After a wonderful day in Oslo, we had a day at sea, before we reached the magical city of Olden at the inner end of the Nordfjord.If you want to find out what to do on sea days aboard the Queen Mary 2, you can read our blog post TOP 15 activities on sea days.
When passing to the end of the Nordfjord, you will see an idyllic town with breathtaking mountains, white mountain peaks, some glaciers and the water reflections in the dark fjord water. The impressive mountain scenery is reflected in green and blue colors in the water. You will see some colorful spots in the mountains, which turn out to be small houses. The scenic beauty of this fjord is simply breathtaking. At the sight of the surroundings the time seems to stand still and you will find your inner peace. We will keep these moments in our heart.
The Queen Mary 2 moved quietly and slowly through the waters until arriving in the small village of Olden. Olden is located about 100 kilometers from the sea, so you can enjoy the panoramic view of the fjord in the morning. With a population of nearly 1,000 inhabitants, the town is quite small, but unique. A wide valley with steeply rising mountains with over 1800 meters of altitude welcomes the cruisers.
Finally arrived, the large cruise ship anchors in the small harbor a huge number of tourists overruns the city. Several sightseeing buses and tourist guides already positioned themselves in the harbor and welcome the guests of Olden. Olden belongs to the municipality of Stryn and the villages of Olden, Stry and Loen all have their own lake and own glacier.
A popular excursion destination is the Briksdal glacier. The cruise line company also offers a trip to the glacier for 93 US dollars per person. This includes only the drive to the restaurant “Briksdal Inn”, a coffee break and the return journey. The path to the glacier has to be walked on foot or you book the trip with Trollmobil, which costs 26 US dollars surcharge.
We recommend you to take the public bus to the restaurant “Briksdal Inn”. This bus leaves the harbor at 9:58 am and arrives at the restaurant at 10:45 am. The trip cost 69 Norwegian krones per trip, which is about 8 dollars. That makes about 16 dollars for a round trip. For two people there is a small discount. Important notice: The return journey can only be bought in the bus on the way back, not in advance. However, there is only one trip a day from the port, so you should already go outside to the bus stop around 9 or 9:30 am. The stop is directly on the left side of the port, when you leave the ship. There is also a sign with the departure times. The return trip is at 1:30 pm from the restaurant and arrival in the town center of Olden is at 2 pm. Then you have enough time to take a little walk and then go back to the ship. Here you will find more information.
Important notice: If you do not want to walk the one-hour ascent from the restaurant to the glacier and rather take the Trollmobil, you should either book an excursion or take a tourist bus to the glacier early in the morning. When we arrived at the restaurant, the tickets for the Trollmobil were already reserved for the next hours. The tickets for the Trollmobil cost an additional 100 NOK per person (approx. 11 dollars). And you can pay with credit card anywhere, you do not have to exchange money. We paid everywhere with credit card: at market stalls, in buses, in the train and in shops.
The ride by bus to the Briksdal glacier leads through the enchanting valley of Olden. On the way you can see small waterfalls in the mountains and the beautiful Olden lake. From time to time, there are a few colorful cottages that stand in the picturesque landscape and adorn the green areas. The 45 minutes journey pass by quickly.
The Briksdal Glacier is located in the Jostedalsbreen National Park and is part of the largest glacier on the European mainland. The glacier tongue is at the end of the footpath, at the top of the mountain. The glacier drops down for 1,200 meters into the valley.
After arriving at Brisdal Inn, the footpath to the glacier leads approx. 2.5 kilometers upwards. There are steep and flat plains, but you definitely need a warm jacket, water and firm shoes. Even if the sun is shining and you can walk around only in a t-shirt, there will be stretches where it will be freezing. Therefore, we recommend you to wear layers. We wore a t-shirt, sweater, fleece jacket and rain jacket. The rain jacket is especially important when you pass by the huge waterfall. Here you can get quite wet. You can take wonderful pictures of the majestic river and the breathtaking waterfall of the glacier on your way.
During the walk you have enough time to capture the spectacular impressions around you. You even meet a few goats.
After 500 meters hike, just before you are ready to give up, you will arrive at the glacier tongue, which is located in a quiet spot behind a forest. Here you will find gray mountains and the glacier lake glitters in a wonderful turquoise.
The silence and the icy coldness make you feel as if you were in a strange place, after you have climbed the mountain along the rushing river in the blazing sun. Everywhere there are stones on top of each other and you think there is mist in the air because the wind carries the water from the waterfalls in the mountains through the air. A wonderful experience.
The way downhill is amazing, and you can absorb every impression of the overwhelming landscape before you get tired and return happily at the Briksdal Inn. Here you can visit the souvenir shop, before you go back to the bus, which brings you back to the cruise ship.
Back at the Queen Mary 2, we hurried to get to the pub lunch. The pub lunch is from 12 to 14:30 in the Golden Lion Pub on deck 2. In the Golden Lion Pub you can comfortably sit on leather armchairs and enjoy the view of Olden. The pub is decorated in beautiful brown and red tones. The menu includes traditional British dishes such as oven-roasted cumberland sausages, cottage pie and Ploughman’s Lunch with cheddar, pickled onions and Branston Pickle. Our tip: You should order Fish and Chips. Even if this dish is not on the menu, you will get it on demand. It is even the most popular lunch in the pub. The food in the pub is free and simply delicious.
In the afternoon we left the picturesque village of Olden on the way to Andalsnes. We listened to the song “Time to say Goodbye” which was played in the harbor while the Queen Mary 2 set sail again out of the fjord to the sea. We recorded this moment in a short video: