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Deb Stortz


Deb StortzThe Fjords of Norway

As I stood in line, my ears began to fill with the sound of excited chatter. Even though the sound was a melting pot of foreign voices, I could make out the meaning.  “Save me a spot!” “Sit up front!” My family and I were lined up with our tickets to get on a boat for a cruise through the fjords of Norway. Once on the boat the cacophony of voices continued. “This spot is saved!” “Sit on the left side!” “No, move to the right!”  Soon it would be evident that every seat would provide Kodak moments.

As the boat glided across the smooth water, steep fjords enclosed us on both sides; I was in the midst of grandeur. Fjords are an inlet of the sea extending far inland between rock formations.  They were created by glacier activity over 10,000 years ago. Today, waterfalls from melting glaciers cascaded down the mountain like flowing streamers of white organza ribbon.

Tucked into the green hills of the mountainsides were farms of white and mustard-colored houses with bright red barns. One house was perched on a steep cliff. The story told is that in the old days a ladder was needed to get to the house. When the taxmen came to collect taxes, the ladder was pulled up, so the collectors were unable to reach the house, therefore, they had to leave empty handed.

Further down the inlet, my attention turned to what at first appeared to be smoke. A thin white mist was forming a large veil over the face of the mountain, like a bride wears on her wedding day.  As our boat glided by we could see through the veil.  Well-worn crevices carved by ice and wind over thousands of years creased the face of the mountain.

On the boat, polite conversation was punctuated by oohs and ahs over the scenery.  But soon the din of voices was silent as the power of nature left no space for sound. The clicking of cameras was our universal voice.  We were all together on the vessel, yet alone in our amazement.  As we ended the excursion, my heart and soul felt peaceful as I soaked in the splendor of the experience.