cabin cost NOK350/night (RM192), which was very reasonable for Norwegian standards. The location of Jostedal Camping was perfect coz it's only about 5 minutes away from the glacier. The scenery around the campsite is also very beautiful surrounded by snow-capped mountains, farm and glacier river. =)
The cabin was also extremely comfy and well equipped! They've got free wifi, common bathroom, and kitchen for us to make our own meals. The host, Astrid, was such a nice lady! We told her that we were traveling on our honeymoon and she gave us two shower tokens as a small honeymoon present. =)
Our simple but yummylicious dinner with an amazing scenery. =)
Absolutely love this place!! What a great place to relax and unwind. The 'late arrivals' note shows how chillax and nice the people are!