Saturday, June 11, 2016

Flaam Norway - Wednesday 18th May, 2016

This morning we arrived in Flaam, at around 8.00am.  Flaam is a small village in South Western Norway, located at the end of the Aurlandsfjord, itself a side arm of Norway's longest fjord, The Sognefjord, which is over 200 klms.

Our first thought when we saw the village from our balcony of the ship was that it looked like something you would see in a Miniature Village
 The picturesque village lies at the bottom of of the Flamsdalen Valley, nestled between dramatic mountains.

After a short walk from the ship to the railway, we boarded the Flamsbahn Train.  This railway is the steepest railway in the world.  It runs from sea level to Myrdal, which is 867 meters above seal level, on the Oslo-Bergen line. The scenery on the way up the mountain was spectacular. Beautiful valleys and amazing waterfalls.

The train made a photostop at the Kjosfossen Waterfall, where there was a mythical dancer.

As the Flam Line is a single track, at one stage we stopped and waited for the train going down the mountain to pass.
The train continued on to Myrdal, where we changed trains.  The scenery from Myrdal to Voss had huge amounts of snow, more than I have ever seen, and the houses that could be seen were summer houses and can only be reached by hiking.

 On arrival at Voss, located on Lake Vangvatnet, we enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch at a local hotel, followed by some time explore


Our trip down the mountain was by bus. The road had many sharp hairpin bends, as well as some stunning scenery as the bus made its way down the Naeroy Valley.

The bus made a stop at the Tvindefosses Waterfalls, a twin cascade of waterfalls, truly spectacular  


The bus continued down the mountain, passing through a tunnel that was 11 klms long and then a 2nd that was about 5 klms long, after which we arrived at the post of Flaam after a day of amazing scenery.

The ship departed Flaam at about 5.30pm and again the scenery as we left the fjord was amazing. We sailed until approximately 10.30 before leaving the fjord, and were again lucky tone witness to a beautiful sunset, even if it was at 10.30pm.

Just before heading to bed, we spotted this in the water !!!!


Geiranger Tuesday 17th May, 2016

After a lovely relaxing day at sea yesterday and having attended the Captain's Gala Cocktail Party last night, the ship docked in Geiranger, Norway at approximately 8.00am this morning. On arrival the ship was turned 180 degrees to be facing ready to leave, quite an interesting thing to watch.  We were expecting to be taken off the ship by Tender, as it was moored in the middle of the fjord, however, to most peoples surprise, an extendable floating dock and walkway had been built, so we able to walk off the ship

 The Geiranger fjord is absolutely amazing.  In 2005 it was included in UNESCO's World Heritage List, and in 2006 it was voted No. 1 by National Geographic Traveller Magazine among all the National Heritage sites World Wide.
We had taken advise from various people and decided to do an organised tour from the Ship.  Our tour met at 10.45am.

 We were taken by bus from the village up winding road, with 11 hair pins bends, which was only completed in 1952. It had stunning views of the fjord and the ship, which got smaller and smaller the higher we went.

We were driven to place called Eagles Bend, approximately 1000 meters high with along the way there was a beautiful water fall and quite a bit of snow.

We then continued back back down the same road and through the village past a famous Octagonal Church which was build in 1842,  before arriving at the Flydal Gorge for some more spectacular scenery (again with the ship in the distance) There were people walking from the Church up the hill in National Dress, as it was Norway Day today. and if you look very closely at the people in the photo near the Church, you will see they are dressed in their National Dress.
On the way the the Flydal Gorge there was stone bridge, that the road went under and then did a 360 deg turn over the top.  The modern road avoids this by cutting straight through the hill. 

 As it was Norway Day, before boarding the ship, Donna, Lena John and myself decided to try some traditional Norwegian Cakes (which were delicious) and a Hot Chocolate.

The ship sailed from Geiranger at 5.30pm after having seen some of the most amazing scenery possible, however more was to come as we left the fjord.