Helsinki to Norway July 2016
Helsinki day 1  |  Helsinki day 2  |  Helsinki day 3  |  Stockholm  |  Stockholm to Kosta  |  Kosta to Kalmar
Kalmar to Copenhagen  |  Copenhagen  |  Copenhagen to the Ship  |  Aalborg, Denmark  |  Flam, Norway
Alesund, Norway  |  Molde, Norway  |  Geiranger, Norway  |  Olden, Norway  |  Bergen, Norway
Eidfjord, Norway  |  Stavanger, Norway

July 26, 2016
Flam, Norway

I have been poo-pooing a fjords trip for years now. I don't know how I will feel after we visit lots more of them during Flam, Norwaythis trip but for now the views are breathtaking. I say this even though it's turning out like I thought - meaning one canyon, one valley, one mountain, one waterfall after another. Also, it rained on and off all day.

Flam, NorwayWe'd seen waterfalls in the morning as we cruised through the fjord and we saw many more during our bus tour today. The one to the right was a really dramatic, plus I saw something here that I hadn't seen before. Instead of a hand-held camera, someone launched a camera drone to get close-up shots.

Flam, NorwayFlam, NorwayOur next stop was for coffee and pastry but that was incidental compared to the spectacular view from the restaurant. However, the stop became a little tacky when we came across the "Viking" props, which were totally unnecessary because of the breathtaking scenery. Homes in Norway often have sod roofs and there were some at this spot as well. Not only were grass and flowers growing on these roofs, but trees as well.

The bus took us through one valley after another and one waterfall after another. Houses were typically painted yellow or red. The guide explained the red originally came from the blood of animals. Frankly, with the profusion of red buildings throughout history, it would have been necessary to slaughter all the animals in a 2,000 mile radius to supply the paint. Contrast that explanation of the red paint color with what we were told in Finland, which was that the red color was created by using a by-product of copper mining, a by-product considered worthless until someone found that it not only made a nice red paint but that it was also very effective as a preservative.

Flam, NorwayWe stopped for lunch in the town of Voss and had a delicious Norwegian buffet. Getting there we passed homes scattered along roads; these roads were carved from solid rock and run about 10 feet above the fjord. Speaking of homes, we were told that almost a quarter of Norwegians have a second home in the forest. Norwegians must love roughing it because these vacation cabins are typically without heat, running water, a toilet, or electricity. No matter the difficulty in getting to them, these cabins are used both during the summer and during the winter. The owners have to hike in their supplies since roads to their cabins are typically non-existent. In addition, Norway is so strict about keeping its wild places wild that unless it is specifically posted that vehicles can be used in an area, that access is forbidden.

Flam, NorwayFlam, NorwayFinally, we boarded a railroad line that took us from the top of one of the mountains ringing the fjord back to where the ship's tender would take us to the ship. On the way we stopped at another dramatic waterfall. As if this waterfall wasn't spectacular enough all by itself, out of the blue a rather haunting Norwegian instrumental work started playing. Probably thirty seconds after that, and from among the rocks midway up the waterfall, dancers in red costumes and long blonde hair appeared. I'd have sooner expected a troll here than music and dancers.

The pictures below are more articulate on the subjects they represent than any words I could use.

Flam, Norway    Flam, Norway    Flam, Norway    Flam, Norway   

Flam, Norway

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