When we first talked about our itinerary in Norway, Kara mentioned that we needed to see the fjords. I quickly agreed, probably saying something like “of course”. I think we may have talked about it a couple of times before I finally fessed up and admitted that I didn’t know what a fjord is. Wikipedia defines a fjord as “a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.”
But even after that explanation, I am not sure I fully understood what a fjord is until I saw this:
But let’s back up shall we? Our day began at 8:11am when our train from Oslo departed on it’s way to Myrdal. Then at Myrdal we switched to a different, more scenic train to take us to Flam.
Kara with the train.
Sometimes I am very artistic.
Flam (or at least what we saw of Flam) is a beautiful outpost catering to fjord sightseers. From there you buy tickets to go on various boat cruises and you maybe shop the thousands of souvenirs. We had about 50 minutes before our boat cruise began so we ended up looking at a lot of Norwegian sweaters and hats. When we grew tired of browsing those, we went outside and took some pictures with the trolls.
I have this picture of me at Epcot Center years ago, crouching down next to a troll–when we saw these guys it dawned on me, I have been to Norway before. Granted, it was Disney’s version of Norway but still. I even now remember that there is a fjord ride there. So I am not as unaware as I thought–just forgetful.
While we were in Flam, it began to rain. We were a little worried this would disturb our boat cruise but turns out, nothing really could. We boarded the boat to Gudvangen and pretty much the whole time we are seeing views like this:
Can you imagine living right there? Amazing.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Kara:
There were a bunch of other people on the boat but the weather made it so many people stayed inside a lot of the cruise. This enabled the more hard core of us to not be as crowded when looking at the views.
There was however, this one couple. It didn’t matter how hard it was raining or how many people surrounded them, they would not leave their post by the flag pole. Seriously, they never left. Nor would they really talk to each other. Or express emotion of any kind. We know, we watched them. Normally I wouldn’t care but I really did want them to move. Finally, after about an hour and a half at their post, they inexplicably moved. I seized the moment and finally got the picture I had been wanting:
A very patriotic fjord.
We loved the fjords. Kara even made up a new adjective: fjord-y. Honestly, we could have spent all day on that boat were it not for the cold. I feel in the interest of full disclosure we should show you what we really looked like while on the boat. First Kara:
In case you knitters can’t tell, I am rockin’ my gauntlets on this trip.
So yes, we were cold, but honestly I don’t remember this day as being miserable. There was no way it could have been. Besides, the weather just gave me an excuse to buy my favorite Norway souvenir:
Awww, yeah! Norway socks.
After the cruise we took a bus from Gudvangen to Voss. From Voss we boarded a train to Bergen. This whole series of trips we went on is what people refer to as “Norway in a Nutshell”. Trust me, this is something you really don’t want to miss. (I was going to say something like, “this is a nut you are going to want to crack” or something cheesy like that but it was too hard to pretend to say it seriously. But really, go see the fjords. Trust me.)
Next up: Bergen