Saturday, July 6, 2013

Scandinavia, Part 4: Norway in a Nutshell

Mark and I met 19 years ago on a Carribbean cruise: The SS Norway.
"Wouldn't it be amazing to visit Norway for our tenth wedding anniversary?" we'd always say with stars in our eyes.
God must have heard us, because He somehow arranged for Mark to speak at a conference in Stockholm the summer after we celebrated our tenth anniversary, which meant one thing: we were headed Norge.

We took a train from Oslo to Myrdal, past gorgeous mountains and countryside and up into the desolate  tundra, where we gazed awestruck at the little homes tucked here and there, wondering what on earth it would be like to live in this gorgeous land of glaciers and icy waterfalls.
How, for one, did they get groceries?
And if this was summer, what could life possibly be like in a snowy Norwegian winter?
Breathtaking, I'm sure, if you're not terrified of the isolation incurred by the weather and altitude.

From Myrdal, we took what many consider to be the world's most beautiful train journey, the Flam Railway, all the way into the valley of Flam.
It made a scenic stop at this spectacular waterfall.

Legend has it a siren lives here, and on occasion you can catch her singing to the tune of a dangerous trance.
Just like the legend of the Lorelei on the German Rhine, only without the wrecked ships.
She appears here and there and everywhere as if by magic. The kids were enchanted by it.

We camped in the Flam (pronounced "Flome") Cabins.
They were oozing of fairytale charm.

One of the two bunk beds.
For how small they looked outside, they were surprisingly spacious.
Gryffin's inner Viking escaped.

Clouds loomed low across the fjords, bursting in sudden showers and then clearing again.

Just down the street from our cabin, water met the fjords.

We adored this brewery, designed like a Stave church.
Take a close look at the stone walls. What art!

The inside of the brewery was just as thick on Norwegian spirit.
We sampled their full brew of beers here on more than one occasion.

We also ate some Rudolph.
(Please don't tell Santa.)
I took a walk early one morning into old Flam.

Flam's wood church.

Speaking of Rudolph the red-nosed:
it was on this hike that I received my first of four bloody noses.
The altitude took a ridiculous toll on my noggin.
Our fjord cruise along the most picturesque fjord in the world: the Sognefjord.
Majestic and mighty, words cannot begin to capture the experience.
Pictures, too, fall so short of capturing the sheer magnitude of it all.

I've never seen so many waterfalls in my life!

Keep scrolling...

We docked in Gudvangen, then took a bus to Voss.

These hairpin turns are not for the faint of heart.
It looks ten times steeper than in the picture, I swear.

But what a view!

We took a train from Voss back to Myrdal, then rode the Flamsbana (world famous train) a couple more times.

Views from the Flamsbana from Myrdal descending into Flam.

Picturesque Flam.

This place so tugged at my heart that I couldn't leave it at our scheduled departure. We therefore extended our stay slightly to take in a wonder of ancient Norway... which I'll save for the next post.
To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Those fjords reminded us of being in Alaska- simply breathtaking!!