Today, we arrived in Flåm, Norway and it was pouring down rain! We have been so lucky to have been on the ship for over a month and we’ve had some days of on and off drizzle, but today, it was a full on downpour! Much to my husband’s disappointment, I opted not to take the tour today and decided to have a girls day on the ship……….I regretted that decision, after I saw his photos, which I had a feeling I would! Flåm is another village, with the population of 350. These small villages are my cup of tea! I just love them! What makes Flåm different, is the spectacular picturesque village at the head of the Aurlandsfjorden and the fact that it has one of the most celebrated branch rail lines, the Flåmsbana, a 12.4 mile plummet from the Flåsdal Valley to Flåm! This track took 4 years to build in the 1920’s, spirals down the mountainside passing through hand dug tunnels and travels through a hair pin tunnel dropping nearly a quarter of a mile. The gradient of the line is one of the steepest anywhere in the world. The train also has five sets of brakes, each one capable of bringing the train to a stop! The service runs all year, a lifeline for the village, especially during the winter months. The other option is a five hour walk to the nearest station in Myrdal. Cycling is an option although they say it is too steep to be relaxing! So, while some of our friends had decided on the train ride and some of us had decided on a walk between farms, I was staying on ship and watching the day go by! So, let’s see what hubby did in Flåm and it’s surroundings!
We’re getting closer!
and we came up right to the pier, where the men are waiting for us!
In 1980, most of the people of Flåm were farmers, however today, the folks work in the tourist industry or with the railway. It is one of the most popular cruise harbors in Norway and the tourist industry dates back to the 19th century, when large numbers of English tourists, called “salmon lords,” came to fish in the Flåm River. These travelers laid the foundation for the hotels and the steady stream of tourists, who were transported around in two-wheeled buggies through the spectacular scenic countryside! Flåm today, looks like a metropolis, compared to others stops in the fjords, that we have made. During the summer months, there are about two ships a day coming into port. For some folks in Flåm, this is two ships, too many, and there have been numerous calls to stop any cruise ships from coming into the port. Of course, for the folks, who make their living from the tourist industry here, they want the practice to continue, so I imagine the debate will go on…….. Any way, I am glad we got to stop here!
Looking down from the ship in port……..
and looking back at the fjord!
The yellow buildings are part of the railway complex. From mid-June to late September, there are ten departures a day and between four and eight the rest of the year. The 12.4 mile run from Flåm to Myrdal costs about $30.00 one way and and $43.00 to return. It ain’t cheap leaving Flåm! You can see our ship mates leaving the ship to take various tours!
This is one of the hotels here………
But, as it turned out, only hubby and a Russian fellow tourist opted to take the 3 mile walking tour from the farm to the village of Uradel. So, let’s see what they saw! They had a nice view of the village going up the mountain………
And then took a van on the small road up the mountain…….
Where the road got narrower and narrower……we are used to that by now!
and saw the plentiful mountain streams coming off the mountains…..
and came to the goat farm………much newer and smaller, than our last one! But, with a great mountain view!
There were lots of goats…..
This one was my husband’s favorite……He wanted to go with him…….
and this was the boss, the bearded goat.
But, it’s time for the hike up the mountain; just the guide, a fellow Russian tourist, hubby and a few goats completed the walk …..stay tuned there’s more on the way!