400,000 square kilometers, that is the surface of Norway. Is it possible to see it all in one day? Of course not. However, there is a solution if you really are in a hurry (which is a shame for a country with such overwhelming landscapes). Or if you would just like a teaser before returning for more.
Last week I was invited to a conference in Bergen, preceded by a one-day excursion “Norway in a Nutshell ®.” The idea behind the tour is to experience some of the most beautiful scenery in Fjord Norway.
Our round trip started from the Bergen railway station, and it was one of these perfect blue-sky days. The train from the Bergen Railway took us to Voss where we had to change to a bus. We were not the only ones. However, even if sometimes the transfer looked a bit chaotic it was well organized, as almost everything in Norway.
The bus ride was our appetizer, bringing us closer and closer to the Norwegian nature.
In Gudvangen the cute little ferry FANARAAKEN was waiting for us, with its bow visor wide open. It was strange to see the ferry. She was surrounded by mountains but where was the water?
After leaving Gudvangen we sailed in the very narrow Naerøyfjord. The sun was so bright and the sky so clear that I wondered if my camera would be able to cope with the extreme contrast. Actually the Nikon did a great job. And I did not bad too, because I had to monitor the exposure for every picture, and most of the times adjustments were needed, which is rather unusual. Shooting in RAW helped a lot too, but don’t do this when you are not used to it. Most DSLR camera’s have possibilities to diminish the contrast.
Have a look at some of the following pictures. Then you’ll understand how excited I was with the beautifully challenging light conditions.
After the Naerøyfjord we turned right into the Aurlandsfjord, which is also one of the remote arms of the Sognefjord, and which is famous for the little village of Flåm.
Flåm receives a lot of cruiseships and in the distance we saw a small white ship being dwarfed by the impressive mountains. However, when approaching the “little” ship turned out to be the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS from Princess Cruises. It was like a massive floating hotel with more than 1,500 staterooms.
Flåm is famous for its Flåm Railways, and it is certainly one of the highlights of the day. Imagine: the village is practically at sea level, whilst the mountain station of Myrdal, some 20km further is located at an altitude of 866m. For a train, that is an impressive ascend. The journey takes about one hour, with a stop near a huge waterfall.
In Myrdal we were welcomed by a glorious white landscape. After some pictures it was time to change train, and to jump on the Bergen Railway train again, which would bring us back to square one: Bergen.
After a never boring ride we arrived in sunny Bergen around half past six. Time for a beer, before taking the Fløibanen funicular to the terrace of Mount Fløyen, some 320m high, and offering a priceless view over Bergen and its surroundings.
What a day. What a country!
Photos and Text: Mike
Do you want to read more about things to do in Norway? Our colleagues from New Zealand have written this very interesting blogpost.
Thanks to the organisers of the Shore Power Conference: Schneider Electric and Cavotec.