This trip was taken between May 22, 2014 to June 10, 2014. We wake up early to get ready and go upstairs for our breakfast buffet at the Windjammer Café. We find a seat with window views and enjoy breakfast as we sail along the Sognefjorden to our destination for today, Flam, Norway. When I finish eating I head up one deck to do my 2-mile walk and take photos of the scenery. As it is pretty cold and windy Jodi decides to stay indoors and enjoy her coffee and view from the window for a while.
She joins me to watch the docking of the ship in Flam. Flam was first documented in 1340, it sits on Aurlands Fjord a 204-kilometer long tributary of the Sognefjorden that is 1,308 meters deep and has a population of 350. When cruise ships dock it can increase the population by 100x or more. After docking we head down to the Theater to meet with our tour group for a trip on the Flam Railway. This journey takes us toward Myrdal to the Flamsbana station alongside foaming waterfalls and steep mountains with 20 tunnels. National Geographic considers this trip to be one of the top 10 rail journeys in the world, Lonely Planet ranked it #1 in 2014, and I can see why, it is breathtaking and it is also part of the Norway in a Nutshell trip from Oslo to Bergen, Norway.
First stop is at Kjosfossen Waterfall, a 225-meter (738’) tall falls that is the most visited tourist attraction in Norway. After our 15-minute stop we complete our journey to Flamsbana for lunch at the Vatnahlsen Hotell. The train departs to finish its run into Myrdal and turn around to pick us up a few hours later. We finish a very tasty buffet lunch and head outside to do some exploring along the trails until our train returns.
When we arrive back at Flam we stop at the Flam Railway Museum to learn the history of the Flam Rail Line and how the 20-kilometer long rail line was constructed, it is considered to be the steepest in the world, as 80% of the line is at a 5.5 percent grade. This was a great way to understand how this rail line was built and the engineering and work that went into it.
After the museum we walk around town, visit the tourist information center and a tourist souvenir shop, interesting nic-nacs. After our walk among the shelves, and a few laughs, we stop at the local grocery store to pick up a few items for snacking, as they are not available on the ship, then head back to get ready for dinner. Sitting down to dinner we all relate our days adventures and thoughts on Flam while enjoying the wonderful food. Jodi and I like the small town feel and the scenery we saw on the Rail Journey and our walk around town. This would be a town to stay in should we would return to enjoy a couple of days exploring the local area with a vehicle. Again our table is one of the last to finish as we all are enjoying the company and conversation. I think we would all stay longer but there is another dinner service they must get ready for. As the others leave for their nightly adventures, Jodi and I head back up to Deck 10 for our evening ritual of a walk and enjoying the scenery as we sail away from Flam to our next destination Alesund, Norway.
This is our 3rd cruise and is a wonderful way to travel in a hard to visit area, you get to visit a number of cities and towns while seeing the scenery as you sail overnight between the destinations. But you do miss the local flavor when you are not on the ground and are part of the large numbers of fellow travelers; both Jodi and I miss that of the adventure.