If you have a vision in your mind of an idyllic Norwegian village you’ve probably seen pictures of Flam. This tiny fishing village (only 400 people) is tucked between the North Sea channel and imposing mountains with the Flam River between. It’s situated at the end of Aurlandfjord, a branch of Sognefjord, the world’s largest and deepest fjord and a World Heritage Site.
|The dramatic scenery around Flam, Norway attracts many visitors.|
Approaching this secluded town on a cruise ship, we saw waterfalls streaming from glaciers high in the mountains, which helped us get a sense of how the rock was carved millions of years ago. When the ice receded, the land was transformed, leaving behind expansive valleys and long fjords hemmed in by rugged cliffs. Today, bountiful waterfalls drop in thin strips like white ribbons decorating the mountainsides.
|It's a land filled with myriad waterfalls flowing down the mountains.|
Of course, we booked a ride on the Flamsbana, thefamous railway, often called the most beautiful train ride in the world. Along the way we were captivated by panoramic views of some of the most striking Norwegian landscapes, deep ravines, magnificent waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and charming farms.
|The Flamsbana exits one of 20 tunnels along the way to Voss.|
The ride from Flam to Voss, where we ended our rail journey, was just under two hours and included 20 tunnels, 18 of which were excavated by hand. Tunnels allow passage no matter what the weather is, which is important since abundant snow makes transportation challenging from October to April.
|Massive, powerful waterfalls burst through the mountains.|
|The church is one of a few buildings |
in Voss not bombed in WWII.
For the most part, the train proceeded slowly stopping at several of these villages, which provided an opportunity to soak up the magnificent countryside. We even disembarked the train at one stunning waterfall and felt the spray as we took pictures.Scenic sites
At Voss, a charming lakeside town with a delightful array of shops and a tiny 13th century church, we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch in a hotel. This farming town, nestled between two of Norway’s most famous fjords, was the victim of massive bombing during World War II, so the center of the city has been rebuilt and looks very 1950-ish.
|Larry in front of Kjosfossen Waterfall|
On the return trip to Flam by bus, we stopped at magnificent Kjosfossen waterfall, a fine example of nature’s power and a highlight of the Flam train journey. This massive fall spreads in multiple streams over a large area with thunderous cascades tumbling over boulders.
The bus continued on the treacherous road down to the valley, navigating steep hairpin turns before returning us to the town and our ship.
|Our bus had to navigate this extremely narrow, winding road |
in the valley back to Flam
|Magnificent view as our ship left the fjords around Flam.|