Our cruise ship docked, we disembarked the ship and we booked our Glacier Express shuttle to Briksdal Glacier from the locals at a nice discount. Even upon arrival in Olden we were impressed by the scenery even though everything was crowded by mist and clouds. The shuttle will take us through Olden Valley, past multiple waterfalls, lakes, a river, and someplace above the clouds the tops of the fjordlands mountains. We took a late morning shuttle in the hopes the clouds would part and sunshine might prevail. It is a 20 minute ride in a comfortable van.
The shuttle ride produced many oohs and aahs from us as the clouds seemed to lift giving us a glimpse of the spendor hidden away. Upon arrival at the base of the hike to Briksdal Glacier all of us were excited to see more mist clear away. Our research stated we would have to walk uphill most of the way to the glacier and it would take about 45 minutes (for those fit and able). The walk down was supposed to take 30 minutes or so. Our shuttle allowed for a total of a 2 hour visit.
For us who were in our 60s and 70s the hike would take 50 minutes up and 40 minutes back. But I'm ahead of myself. The hike is fairly steep past a roaring river, past a large waterfall spraying us with cold wet glacier water (refreshing), and onward through a flat spot with goats in a field resting near a pond, then on to another uphillo climb toward the glacier and glacier lake. The farther we climbed the more we were bathed in glorious sunshine. From several viewpoints along the way we could see huge rocky and treed mountaintops with their respective vertical waterfalls spilling down the valley in majestic fashion. Each step resulted in awesome beauty. The hiking paths were large and accommodated the hoards of cruise passengers hiking as well as the for an additional fee - troll cars shuttling people up the path to a stopping point only a 10 minute hike of the glacier.
The actual receding glacier isn't all that impressive since we have seen several fantastic glaciers in our past travels. However, the hike with resulting views makes it all worthwhile to see the splendor that Norway offers.
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