Trains and (more) fjords

637Next stop from Bergen was Gudvangen where we were staying at Gudvangen Camping in another hut. Sat on the balcony of our accommodation we had a great view of the waterfalls tumbling down the cliff face opposite – all the more so when the sunshine was replaced by an impressive thunderstorm in the evening. It was hard to believe that the road we looked out over was the main route from Oslo to Bergen, particularly as the traffic seemed mainly to consist of empty tour buses!

The next day we headed over to Flåm to take the famous railway up the valley to Myrdal. Unfortunately, despite an early awakening courtesy of Emma, we just missed the 9:45 train and the 11:30 train was already fully booked. Consequently we had to kill time until after midday.

640We ended up near the back of the queue for the train but a swift walk to the far end of the platform saw us getting in to a nearly empty carriage. Typically it later transpired that we managed to sit on the wrong side of the train for most of the impressive views and the window wouldn’t open so even when something did come along I couldn’t get a decent photo. Even allowing for this, we felt that, although good, the journey wasn’t quite as mind blowing as the guidebooks make out.

We decided to walk part of the way back down. We overtook lots of cyclists on the first section as they walked their bikes down the steep switchbacks. They then had the better of us on the flat section. Our walk turned in to a bit of a route march when we realised it was going to be a close call as to whether we made it to the station in time to catch the next train down. We needn’t have worried – despite just shuttling backwards and forwards between the two locations, the trains don’t manage to be very punctual.

643Spurning Europe’s longest road tunnel and the winding mountain road we took the car ferry from Gudvangen across to Kaupanger. This isn’t just any old ferry journey though as Nærøyfjorden (which, as the name might suggest, is just 250m wide at its narrowest point) is very impressive with long waterfalls seemingly tumbling out of the sky and plummeting down in to the deep blue fjord. Milford Sound (New Zealand) on the very wet day we visited had the edge but it’s still worth a visit.

From Kaupanger we made the short journey to Sogndal where we were staying in the Youth Hostel (a high school out of the summer season).

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