[Monday 30 April 2012]
Aurlandsfjord: Flåm harbour
Flåm railway station
“Wow,” Janet continued, “what amazing scenery! We stood up most of the hour’s journey to observe the scenery on both sides of the train.”
Passing at the only double-tracked part of the line
Covered continuation of the line visible opposite, and the zig-zag road built when constructing it — compare 10:37:14.
“We stopped at the beautiful Kjosfossen waterfall for a photo-shoot,” Janet wrote, “and I christened our new camera!” — 10:27:16 and 10:28:18, below.
Movie clip — 10:24:38
The other side of the valley where we’d been — compare 10:19:18.
Janet wrote: “When we arrived at Myrdal we had around 25 minutes to wait before boarding another train to Voss.” Actually, I think we boarded it fairly soon after its arrival, but it didn’t set off for several minutes.
Arrival of the train to Voss
Janet took the following photo (10:52:22):
“Again, wonderful scenery and LOTS of snow!” Janet wrote. There was a transition between snowy wilderness, and green forest and cultivated land, as we descended. We saw streams of clear melt-water, especially one turquoise-tinted torrent (11:25:50 — the colours on the photo don’t do the actual scene justice).
Wooden house with fish-scale tiled slate roof
“When we arrived at Voss we were hot!” Janet wrote. “Wall-to-wall sunshine and quite warm.”
Voss railway station
Janet wrote: “Jay took us on a mini-tour, then we went to The Park Hotel for a buffet lunch. [John] had hot food and I had cold.” There were bottled drinks provided on the tables: two beers, a Coca-Cola and an orange Fanta. Jay had told us that there’d be alcohol-free beer but if we wanted alcoholic beer we’d have to pay for it and it would be expensive. However, the beer provided wasn’t what I’d call alcohol-free: it was 2.5% a.b.v., and didn’t taste compromised. The man seated opposite didn’t like his, though. I also had the Coca-Cola.
Our guide Jay points out the memorial to fiddler and composer Ola Mosafinn.
Voss church, from 1277
“Then we wandered outside to the lake,” Janet wrote. “1st May is a public holiday in Norway. We saw people paragliding off mountains!” The above photos were taken just before we entered the hotel for lunch. “We were coatless. Gorgeous weather!”
The hotel where we had lunch
“At 1.50pm we boarded a coach.”
By coach back to Flåm
Tvinde 1 km
“We stopped at the truly magnificent Tvinde waterfall,” Janet wrote. “Hubbard’s Hills with attitude! Still a fantastic warm and sunny day.” My camera reported “Card full”, so I used Janet’s camera for the following photos.
“We were there for a delightful ½-hr.,” Janet wrote, ”then we returned to the coach and headed past Oppheim Lake, which was still partially frozen, to Gudvangen by the Nærøyfjord. Beautiful, beautiful!”
On the road again: trolls, turned to stone at sunrise
Flying the flag signifies “at home”.
Partially frozen Oppheimsvatnet
Partially frozen Oppheimsvatnet
We couldn’t go down Stalheimskleiva, the steepest road in Norway, with waterfalls either side; it was closed off for a race.
Building with traditional “sod roof”: birch bark layers and turf thatch
“We had a drink at the café,” Janet wrote, “then returned to our ‘buss’ (!). (I’m still gob-smacked at the weather and scenery. I thought it would be all snow and ice and freezing weather!)” Janet had a Pepsi Max and I a non-alcoholic beer from the fridge (really non-alcoholic, this time. Perhaps as tasty as alcoholic beer, though: I might have been fooled by a blindfold test). The girl on the counter pointed out the fact of its non-alcoholic nature to me as I was about to pay her; I had the impression that she did so because she assumed I was a typical beer-swilling Brit. The “buss” had gone round by road to the other side of the Nærøydalselvi river; we crossed over by the gently arching, single-span cantilever footbridge that was there. (There were a couple of Viking-style longboats just before the bridge, which I neglected to photograph.)
“We went through two VERY long tunnels,” Janet wrote, “and finally arrived back at the boat at around 4.15pm.… We sat in our cabin and then at 5.30pm changed and headed for dinner at 5.45pm in the Kensington Restaurant.… We had set sail for Stavanger and were sailing up a fjord. Wall-to-wall sunshine still. What a wonderful backdrop for dinner! We had one cup of coffee after we’d eaten then decamped to the Boat House for a another, HOT coffee!”
Janet continued: “By that time it was 7.30pm so we went to the Holyrood Bar for an Abba Tribute concert. We got prime seats [because we were early]. (Again [John] had two wheat beer and I had two Diet Coke [Coca-Cola Light].) It was an excellent show that lasted 50 minutes. After that we returned to our cabin. It was still light outside (it’s only just getting dark now and it’s nearly 10pm). I had a shower. [John] worked on photos. I updated this, etc., then ‘lights out’ for me.…” I edited the rest of yesterday’s photos and all of today’s except for the one below, a marathon task, which included renaming all the photos from Janet’s camera because although the software incorporates dates and times in the filenames it does so in a different format from how the older software does the photos from my camera (20:19–22:39, i.e. 21:19–23:39 local time).
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