The Unesco-recognized Geirangerfjord is visited by more than 200 cruise ships every year, and is also at the heart of a popular skiing area. With some 700,000 annual visitors, it is 15 kilometers long and about 600 meters at its deepest.
Norway – Been There

Why a photo and a view are never the same

Photo by Lucas Vallecillos

Norway – Been There Why a photo and a view are never the same

“This is for me the most beautiful mountain road in Norway,” says my friend Anders. We’re driving to Geiranger through spectacular peaks, lakes and heathlands, where the only sign of other people is the old stone walls they have left and the road itself.

Kayoko Nakata
Kayoko Nakata Writer

At Geirangerfjord, the view is even more spectacular, not to mention vertigo-inducing. The mountains around it were described by composer Henrik Ibsen’s mother-in-law as “preposterous” and I can hardly believe they are real myself. They plunge more than mile from their tops to the bottom of the fjord.

Anders insists on a photo, despite the apparent dangers of the precipice on which we stand, from which a strong wind threatens to pluck us. “Sorry, I’ve been here many times and never had a picture taken with me in it,” he says, when he sees my concern.

The scene in the viewfinder is overwhelming: Anders is on the edge of the gorge, behind which is the abyss of the fjord with the small town that bears its name. Two tiny white dots are cruise ships at anchor, far below.

Even so, I know the photo will never do really justice to the reality. How can it capture the smell of the fresh mountain air, the bite of the wind and the thrill of being in this amazing spot?

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