jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 99 [08 May 09] – Bergen

Posted in Bergen by jn82 on May 9, 2009

This morning, we got up early to take the long awaited “Norway in a Nutshell” fjord tour.The wikipedia definition for a fjord is “a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity“. The Eurail pass holder fare was 550kr (S$127), discounted from the full price of 935kr (S$216) as we do not need to pay for the NSB train segments. Pretty expensive for a 12 hour roundtrip, but no Norwegian experience is complete without a visit to the fjords.

It all starts with a ride on a regional train from Bergen to Myrdal. The train is a short one, comprising of only four or five carriages, and is pulled by the front carriage, much like any other overland metro, not locomotive pulled. The windows were pretty dirty, so the view outside was not as clear compared to the EX-class train we took from Oslo to Bergen which did Myrdal-Oslo as the final segmant. The weather today was also rather poor, with forecasts putting it at cloudy with showers and no sun.

NSB regional from Bergen to Myrdal.

Around two hours later around 10.40am, we got to Myrdal, for the change of train and the start of the Flåm railway. Myrdal to Flåm is a 55 minute train ride along snow filled fjords and tunnels through the mountains, and provides stunning views of the mountains and some waterfalls.

View from Myrdal train station.

Flåmsbana train from Myrdal to Flåm.

I could really get some amazing pictures out of the window during this train ride, as the scenery was just so dramatic. It started out in a very snowy area where the lakes were all frozen and mountains we blanketed in snow, and progressed gradually to areas with less snow and then to the lush green valley of Flåm.

Entering one of the many tunnels along the Flåmbana.


I would not want to live down there.

Waterfall.

Less snow, more brown.

Another train approaching.

Where did all the snow go?

Finally in Flåm!

There is not much to do in the little town of Flåm if you are just stopping here foe three hours as we were. If you had more time, like a couple of days, there are many trekking paths around the town which go around and on to the fjords where complete solitude can be experienced. Unfortunately, we were surrounded by 40 or so other tourists, so no solitude here. We just had our over priced fish and chips lunch and hung around to take in the scenery.

Views from near the Flåm railway station (and town centre).

At around 3.10pm, we boarded the ferry to Gudvangen (~2 hour ride) that would bring us out the Aurlandsfjord and into the Naeroyfjord, one of the narrowest fjords in Europe. Surrounded by towering mountains up to 1,800 metres high, this branch of the Sognefjord is amazingly beautiful. We sat on the open top deck of the ferry to soak in the beauty of the fjords, and braved the ice cold winds and slight drizzle that started to emerge about 15 minutes into the ferry ride.

Ferry to Gudvangen.

View of the town and fjord from the top deck of the ferry.

Damned seagulls that would be interrupting 99% of my photos on the ferry.

Views of the fjords along the cruise.

Damned seagulls again!

Mini-rainbow.

Last of the fjords.

We got to Gudvangen around 5.20pm, and from there jumped onto the bus for the hour long ride to the Voss train station. The view out of the window during the bus rise would have been nice on a clear day, but a few minutes into the bus ride, it started raining again! Most of the peope dozed off, including myself (but only a few minutes).

Gudvangen. Looked nice, but we did not have time to hang around.

Bus to Voss.

Once at Voss, we had to wait about 50 minutes for the train back to Bergen as the ferry had come in early to Gudvangen. I went to the nearby Esso to get the first part of my dinner, a 54 kr (S$12) hotdog and Coke zero. We got on the train back to Bergen around 7.20pm. It was not a very interesting ride as everyone looked really tired and it was raining really heavily outside. Got to Bergen around 8.30pm and headed back to the hostel.

NSB regional train back to Bergen from Voss.

It was a good but long day today as we got to see a lot of the nature that we do not usually see in city life. This is a highly recommended tour to take if you are around Bergen as you really do get to see a lot during the 12 hour trip. The weather could have been much better (but it could also have been much worse).

Today’s pictures here.

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