By Eileen Ogintz
GEIRANGER, Norway (Day 7 of 9) — AAH… I’m getting one of the best massages of my life hearing a rushing river just outside. The relaxation room and outdoor hot tub overlook the fjord.
Yes, I’m in Norway with Adventures by Disney in a tiny town of Geiranger (pop 230) where I’m staying at the historic Hotel Union, which has been a fixture here since 1891. Royalty has stayed here. So have movie stars (like Sean Connery). I like that they love kids—there is a great indoor splash play area with a view of the fjords. Parents can relax while the kids play.
The view from the outdoor hot tub (loved the massaging shower in the hot tub!) is spectacular—fjord and craggy cliffs.
It’s nice when a hotel turns out to be more than a place to sleep! I loved the breakfast buffet. Two kinds of smoked salmon every day! Norwegian pancakes delicious with fresh jam, varieties of cheese—including the Norwegian brown cheese made from goat milk that everyone seems to eat here, fresh fruits and all kinds of fixings to add to granola and yogurt.
We’ve been staying here for three nights but until this rainy afternoon (the weather is a lot like Alaska) we haven’t had any time to enjoy the hotel which has been in the same family since it opened.
At dinner in a historic log cabin with a traditional Norwegian green roof on the hotel grounds, Sindre Mjelva, the fourth generation to run the hotel, explained that his great grandmother Julia and great grandfather Karl bought the hotel with money from her family and his family has been running it ever since .
When we got back after a 12 hour day, the waitress in the lobby bar was willing to serve me the kids’ sausage with fries. “There were 7000 people in this town today from the cruise ships,” she said.
Great for the town. Indeed, this town reminds me of cruise ports in Alaska with shops selling the same souvenirs aimed at cruise passengers. I’m glad we missed them.
Our room – like all the rooms at the 197 room hotel – has a spectacular view. Ours overlooks the Geiranger fjord, which boasts 189 waterfalls, Mjelva says. All of those waterfalls, he says, contribute to the special energy of the place, the power of the water. “You feel the energy here,” he promises.