|Date||25 May 2013|
|Weather||Sunny And Warm|
|Route||Flåm - Gudvangen - Stalheim - Tvinnefossen - Voss - Myrdal - Flåm Railway - Kjosfossen - Flåm|
Flåm is nestled deep in a tributary of the world's longest and deepest fjord - the 204 kilometre long and 1,308 meter deep Sognefjord. I had risen early again to take in the lovely views of Sognefjord as well as the sail into Flåm. The village of Flåm is certainly tiny but in the summer months it attracts thousands of visitors especially from the numerous cruise ships which stop here. We were the only cruise ship visiting today.
Today was going to be a magical day ... taking in the scenery of Fjord Norway on a beautiful sunny day. Flåm is situated in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord. It's quite surprising that the tiny village of Flåm is visited by such large cruise ships. However I am really glad that that they do visit as this area of Norway is so pretty yet so dramatic. This is also a place to see by foot ... with at least one option to walk up the scenic valley to Flåm church. The village itself is only 2 meters above sea level. Some Norwegians think that Flåm is a small town but as it has only a few buildings I can't see how that can be!! In Britain a town is quite a large place.
For those interested in knowing a bit more about Flåm please see ... Visit Flåm - The Fjord Norway Resort website.
Other Information ... The Flåm Railway Journey ... Flåm Railway Historical Background ... Flåm Railway Technical Information.
Yet again today we were all going to do separate excursions. My excursion was called "Norway In A Nutshell" and is quite famous in Norway. There are several ways in which the excursion can be seen. For me it was leaving Flåm on a coach for Gudvangen which lies on Nærøyfjord then visiting Stalheimskleiva with it's 13 hairpin bends and then eventually passing the Tvindefossen Waterfalls on the way to Voss. After a stop in Voss I took a Diesel Train from Voss to Myrdal and finally returning on the Flåm Railway from Myrdal to Flåm passing the Kjosfossen Waterfall on the way.
Leaving Flåm our coach took us to Gudvangen which lies on Nærøyfjord. It was a very pretty place. When we arrived the sun had not got above the towering mountains but the scenes were still fantastic.
After a short stop we were off in the coach again heading towards Stalheimskleiva - the amazing road with 13 hairpin bends. First we climbed up through one of the new tunnels to the top. Then we drove down the Stalheimskleiva. Finally we drove back up through the tunnel again towards Voss. Even for experienced local coach drivers the Stalheimskleiva is a tricky road to negotiate.
On the way to Voss we stopped at the lovely Tvindefossen Waterfalls. It was quite a dramatic sight and so close to the road too.
We eventually arrived in Voss which by Norwegian standards is quite big. We stopped for lunch and then had some time to look around the town. The church was especially nice ... and there was a wedding taking place too although I was too early to see anything. In Voss you are greeted by snowy mountain tops as well as valleys and forests, rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Voss is located in the heart of Fjord Norway between the famous fjords of Sognefjorden and Hardangerfjorden.
After a good wander around in Voss I headed for the railway station where we were told to meet. We were to take a Diesel Train from Voss to Myrdal. To gain access to the train we had to walk across the railway tracks!! Most of the train was reserved for our excursion.
The scenery was brilliant on both the Diesel Train and the Flåm Railway. Arriving in Myrdal we had to wait a short time for the Flåm Railway connection. I was looking forward to this part of the day. The Flåm Railway is one of the most popular railways in Europe if not the World. The journey took us from Myrdal to the Kjosfossen Waterfall. There is a stop here and part of the train has to be in a tunnel when disembarking. Kjosfossen is a waterfall located in the Aurland municipality of the Sogn og Fjordane county in Norway. The waterfall is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Norway. Its total fall is around 225 meters or 738 feet. The Flåm Line passes directly in front of and over the lower part of the waterfall which is one of the main attractions for tourists who take the Flåm Line. The waterfall is located about three miles from Myrdal Station. During the main tourist season in the summer an actress dressed as a legendary Huldra [a seductive forest creature in Scandinavian folklore] dances and sings in front of the waterfall as the trains enter the station for the amusement of the tourists. The Huldra actresses are all students from the Norwegian ballet school.
After the Kjosfossen Waterfall the train continued to Flåm. On the way there were great views back to the Stalheimskleiva as well views to Flåm and it's quaint church.
When we got back to the village of Flåm I had just enough time to look around the shops and walk to the edge of the fjord before returning to Arcadia. It was a day I will never forget. So much to see which was helped considerably by the most fantastic weather.