Eidfjord (pronounced eed-fee-yoard) was a cute little village. The Ryndam docked right at the village, and the first building we saw was the Quality Hotel & Resort Vøringfoss, a lovely white hotel with gray slate tiles on the roof. Beyond that, the tourist information shop beckoned, so we walked past and noticed a sign in the window touting cars to rent: 600 NOK (Norwegian Krone) for 2 hours, to be had at the petrol station just up the road. We said, “Hey, that could be fun!” so we headed toward the petrol station about 4 blocks away.
Before we reached the station, though, we passed by a sort of combination restaurant, souvenir shop, and WiFi destination, and decided we would return there after seeing about renting a car. At the petrol station, we were informed that all the cars had rented, but that one was due back by 3pm and we could rent it for 2 hours for 600 NOK if we came back then. We took a look around what we could see of the village and decided to return to the WiFi hotspot, where we plopped down at an outdoor table for a moment to get online. I downloaded a currency converter app (which I should have done prior to leaving the U.S., I suppose) so that I could determine the dollar equivalent to 600 NOK, which was about $74. We thought, “Ok, that’s not bad. We could drive out into the countryside and see perhaps some waterfalls, more of the fjords, little farms, etc., and set out to walk about the village while we waited for the car to be returned.”
It was only 1:30pm, so I bought a bottled apple-flavored drink from the MIX store (like a deli, ice cream shop, and convenience store in one) and Tim a Coke, and we headed out toward the Eio river that ran through the village. It would have been a perfect river to go tubing on. Maybe we should suggest that to Holland America for an excursion in the future!
Anyway, before we crossed the river, we could see that most of what lay ahead of us to see were residential homes, so we decided to make a quick stop through the three souvenir shops in town to hopefully find something Norwegian that would be useful, make a good gift, and perhaps not be overly priced. I had been told that the cheese slicer was invented in Norway, so I thought maybe we’d find some interesting and definitely-from-Norway cheese slicers, but no luck. We did find a cleverly-designed mug with its own spoon that tucked into a hole in the mug’s handle, but the moose love content on the mug wasn’t really right for polite society. Sad, because the mug design was unique.
So….we found a cute little park at the fjord-front near where our ship was docked and sat there for a while just soaking in the beauty of the fjord and the surrounding area. Eventually, boredom set in and we nixed the idea of waiting around to rent the car and instead returned to the ship, boarded, and took naps. I know, boring! But, we did go up to the top deck for the sail-away around 5:45pm and remained there for more than an hour as we sailed through the beautiful Hardanger (pronounced Hahr-dong-er) fjord back to the ocean for our return to Harwich, UK.
Tim consulted the ship’s “techspert” Abrie for a few minutes about the best way to clip, caption, and manage the videos that Tim creates for his online courses. While he was doing that, I slipped away to a little sing-along piano bar onboard where one of the piano musicians was playing and singing Broadway tunes and old jazz standards (my favorites!). When Tim joined me, we spent a few hours enjoying the music, and then our friends the Hughes joined us, which led to some great conversation.
Eventually Tim and I left for dinner, followed by the ship’s nightly show, and then a quick peek at the beautiful jewelry in the lovely shop onboard. Then it was back to the Lido deck for a late-night snack and on to our room for some work before calling it a night.