July 6 is our anniversary and we spent the day in Olden, Norway. The night before we were looking at things to do and decided to take an excursion through the cruise to go hike two glaciers, Brenndalen and Briksdal. The description said it was a moderate hike and we decided it was worth getting up a little earlier to see both glaciers.
Boarding the bus to head out reminded me of a field trip, when teachers are trying to herd kids and settle everyone with all the nervous excitement going on. Thankfully it didn't take very long, so we were able to leave ahead of schedule. Our tour guide was an Italian man who had lots of puns and dad jokes. We made it through the tiny town of Olden quickly and stopped at a lake to take some photos. If this had been the only thing we did all day, it would have been amazing. There were so many waterfalls all around us and the water was an unreal color of blue. The pictures are beautiful, but don't do justice to the colors we saw.
After a little bit, we boarded the bus again and made it to the first glacier called Brenndalen. From the base, you couldn't see a glacier, only a mountain with a farm at the base. We followed the path and began hiking. Our guide let us know it would be mostly uphill as we walked the 2km up and we would follow the same path to come back. We had to walk through a gate because there were sheep who live there. The path was rocky with a grass strip in the middle. The whole time we were walking we were avoiding the animal poop on the path-and there was a lot of it! Walking up was challenging and we had to stop so I could catch my breath a few times. Again, our fellow adventurers were good motivation for me-I didn't want anyone my parents age to beat me! It was well worth it when we got to the top and saw the glacier, waterfalls, and were able to look out on the lake we had stopped at earlier. There was even a small building with a grass and wildflower roof-just like the one in the Norway pavilion at Epcot! (Brennan keeps saying things remind him of Epcot. It's been a running joke so far....)
When I say glacier, my guess is that you probably picture a floating iceberg in the water. This is what I was thinking too. But, this glacier is more like a rocky mountain that has a large chunk of ice on it. It was still very beautiful and pictures cannot match what it looks like in real life. That being said, I'm pretty impressed with some of the photos we got!
We stayed at the top of the hike until the end of the group started heading down. It took a lot of work to get up there; we were trying to soak it all in! We began to head down and walked maybe 5 minutes before I slipped. I didn't even realize what happened until I felt my foot was wet. My right foot slid forward and my left knee hit the rocks. I was mostly surprised and a little annoyed with my wet shoe until I realized I had ripped my leggings which really frustrated me! I only have a limited number of clothes and these were ruined now! I had a pretty good cut on my knee, but it didn't hurt. I was able to get up and start walking and made it the rest of the way down. Our guide was very helpful and got us the first aid kit from the bus and Brennan was able to wrap my knee up. When we got to the next stop 5 minutes down the road we were able to get to a bathroom and get it cleaned up a bit.
By the time we cleaned up my knee in the bathroom, the shock had worn off and I was starting to feel a little sore. Unfortunately, we decided it would be best to not do the second hike to the Briksdal glacier. I was really bummed, but we sat in the warm restaurant and I was able to rest. There was a great view of a waterfall and I had a book on my phone to read, so it wasn't completely a loss. The rest of our group did their hike and met back with us at the restaurant to eat lunch, salmon and couscous. We then boarded the bus and headed back to the ship.
Brennan and I had agreed that I should have the medical team on the ship check out my leg and clean it because of where I fell. When the medical office opened, we joined the line of our fellow cruisers seeking medical attention. I thought it would be a quick process-I'd tell them what happened, they'd clean it out my knee, and I'd be on my way! That's not exactly what happened...
I had a great nurse, named Ode, who helped me and was very thorough. He spent a long time making sure my knee was very clean before going to get the doctor who checked everything out. I'm so glad Brennan was there to hold my hand because Ode cleaning my knee out hurt more than the initial injury. The doctor checked everything and asked the nurse to clean it out again after asking me when my last tetanus shot was. I hate getting shots and usually pass out because of nerves when getting them, so I really wasn't sure when the last one was. They said I needed to get one just to be sure. I made it through the second round of cleaning and the shot, all without passing out! The date of this tetanus shot will be much more memorable than my last one!
After our eventful time in the clinic, we went back to our room so we could rest and get cleaned up for dinner. We booked a special dinner at the steakhouse on board the ship. It was by far the best meal we had throughout the cruise. We had risotto, crab cakes, salad, steak, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, broccolini, and a special dessert with champagne.
Overall, this was a very memorable anniversary and one of my favorite days of the cruise!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.