Knowing that my dad had sailed up the Norwegian fjords as a young musician in the thirties added to my obsession to experience Norway from a boat. The tourist office had many combinations of boats, trains and buses, but we opted for one that sailed right from in front of our hotel, wound its way through the coastal islands and then up Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and narrowest fjord. We ran into some heavy fog during the first hour, but by the time we got near the fjord it was a brilliantly sunny day.
We were entertained by a singing, jovial captain as we sailed by soaring peaks cascading down to clear deep waters, and freshly painted, steep roofed wooden cabins, each with a boat moored in front. We wanted to somehow linger at each turn, but there was so much more to see, and to live.
After a voyage of 5 hours, we arrived in the picturesque port of Flam, where we lunched on beer from a local microbrewery and sumptuous open-faced sandwiches. Then we boarded the old fashioned train to Myrdal. Nowhere in the world is there an adhesion-type railway on normal tracks with a steeper climb. Almost 80 % of the line has a gradient 0f 5,5 % or 1 meter in 18!
Although we were admittedly a little weary by the time we returned to Bergen, it was a spectacular day. We were a little wistful to prepare to leave Norway and imagined hikes not taken and vistas unseen. But we had other adventures ahead of us.