The Fjordlands of Norway

September 8, 2016 - 11:41 am No Comments

Our early morning train took us west from Oslo. The first part of the trip was nothing special, with suburbs giving way to the occasional lake. But eventually, the mountains turned into giant boulder piles stained green by lichen, forests got denser, views became more majestic. We’d spend a few minutes in a long tunnel, and then BAM, we’d emerge to a breathtaking vista. The views are reminiscent of the highlands of Scotland and New Zealand.

On the Train from Oslo to Finse

Landscape of Aurland

We stopped in Myrdal to change trains for a short, scenic ride down to Flåm (rhymes with “bomb”). This particular train ride is advertised as the most scenic train ride in the world, and the views out the window were nice, but the ride was quite short. Our only scenic stop was at a waterfall where weird music played over loudspeakers and a women in a red dress did some interpretive dancing on the rocks. Kind of strange.


A few minutes later, we were in Flåm. I just checked a map and confirmed that this is the farthest north I have ever been. Not much to do here, which is nice after all the activity we’ve been doing. We spent the day eating, relaxing, and inventing stupid games where we had to throw apples at a nearby picnic table. Conrad shook the branch of an apple tree and made it rain apples to so that we had more to throw, but the property manager came flying out and yelled at us for ruining the apple trees. Of course, I took the blame because Conrad sensed the danger and had already made his escape.

Jeff in Flåm

The wifi at the hostel was aggravating, the annoying kind where you have a strong signal to the router but an actual, functional internet connection for only 5 seconds of every minute. So despite the all downtime, I didn’t have much of a chance to catch up on my blogging.

After a restful night’s sleep, we woke up the next morning to catch the next leg of our Norway in a Nutshell tour. A ferry carried us through the magnificent Sognefjord, one of the largest and most famous fjords in Norway. A really beautiful experience. As we glided over the glassy water, the majestic, sheer cliffs, greenery, waterfalls, and haze gave the whole experience an Avatar-like feel.

Ship in Flåm



Boys on the Ferry in Aurlandsfjord



Norwegian Flag in Sognefjord




The ferry dropped us at the tiny port of Gudvagen, where a bus picked us up and took us along some windy roads to Vossevangen, a town in the district of Voss, which is where the bottled water comes from. We killed a few hours hiking up to a waterfall and gorge.

Voss Church (Vangskyrkja)


The Boys in Bordalsgjelet Gorge

Doug & Conrad & Conrad & Doug in Bordalsgjelet Gorge

Jeff Takes a Selfie in Bordalsgjelet Gorge

Voss Church (Vangskyrkja)

Now back at the train station. I just paid $6.46 for the novelty of having a bottle of Voss water in Voss. But no worries. I found that kicking our baggage locker in just the right spot would produce an endless supply of Euro coins.

Jeff Kisses the Troll of Voss

The Boys & the Voss Troll

Voss Water & Train Station

This is the last bit of our Norway in a Nutshell tour. This train will take us to Bergen, where we’ll spend a couple of days before Doug heads home. Conrad and I will continue southward on our European adventure.

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