A few things move me to tears of happiness and one of them is being in a place where you are overcome with awe of natural beauty.
I had the opportunity to visit Norway after my time in Helsinki. High on my list was to see the well known Norwegian Fjords.
Wanting to visit the Fjords as a solo traveler, I had organised a trip with Norway in a Nutshell which takes you through the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. The options for available tours are significantly reduced in winter but there were less people. The trip runs in both directions between Oslo and Bergen and offers some of the most marvelous scenery I have ever seen. You get all your tickets prior to departure and make your own way to each train/ferry. As it’s a popular route, there were announcements and staff at each platform/ferry terminal so it was easy to navigate.
As the train departed from Oslo and snaked its way towards Myrdal, I had my face stuck to the window. Untouched wilderness as far as the eye can see and red cottages dotted here and there. We rolled around and through mountains picking up skiiers. At Myrdal, I swapped trains for the one towards Flam which had more tourists and is one of the leading tourist attractions in Norway. We stopped at the trackside Flamsbana waterfall along the way and were able to get off the train to take pictures. While I had visited towards the end of winter, it wasn’t very green but can just imagine how lush the area would be in the spring and summer months. There was a bit of time between arriving into Flam and waiting for the ferry so I had a little wonder to the Flam Railway Museum and then sat along the water’s edge admiring being surrounded by the mountains.
As we our ferry set off, the wind chill set in. This was towards the end of the Norwegian winter with the temperature still lurking around the 0 degree mark. I don’t think we past any other boat during this cruise nor heard any wildlife. Snow capped mountains surrounded us.
We were so lucky with the weather this day which gave us clear blue skies. As the ride continues, we went through Nærøyfjord which is famous for being the narrowest at only 250m wide leaving you completely surrounded. Not a sound of modernisation is heard (except that of your boat) as you past lone residences.
Our ferry was quite empty so there was plenty of space for pictures from the rear of the ferry which offered the best vantage spot. There were plenty of outdoor seating which was lovely once we got the sun. I spoke to an Austrian man sitting nearby. We shared the mutual appreciation for what was around us. We sat there in silence, in awe of the sights as Mother Nature immersed us in peace.
I’m not sure whether my eyes tearing up out of complete happiness to be in one of the marvels of mother nature. Or the blistering cold. Perhaps both.
Once we arrived in Gudvangen, I boarded a train onwards to Bergen.