Monday, December 8, 2014

The Breathtaking Beauty of Norwegian Fjords

stunning fjords in Norway!
One of the best travel experiences of my life thus far has been taking the Norway in a Nutshell fjord tour this past October when my family and I visited Bergen, Norway. The tour we opted to take was a Bergen-Myrdal-Flåm-Gudvangen-Voss-Bergen. Along the way, we traveled through the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, both of which are arms of the Sognefjord. The Sognefjord it known as being the narrowest and most dramatic fjord in all of Europe…but you will see that through future pictures! Today, I'll start at the beginning of our journey, and the pictures only get better as we go along!

Bergen Railway
train from Bergen to Myrdal
Above is just one shot from our 2-hour train ride from Bergen to Myrdal. As we left Bergen, we moved deeper into the Norwegian countryside and really began to see some of the fall colors. I promise, this is the worst picture of the post! The train was a typical regional train (The Bergen Railway)- many people abroad the train were not a part of our tour- so picture taking was difficult. However, seeing more and more beautiful countryside only peaked our interest for the rest of the tour to come! The route along the Bergen Railway has been voted one of the world's most beautiful train journeys, and lived up to expectations. Along the journey, we traveled through Finse (1222 metro altitude), the highest point on the Bergen railway, where you could see the glaciers of Jardangerjøkul in the distance.

Flåm railway tour
train for the Flåm railway
Once we arrived in Myrdal, we had a brief stop before boarding the classic railway cars of the Flåm railway. Our journey from Myrdal to Flåm traversed 20 kilometers, beginning in the moutons of Myrdal (866 meter altitude) and ending in Flåm (2 meter altitude). The railway was quite impressive, offering sharp turns, steep mountain views, low valleys, and many waterfalls.

Norwegian fjord waterfalls
Kjosfossen Waterfall
kjosfossen waterfall norway
myself in front of Kjosfossen Waterfall
Kjosfossen waterfall
final pic of Kjosfossen Waterfall
Along the train ride from Myrdal to Flåm, it stops at Kjosfossen Waterfall for everyone to get out and take pictures. The waterfall is approximately 225 meters, and is actually used to power part of the Flåm railway!

family time in Flåm!
Flåm, Norway
family in Flåm
When we arrived in Flåm, we had several hours before our fjord tour departed. Unfortunately, because we were there in October…nothing, and I mean, nothing, was open. We briefly talked about going on a hike- and even managed to get out of town, where these pictures on the river were taken, before determining that the wind (about to knock us all over) was just a bit too strong. Rather, we grabbed a couple of tourists also attempting a hike, snapped a few pictures on the bridge, and continued back towards the gift shop and tourist center. I had spotted a grocery store nearby, so we decided to grab a (few) six-packs of beer and enjoy our next couple of hours!

Flåm, Norway trolls
hanging out with our troll friend!
While we were enjoying our brews, we made friends with Ole 'the troll' Johnsson, as we named him… He was just hanging out in the center of the visitor center, so we thought he looked lonely and flipped him around to join us at our table. Perhaps we had one too many beers, but we all enjoyed our time with Ole!

Norway fjords
beginning of the journey, Aurlandsfjord
Bergen fjords
sunset along Nærøyfjord
Bergen fjords
sunset along Nærøyfjord
Norwegian fjords
family before Aurlandsfjord
Norway fjords
the stunning fjords
prior to turning the boat around
Leaving Aurlandsfjord
mountains of Nærøyfjord
pure happiness
Wow. Even just typing this post is hard, because it makes me miss the wonderful time I spent with my family along these beautiful fjords. Once our boat left Flåm, we traveled along the Aurlandsfjord towards Nærøyfjord, where we completed a ninety-degree turn. Each of these fjords is an arm of the Sognefjord. The entire landscape is a conservation area and on the UNESCO World Heritage List…clearly for good reason! Of course, these are just some of our pictures from the day- how can you possible pick and feature the 'best' photos out of thousands? Simply put…you select a few and run with those!

fjord waterfall
'small' waterfall along the fjords
fjord windy waterfall
the wind literally blew the waterfall away
fjord waterfalls
a longer waterfall along the fjords
Beyond the beautifulness (is that a word? I'm making it one for this post…) of the fjords, once we reached Nærøyfjord we began encountering numerous waterfalls. Based off the number we counted (in October!) I can only imagine how plentiful and beautiful the landscape is during the spring months as the snow is melting. We saw 'small' waterfalls (first picture). We saw waterfalls that were literally being blown away by the wind (second picture). And finally, we saw breathtaking waterfalls falling over hundreds of meters into the fjords.

Norwegian fjord towns
cute town along the fjords
Along the trip through the fjords, there were many cute little Norwegian towns and houses. It is hard for me to imagine how the people who live in these towns ever leave- when you are surrounded by such beauty, where else in the world is there to go?

Norwegian towns
Norwegian town prior to Voss
After we ended our time touring the fjords, we had a brief bus trip from Gudvangen to Voss. Truthfully, the bus trip was likely very beautiful, featuring Norwegian towns and scenery such that we saw on our trip from Bergen to Myrdal. However, after the beauty of the fjords, it was hard to capture the essence of the rolling countryside.

All in all, our day touring the Norwegian fjords from Bergen was about a 10 hour trip. While slightly pricey, if you are ever in Norway I highly recommend taking any tour of the fjords available. The views are stunning, jaw-dropping, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Pictures do not even do the trip justice! Have you ever visited the fjords? What is the most beautiful travel experience you have had?


  1. Love your pics. We did the same tour in August, but on our own. The fjord cruise was simply amazing and we have that same picture of our kids with the little troll. Looks like you had a great time and all of your tips are spot on!

    1. Oh how fun! I absolutely loved our fjord cruise. Hoping to make it back and check out other fjords soon as well!

  2. Woow, this looks really amazing,
    This is really on my have to do list before i get into my 40's

    Keep posting,
    Kind regards


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