Day 05 - Monday, July 21, 2014 - Cruise the Sognefjord Fjord; Ride the Flam Railway; Travel to Bergen
Our wake up call came at 6:00 this morning. Everyone was on the bus early in order for us to be able to leave at 7:45 to catch the ferry. Once again, we had a pristine day. The temperature was 69 degrees with the humidity at 54%.
Today Norway is the same temperature as the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. As global warming has changed the climate on our planet, Norway is feeling the affect with melting glaciers. No longer are people able to see moose or reindeer because they are going further north every year to avoid the heat.
Jan managed to be one of the first vehicles in line to take us on a 10 minute crossing on the Ardal Ferry. We had plenty of time to get out and walk up to the top deck to take photos and enjoy the crisp morning air.
Leaving the Sogne Fjord we passed through several long tunnels. Coming out of the dark into the bright sun, stunning scenery of the salt-water fjords, the sparkling blue water with the high green mountain peak reflections, were incredible.
Because we had a little extra time, we were able to stop and walk around the quaint little village of Lærdal. The lace curtains and the flowers in the window boxes gave us a glimpse of a typical Norwegian village of the past.
We went through the Lærdal Tunnel, the longest in Norway, it is 24.5 K long, about 15 miles following highway E16. When we reached Gudvangen, another small ferry port at 9:45, we had time to check out the Viking Village (gift shop).
Birgitte was waiting for us at the ferry gate to make sure we were first on and could get seats with the best view. Because this is summer and there are many other tourists enjoying Norway, we had a full ship.
We met a travel group from Denver and compared notes about what they had seen and were going to see on their tour. The weather was perfect; there was a nice breeze on the upper deck that kept us cool.
The trip on Sognefjord was about two hours. In addition to talking with people from other groups, taking photos of the small towns and multiple waterfalls, we also brought a soda and ate our sandwiches and the apple we brought with us.
The ferry is not just a tourist attraction, but also a working ferry than unites these small communities on the fjords. The boat made several stops to let people off and pick up others.
Reaching Flam at 12:45, we avoided "tourist shops". Instead, we walked through the grocery store. The temperature was 81 degrees and the humidity was 49% but the wind off of the fjord was cooling.
Birgitte was waiting for us on the station platform at 1:20 so we could all board the Flamsbana railroad together. Our group had seats in the same car, with each side of the train having different views.
The train stopped at a beautiful waterfall, Kjosfossen, cascading very close to the tracks. Spellbinding music played while two seductive forest creatures called Huldra danced in the mist of the ice-cold stream.
The conductor of the train blew his whistle to break the spell and we all got back on the train to continue to Myrdal, the end of the line. At Myrdal we had another 10 minutes to stretch our legs and then when we got back on the train we changed sides of the coach so we all could have a different view.
It was almost 3:45 when the train pulled into the station back in Flam. Jan was waiting for us to continue our journey to Bergen by coach. There was a brief stop at a campground and rest area near Voss. The waterfall above the park was called Tvinde (Twin) as it had two distinct falls.
Another 90 minutes on the road brought us to Bergen for a two-day stay. Birgitte gave us several recommendations for places to have dinner on our own tonight.
We found our room, set up for the next few days and then worked on photos, a video, and finished the journal. Still light at 8:30, we decided to take a break and look for Pepes Pizza down by the old fish market.
It was 9:40 by the time we got back to the hotel. It was another late night as we finished the journal and got to sleep.
Accommodations: First Marin Hotel - - - Meal: B
This is one of our favorite parts of Norway. There are tours called "Norway in a Nutshell" from Oslo going to Flum and the railroad, a ferry on the fjord, and perhaps a bus back. The views are fantastic! You have taken some wonderful photos (I love the Sonjefjord on Day 7). We were lucky enough to be more leisurely on our two trips there. One time we used the trains while backpacking, and the second time we had a rental car and brought Steve's kids. What great memories. Thanks for sharing your trip!
lol I NOTICE VIC'S NEW FRIENDS ARE MAINLY WOMEN -HE LOOKS HAPPY. HA! WAS THE TRAIN "FAST" or just a s cenic train. Those waterfalls are beautiful, but I love the water. Thanks again for this post!
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Great pics. I'm going there some day! Enjoy and thanks for sharing!
Day 15 – Tuesday, October 25, 2022 – Return Flights to the USA
Our bags are unpacked, the laundry is done, and we are trying to get back on Colorado body clock time. Our trip home was long but basically uneventful, always a good thing!...