Olden and the Glacier
It was actually a very popular event where 95 of the staff (that’s 10% of us) decided this would be a cool activity. First task was to get there. This required a 40 minute bus ride through the narrow roads of Norway ~ holy crap are they tiny. Liz had told me that they were wide enough for only one car and a bit, however you don’t really realize what that means until you are on the road, zipping at 80+kms in bus and see the oncoming car come around the corner. Psycho I tell you… Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself. The day started with everyone getting off the ship and going to the bus. We selected the closest bus to get the ball rolling. Well the selection became somewhat questionable as the driver started up the bus and billows of exhaust escaped from the bus. This was followed by the checking of the engine, some curse words in Norwegian I’m sure, and the further announcement that we would not be able to take this bus and we would need to wait for another to arrive ~ but that it wouldn’t be long. That worked in my favour as it allowed me time for the daily English Breakfast consumption.
As we hurtled at great speeds towards the Glacier, we headed out of Geiranger. It was when we reached the outer limits of town that someone on the bus piped up and asked if this was the shuttle bus to town, keeping in mind town had less than 1000 people. As the poor crew member started to panic realizing he had to work in 15 minutes, we managed to stop a tour bus heading back to the ship and offload this fellow onto the other bus. It all worked out in the end, but talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Once we got to the Glacier we needed to hike for about 40 minutes up to the base.
Once there, we were greeted with scads of equipment scattered on the ground that we needed to put on. The next funny moment came when Tasos ~ a Greek purser ~ attempted to on the gear. I have never seen anyone so confused nor whine for help like he did.
After getting all geared up, we were attached to the rope, and the metal spiky things were put on our shoes.
The only requirement was that we walk with a full foot, always going in a forward direction and make sure that there was very little slack on the line. Seems simple enough and we were off.
Now this may sound a bit bad, but the ice was rather granular ~ kind of like in March when you walk through the snow banks of the snow which has been plowed like crazy, but aside from that, the view was spectacular.
The blue colour of the glacier was evident when the sun came out in full force.
Mike ~ another Greek purser was hysterical to watch as he obviously had not walked on ice previously and was VERY cautious. He looked like he might be 80 and in need of a cane with the small, very deliberate steps and the way he was clinging to the rope, even though that was a no-no.
Unfortunately our time on the glacier was really short ~ but it is definitely a do again type of experience.