Slartibartfast is a Magrathean, and a designer of planets. His favourite part of the job is creating coastlines, the most notable of which are the fjords found on the coast of Norway on planet Earth, for which he won an award.
We left Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon, and today arrived in Norway. And it’s lovely …

Leaving Amsterdam

Our cruise ship, MS Koningsdam, moves slowly away from the passenger terminal in Amsterdam.

North Sea Canal

About to leave the Netherlands. This is the largest lock on the North Sea Canal, between Amsterdam and the North Sea. It looks much the same as the ones on the river cruise, but it’s MUCH bigger: 400 metres long, 50 metres wide, and 15 metres deep. It easily accommodates the MS Koningsdam, a mere 285 metres long and 38 metres beam. Pretty ordinary photo – it was quite late evening and almost dark.


Hardangerfjord, en route to the small village of Eidfjord. Hardangerfjord is 179 kilometres long, the second longest fjord in Norway;


Eidfjord is a small town, with less than 1000 inhabitants – well outnumbered by the 2500+ passengers on our cruise ship. It lies at the end of the Eio river, which flows from Eidfjordvatnet – a lake – to the Hardangerfjord.

Salmon trap on the Eio River

A salmon trap on the Eio River. The Eio is one of the best salmon rivers in west Norway, and these traps were designed to catch fish on their way up-river to spawn. The trap was built in the form of a box, which fish could swim into but not out of. There was a hatch at the end which was left open during times when fishing was prohibited. The fish were funnelled into the trap by a fence of poles tied together, and could occupy up to one third of the width of the river. These traps were prohibited in 1980.

Eidfjordvatnet lake

Eidfjordvatnet, a morraine-dammed lake a short walk out of Eidfjord. Our morning in Eidfjord was fine but cloudy and we enjoyed a walk in the countryside; in the afternoon it decided it was rain time!

Haereid burial mound

Haereid (literally “high ground”) is a large area near Eidfjord which is the site of an Iron Age burial ground. About 350 burial mounds are found in the area.

Farms in the Eio valley

Farms in the Eio river valley. A guide during our earlier river cruise used the expression “tractor eggs” for the white-wrapped silage.

Eidfjord Old Church

Eidfjord Old Church, built around 1309 AD.

Interior of the Eidfjord Old Church

Interior of the Eidfjord Old Church.

MS Koningsdam at Eidfjord

Our cruise ship, MS Koningsdam, at Eidfjord. The steep-sided fjords allow the ship to dock at this small town.


Some hardy types went kayaking in the rain; we retreated to the warmth of the Quality Hotel and sampled the local “Troll Tunga” beer!

Hardangerfjord at night

Heading back to sea down Hardangerfjord, in the late evening (about 11PM).