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Posted by on Jul 31, 2023 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘Geiranger Norway’

Living Retired — ‘Geiranger Norway’

Living Retired — ‘Geiranger Norway’

By Gary Chalk

I am alone. But I am not lonely.

As I write, I am not lost for words. But I do struggle trying to find the right words. Norway affects me this way.

I am sitting at an outdoor cafe. It is lunchtime and I am sandwiched between magnificent mountains and a fabulous fjord. This corner of paradise is perhaps 500 feet from fjord to mountainside.

I am surrounded not by large television screens blasting todays ‘Breaking News’, but rather real Norway nature: people quietly kayaking; speeding in rigid inflatable boats; and hiking mountainside trails adjacent to tumbling waterfalls. Some couples rent tiny 2-person ‘talking cars’ — imagine a Smart car but driver and passenger seated one in front of each other. Plug in your iPhone for navigation and away you go exploring!

Jan is on an afternoon visit to Herdal Farm — Norway’s longest operating farm (350 years) high up in the mountains. Travelling Eagle Road her bus will maneuver 11 hairpin turns — stopping for photo ops, and Gravol tastings! She will pass through snow patches to reach the farm fields of apricots and goats. There, everyone will savour fresh goat cheese and suck on caramels!

“It sucks to be you!” That’s what it sounded to us when a Norwegian greeted Jan and I as we disembarked the ship this morning. Hmmm, if it sucks to be me here in Geiranger — bring it on!

When we went to bed last evening at 10:45 PM, the sun had not set. When we awoke at 6:50 this morning — the sun had been up for 2 hours! Thank heaven for blackout drapes in our cabin during this Norwegian Land of The Midnight cruise.

Geiranger is located at a narrow tip at the end of a 60-kilometre-long Fjord. During dinner last evening our ship came to an intersection of fjords where we ‘turned left’ — there are no roundabouts like home! There is also no traffic.

This morning Jan and I hiked stream side adjacent to chilly tumbling waterfalls. Jan shot photos. I wiped mist from my glasses.

We will learn more about Geiranger during a travel talk when our ship departs early this evening. Later, we have dinner reservations at the ships Pinnacle Grill — think a classic steakhouse, but at sea! Tonight is a special menu prepared by James Beard award-winning chef David Burke.

Tomorrow, our adventure continues: we have tickets for the Jostedalsbreens National Park. (You will be along for the hike in our backpack.)

Norway smacks your senses hard, very hard — not in a modern manufactured method, but rather in a manner unique to Norway.

During this trip, writing my Living Retired humour column has been replaced by writing about travelling living retired in Norway — the way life should be. If only I could find the words.


Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.