Our next leg of the Norway in a Nutshell tour took us by ferry, bus, and train to the city of Bergen, the former capital of Norway. Here are a couple maps showing our route today:
The ferry route is really just an excuse to cruise the fjords as there is a tunnel that connects Flåm to Gudvangen:
Ferry to Gudvangen
After a good night’s sleep and another great breakfast, we headed for the ferry, just a stone’s throw from the hotel. Here are a couple shots from the ferry back towards the hotel:
The ferry’s bow was hinged open for cars and trucks and people to board.
At 9AM, we said goodbye to Flåm as the nose of our ferry clamped shut and we backed out of the harbor:
We made our way out of the harbor, passing the cruise ship that had docked overnight:
glancing back one final time to tiny Flåm dwarfed by the cruise ship:
The ferry made its first stop just around the corner at Aurland where we added a few passengers
The Aurland fjord is quite breathtaking:
Shortly after we left Aurland, we passed under Stegastein which we had seen the day before on our tour over the Snow Road.
Around the next bend was our second stop: the tiny town of Undredal, tucked at the base of the fjord wall. Prior to 1988, Undredal was only accessible by boat. This tiny town is home to another stave church that dates back to 1147AD. The white church with its red steeple can be seen in the third photo, to the left of the big red barn structure.
We set off down the fjord for more incredible views:
Some of the tourists enjoyed feeding the seagulls off the ship by throwing bread in the air:
There was a new sight around every bend, and waterfalls were plentiful, the result of melting glaciers on the top of the fjord walls.
More waterfalls and high cliffs of rock soared above us.
We passed the town of Dyrdal on the hillside. Note the waterfall coming down right behind it:
The next bend brought an even more amazing village with a picturesque white church called Nærøy:
As we rounded the next turn, we spotted waterfalls up high which towered over our destination, Gudvangen, below:
Gudvangen is an even smaller town than Flåm, sporting a small lodge and a gift shop. It’s also home to a ferry terminal (dock) and parking for lots of buses.
Once on land, we wandered around over the suspension bridge. The water on either side is an amazing emerald green:
Bus to Voss
The bus to Voss headed out of the Gudvangen valley, through a tunnel, and started up a hill to the Stalheim Hotel at the top where we picked up some passengers.
Then we continued down a Lombard-like supersonic s-curvalicious set of switchbacks with 80% grade (2 meters difference in height between the front and back of the bus).
Partway down, we looked up to see the Stalheim Hotel on the top of the hill. It has a powerful waterfall just below it:
We continued down zigging and zagging
and came across another waterfall off the side of the road
Once back on the valley floor, the rest of the bus ride was pretty, but not as exciting as the twisty-turny descent. We passed one more stair stepping waterfall, but we didn’t stop.
We arrived in Voss where we were meeting a train to take us to Bergen.
Train to Bergen
We once again rejoined the Bergen Railway – the same line we took from Oslo to Myrdal – in Voss for its last leg to Bergen.
There is something about European/Scandinavian trains…
It was only about an hour, but nice to be back on the train.
We saw some pretty lake-side towns
But the trip is only about 60 miles, so it didn’t take long before we were welcomed by Bergen:
The walk to the hotel over the city’s cobblestone streets was a lot of daka-daka-daka-daka as our roll-a-boards clattered over them. Not exactly roll-a-board friendly, but a walkable distance.
More about our wanderings around Bergen next time…
Happy RTW Travels!