Trip Start May 25, 2008
5Trip End Jun 03, 2008
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Where I stayed
Flam Camping and Hostel
Gradually we came into more and more snow passing thru the town of Geilo where you can literally step off the station and head straight out onto a ski field. In same places the snow was a good few feet deep still and didn't show much sign of melting. What had melted however, created great waterfalls, and there were lots of little earth roofed huts scattered about which were good to check out
At Myrdal we changed trains to the Flambana railway -apparently one of the most scenic in Europe - to head down to Flam a village on one of the fjords. 10mins in we stopped at the Kjosfossen waterfall which had a 305 foot drop and was very impressive. From then on, people were going from left to right on the train trying to look at everything at once and catch a photo of it before a tunnel got in the way! Although a very comfy train, people didn't sit for too long and the 1hr journey certainly flew by.
Flam is a little 400 person village as I said located on the fjord in a valley. We checked into our hostel which was surrounded by apple trees in blossom and huge mountains with waterfalls on either side. The weather was still gorgeous so we headed out to see what was available for entertainment.
We had been hoping to go kayaking but found out the tours didn't start until the end of June. We were given the option of a boat ride but given we were already going on a ferry trip the following day we declined. However when we found out the following morning that the boat ride would have involved a high speed inflatable with windproof safety suits and goggles we felt a little disappointed that she hadn't described what was involved properly - I mean there are boat rides and there are boat rides!
Had some Norwegian stew (bacon, potato, carrot, sausage, onion and other stuff in a very thick stew) for lunch which was very nice and went wading in the fjord which froze our toes off before reading our books and updating diaries until the sun went behind the mountains at 6 or 7pm and it started to get cold
Thursday looked like it was going to rain but after a few hours of cloudy skies cleared into another nice day. After checking out we got some supplies from the local co-op and cracked ourselves up by trying to work their bread slicing machine (no it really wasn't that hard after all) before embarking on a short hike to the Brekkefossen waterfall a few km's out of town. Maisie who struggles to keep up when walking along in town, took the bull by the horns and raced up the mountain whilst Laura and I stopped along the way to enjoy the "views" and take some photos! The waterfall was very impressive when we got there and was big enough that Laura had to use her 2 part technique to take photos of it since her camera didn't have a big enough lens that it could all fit into one frame! A leisurely lunch followed by a walk back thru the villages bought us back to the hostel where we picked up the bags and headed for the fjord again.
I had decided that having seen my first fjord that I needed to swim in it also, and thankfully I was really hot from the walk and wearing my bathers all day as the water was cold to say the least! I drew more than a few curious stares and I am in a few people's holiday snaps as that crazy girl but it was something that just had to be done! A bit like Girvan (Scotland) at Easter really!
Boarded the ferry ready for our cruise along the fjord and had just left the dock when there was a huge explosion and a landslide happened just behind the village and close to where we had been walking that morning
The fjord was stunning, numerous little villages stuck in the middle of nowhere, huge mountains - some snow capped others not, some covered in trees others just rock. Ended up at Gudvangen where we boarded some coaches for the rest of our "Norway in a Nutshell experience" - a bus ride up the road with the most switch backs in Europe! And they weren't kidding. I was petrified at some points, as the bus was doing like 5 mile/hr uphill criss crossing with only a 2 foot guard rail and a drop god only knows how far on the other side. If you enjoy that sort of thing then sit in the right side of the bus!!
Arriving at Voss we caught the train in to Bergen to settle in for a day or 2.