Friday, May 28, 2021

Travelling by Ship Through the Sognefjord

The Sognefjord is located in the middle of Norway's fjord region and extends 204 km (127 miles) inland, with some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in Norway. The fjord plunges to more than 1,300 meters (4265 feet, .8 mile) at its deepest and the mountains along the fjord rise to over 1,700 meters (5575 feet, 1 mile). We leave Flåm in the afternoon for the long, wonderful trip out through the fjord.



Leaving Flåm

We pass by a number of small village and isolated cabins. It must be a long drive/boat ride for groceries!


Small towns and isolated cabins

The scenery just continues to unfold beautifully for hours as squalls pass through, the sun disappears, reappears, a rainbow pops up, then, slowly, the sun sets ahead of us as we head west.







The weather changes quickly and dramatically in the fjord

What a great day: Flåm, the Flåm Railway, mountains, and fjords.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Flåm and The Flåm Railway

Flåm is located up the Sognefjord, Norway's longest and most spectacular fjord.  Our ship travels the final part of the fjord to Flåm in the morning (more fjord pictures in the next blog when we pass through it on the way out in the afternoon).

Through the Sognefjord to Flåm

Flåm has only a few hundred people, with towering mountains on three sides and the fjord on the other.  The city is a gateway to this fabulous region of adventure (hiking, cycling, kayaking, cruising the fjords).

 Approaching Flåm

From Flåm, the Flåm Railway travels 20.2 km (12.5 miles), with an elevation rise of 863.5 meters (2833 feet, 1/2 mile) to Myrdal, where it meets up with trains from Oslo and Bergen.  The train line took 16 years to build and is now principally a tourist service for visitors to Flåm.

 The Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana)

The train winds through the mountains, with spectacular views around every corner, travelling up a maximum gradient of 5.5% (1:18).  The trip is full of spectacular waterfalls, the longest with a vertical drop of 340 meters (1115 feet).

Riding up on the Flåm Railway

We get off at the Vatna-Halsen station, one stop from the end at Myrdal, explore the area, and stop for waffles and coffee at the Vatnahalsen Hotel.

 Vantnahalsen Hotel

View from the hotel

From the hotel, we follow a path down to Lake Reinungavatnet, walking through summer cottages that look incredibly tranquil and serene.

Lake Reinungavatnet

We hop on the train and head back down to Flåm for more great pictures along the way.

 Heading back

We wander along the shore of the fjord in Flåm, watching the kayaks, ferries, and fjord cruises head out into the beautiful scenery.

 Back in Flåm

Soon, it's time to head out on our return trip through the Sognefjord.