Go Fjords struts its stuff with new tours
Vik, Voss, and Vikafjellet
Cynthia Elyce Rubin
The Norwegian American
Go Fjords is a Stavanger company owned by transportation companies Norled and Tide, established as a result of a common desire to improve the fjord experience by offering unusual and interesting trips.
One offering includes Vik, Voss, and Vikafjellet. This circular tour begins in Bergen either by boat or bus. Parts of the trip will take you on a breathtaking cruise along Sognefjord’s majestic mountains and open waters.
The trip includes a three-hour stop in the municipality of Vik where you enjoy a rich cultural heritage. Visit Hopperstad Stave Church, one of the oldest churches in Norway, dating to 1130. The church would have been lost without the work of cultural conservationists; it was restored by renowned architect Peter Andreas Blix in 1881. Explore beautiful Fridtjov Park, and as you stroll through this idyllic park, enjoy an unparalleled view of the glorious Sognefjord.
It is also worth noting that Vik is the only place in Norway to produce Gamalost, (literally: “old cheese”) the traditional pungent yellow-brown Norwegian cheese. If you love cheese, save time for a visit to the Ostebaren (cheese bar) run by the TINE dairy, where you can indulge yourself with lots of cheese samples. Or, plan ahead to attend the 2019 annual Gamalost Festival, held June 7 to 10. Here you can partake of the traditional Gamalost breakfast, shop at markets, and attend the high jump event, Høgdegalla.
Vikafjellet (Vika Mountain) features a mountainous road between Vik and Voss. You take a bus through a stunning landscape of twinkling blue lakes, luscious green fields, and pink heather. The bus makes a brief stop at the top of the plateau where passengers may choose to make a snowman or throw snowballs. Between Voss and Flam lies Tvindefossen (Tvinde Waterfall), some 500 feet high. This famous natural attraction will leave you in awe as you watch the cascading water tumble over the rocky cliff.
Between the majestic Sognefjord and Vikafjellet, you find Storevingen, a spot up in the mountains just above Vik, which offers an unrivalled view of the passage between the village and the fjord. Storevingen Fjellstove, a small café, serves hot and cold local dishes and snacks.
Another interesting visit is the historic Gloppen Hotell, which offers a unique local food experience in Nordfjord.
In 1904, Gloppen was described in the English guidebook, Salmon Fishing in Norway, as one of the best fishing spots in the country. But the English had been going to Gloppen River for salmon fishing for many years. While salmon fishing in Britain was a luxury for rich landowners, anyone could visit Norway and pay a hospitable farmer a few kroner to fish freely along a good river.
In Sandane, at the end of Gloppefjorden, landowners realized early on that there was good money to be made from the Gloppen River. When anglers came, naturally they needed a place to stay. In 1853, the first generation of the Sivertsen family received a license to sell beer and food on the grounds where the hotel stands today. In 1866, Joachim E. Sivertsen opened a general store and guesthouse, later called Sivertsen Hotel. The Sivertsen family withdrew from hotel operations in the 1980s after five generations. K. Strømmen Lakseoppdrett bought the hotel in 1988 and changed its name to Gloppen Hotell. Six years later, Dag and Irene Moen, fascinated by the hotel’s history, purchased it. Today, the hotel is as charming as it was 150 years ago.
In 2007, the hotel’s new head chef Bodil Fjellestad Eikrem and Dag Moen began a quest to deliver local food and traditional dishes made from scratch. A production kitchen was built in the back yard, and some 15 local farmers and hunters deliver local goods and specialties to the hotel. The staff can point to the fields outside the window and tell guests, “That’s where the animals grazed.” There is also a brewery on site, brewing Blonde, Steamer, and American Pale Ale style beers.
The hotel has won several awards for its focus on local food. It offers a special package, the “Local Food Experience” that includes accommodation, four-course dinner, coffee/tea with local specialties and treats, breakfast, and wine or beer pairing.
This article originally appeared in the January 25, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.