My writing includes my personal travel experiences, destination, history, and cultural information.
Flam, Norway was a port of call on our cruise from Denmark and through the United Kingdom. It's a small village of about 375 residents located on the Sognefjorden, the largest fjord in Norway. Actually, the village sits between two fjords and the name is derived from the word "fla". The Norse word translates to "flat piece of land".
Honestly, that was my question as well, before visiting! Pre-trip research gave me an immediate answer to this question. The Flam Railway (Flamsbana), one of the oldest and steepest railways in the world is located there.
Waking Up In Flam
I had seen pictures of the Fjords but didn't really know what to expect. Waking up and standing on the veranda of our suite and looking around was a truly unforgettable experience! It was gorgeous, serene, and breathtaking!
The Flam Railway
Originally, the Bergen line was built to connect Oslo and Bergen, the two largest cities in Norway. Construction began in the late 1800s. The Flam railway is part of this route and connects Sognefjorden to mainland Norway. Today, this section of the line is a tourist-only adventure.
Adventure? The Flam Railway is only about 12.5 miles and runs to about 2833 feet above sea level! In my book, that's quite the adventure! Surprisingly, the ride was not rickety. Not surprising was the beauty of the scenery!
My Flam Adventure!
Having purchased our tickets in advance, I knew the railway would take us from Flåm and Myrdal and back again. What I didn't anticipate were the events that would take place that day! The day turned out to be one of my most memorable travel days. Cozy up and read on!
We had met a woman on the cruise who was really quite something. Entertaining really doesn't come close to describing her personality! She and her husband happened to be on the same train. Apparently, she had quite the evening the night before and fell asleep with her head on the shoulder of another passenger, not her husband! This was not just a short snooze, this was a full-blown sleep; loud snoring, drool, head-bobbing, and sleep talking! The look on this unknown passenger's face was priceless! Including her husband, we all got up and moved seats and just left her with her newfound friend! I'm not sure which was louder; her snoring or our uncontrollable laughter!
The First Stop
Having recovered from side cramps from the laughter, we got off the train on the fourth of 10 stops. Prior to disembarking the train, we had seen, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world! The climate there is misty and the lush green of the valley was mesmerizing! Dotted with quaint homes and beautiful flowers, it felt like I was part of a moving postcard! No exaggeration!
Finding ourselves on the rail platform, we noticed a huge group of people congregated a short distance away. What were they looking at and what was the noise we were hearing? Walking over to see what the hullabaloo was about, we saw an amazing waterfall. No, it wasn't as majestic as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, but it was beautiful and serene in its own right! The mist in the air that day gave it a personality of its own!
What a Surprise!
But then.....oh my gosh, what a treat! We heard a sound like an angel! A woman had stepped out from behind the waterfall onto a ledge and was singing. If you are familiar with Enya, this would be a more than reasonable comparison! Her voice was hypnotizing!
The Adventure Did Not Stop There!
Several stops later, we were given the opportunity to disembark again. As part of our tour, we were hosted by a lovely family who offered tea/coffee, cookies, and great conversation. Their home in Myrdal was typical of Norway in construction and they were more than anxious to share the details of daily life in this humble village. This was really a treat since this is the type of activity that I seek. I love learning about the people and places that I visit!
Back to the Ship
What a great day this had been. The train ride back to Flam seemed too fast. I didn't want the day to end. I have had amazing travel adventures but this day and experience was somehow very different; different in a really fantastic way. It was unhurried and relaxing. I felt like I had a secret glimpse into a unique lifestyle. I sat quietly on the train soaking up the natural beauty of my surroundings with swelling contentment.
This trip was different than any other European adventure. No antiquities, no crowds, no fast pace. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. Originally, when booking the trip, I was anxious to get to the UK. The Uk was to be the highlight, at least in my mind. So far, we had been to Denmark and now Flam, Norway. Yes, these are European destinations by geography but the feel and lifestyle are diabolically opposite of say, destinations like Rome, Athens, or Barcelona. I was excited about the next port of Bergen, Norway, and went to sleep that night with a big smile!
Have you been to Norway or Denmark? Dream of going? I invite you to leave your comments in the section provided in this article. Share your experiences or dreams!
Until next time friends, remember "To Travel is to Live!"
© 2022 Dee Serkin