Posted by: travelrat | June 21, 2013

Holandsfjord and the Svartisen Glacier

Holandsfjord 1

Holandsfjord: 20th March 2013.

The expression ‘fjord cruising’ always make me think of an image I saw on Facebook earlier this year. It showed one of the Hurtigrute ships negotiating a gap only a little wider than the ship. I imagined someone hanging over the bridge wing:

‘You’re all right, Sven! You have a good two feet this side!’

However, there are none of these problems at Holandsfjord; it was well able to accommodate ‘Discovery’. Indeed, it was difficult, if not impossible to determine exactly when we entered the fjord. It’s fringed with a suitably saw-toothed, spiky range of snow-covered mountains, with the odd dwelling to be seen. And, to answer the question of why anyone would want to live up here, we also saw the occasional fish farm.

At the head of the fjord … or, as far as the ship could go, anyway … lies the Svartisen Glacier. This is the only glacier in mainland Europe which actually reaches sea level. Its name translates as ‘black ice’, but it was glinting ice-blue in the sunlight. To those who say ice isn’t blue, I’d say … wait till you’ve seen this glacier!

The blueness of the ice made it fairly easy to pick out against the surrounding snow. But, after I got home, I saw a picture taken in summer, when there was no snow on the ground, which made it even more of a sight. And, that’s an excellent reason for a return visit.

Svartisen 1

The glacier is the blue bit; about 2 o’clock to the ship’s bows.

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