Flam, Norway

2019 HAL World Cruise

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

 

The tiny village of Flam is located at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the famous and beautiful, long (120 miles) and deep (436 feet) Sognefjord.  Flam is surrounded by steep mountains, roaring waterfalls and deep valleys.  There is also snow on the ground!!!

At last count (2014), there were 350 people living in Flam.  And every day, in the summer, large cruise ships come to visit.  Since the late 19th century Flam has been a popular tourist destination hosting almost 450,000 visitors a year.  Most of those visitors ride the Flamsbana (one of the steepest rail lines in the world.)  That is exactly what we did!!!

The Flam railway is famous for its steep incline (1 to 18), its 20 tunnels that twist and spiral inside the mountains, and a view that takes your breath away!!!    It was recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful train rides by the Society of International Railways; National Geographic’s Traveller Magazine put the Flam Railway on their list of top ten train rides in Europe; and Lonely Planet Traveller called it “the world’s best train ride”.   Let me show you:

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We cruised up the Sognefjord from the Norwegian Sea to the Aurlandsfjord tributary.
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There we docked–right at the innermost end of the Aurlandsfjord. We will be on diesel power for the duration of our stay!
Flam is a tiny town but, oh so charming!!!
Flam is a tiny town but, oh so charming!!!
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Situated at the head of the Aurlandsfjord, Flam is surrounded by steep mountains, deep valleys, and magnificent views!!!
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We are booked on a ship’s tour and depart early for our train excusion to the mountain village of Vatnahalsen. We know we’re in for a treat as we walk through the quaint village streets.
It's a short walk to the train station.
It’s a short walk to the train station.
In no time, we are boarding the Flamsbana for our trip to Vatnahalsen.
In no time, we are boarding the Flamsbana for our trip to Vatnahalsen.
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The cars are modern but have a retro look with an abundance of wood and nice brass details.
The views are breathtaking!!!
The views are breathtaking!!!
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About half way up, we stop to view the Kjosfossen Waterfall with a free fall of 305 feet.
The roar of this waterfall is powerful!!!
The roar of this waterfall is powerful!!!
Soon, we get our first view of the Vatnahalsen Hotel--our destination!!!
Soon, we get our first view of the Vatnahalsen Hotel–our destination!!!
It's a short walk from the train siding to the hotel.
It’s a short walk from the train siding to the hotel.
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The hotel has set up a spread of waffles and jam with tea. We learned that one should slather the jam and clotted cream on the waffle and then roll it up to eat with your fingers. Really, really tasty!!!
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Before leaving for our return to Flam, we took some photos. This is a view of Lake Kjaerlighetsholmen from the hotel.
It's time to leave.....
It’s time to leave…..
.....have a snowball fight.....
…..have a snowball fight…..
.....and board the train for our return to Flam.
…..and board the train for our return to Flam.
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Back in Flam, we stop at the Fretheim Hotel in hopes of finding lunch. Our timing is off so we settle for an afternoon libation.
Once again, we are sourrounded by spectacular views!!!
Once again, we are surrounded by spectacular views!!!
Roger ordered a lager form the local Aegir Brewery.
Roger ordered a lager form the local Aegir Brewery.
Aegir Lager
Aegir Lager
I had a Wachenheimer Riesling from Villa Wolf.
I had a Wachenheimer Riesling from Villa Wolf.
Along with the Chili Peanuts, it was almost lunch!!!
Along with the Chili Peanuts, it was almost lunch!!!
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After touring the town and shopping the cute boutiques, we headed back to the ship. It was a wonderful day in Flam!!!

 

Our next port-of-call is Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

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