From Oslo to Myrdal
Although I know from long experience that pictures taken through train windows may evoke a memory for me, they really aren’t very interesting to others, but now I can remember what the scenery going up to Flam is. It’s gone in a breath from totally blue skies to overcast in spots, blue in spots. Many birch forests, anemones carpeting swaths of land along the tracks. And of course conifer forests, interspersed with lakes, and with farmland. We are going higher and it’s getting cooler outside. I see a tunnel being built going into the mountain, and then we are in a tunnel in the train.
And then we emerge, higher and probably colder outside, with rapidly running rivers and falls, and snow caps in the distance.
I’m in the family car of the train, with two little ones across the way but they are happy because they can roam, and at one end is play area, where half a dozen preschoolers gather and bounce.
From Myrdal to Flam
Onto another train, a spur from the main Oslo Bergen line, and we proceed through steep passes and past many waterfalls, down to the water’s edge from 4000 ft above. The sky is blue and the air is mild. The scenery is spectacular. And when the train arrives at the harbor of Flam, it is positively balmy.
From Flam to Godvangen
And then ensue two more hours of incredible scenery, going through the fjords between the mountains that come straight down to the sea in an adequate working car ferry/boat. Waterfall after waterfall streaming down the sides of sheer cliffs. I am aware of a couple of Japanese tour groups who haven’t been noticeable before.
Finally we arrive at Gudvangen and transfer directly to busses. Another hour of dramatic scenery. I realize that all the rivers and waterfalls are in full spring flood, that this is the very best time to see them. Some have overrun their banks in little lakes, sort of vernal pools I guess. Part of this trip involves going up a mountain and coming down in hairpin curves, one after the other. I’m not convinced this was a necessary passage but it was indeed dramatic.
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And the last leg is a transfer to a train again at Voss, on the way to Bergen. I’m on my last legs too! This one is supposed to be fairly undramatic. I may fall asleep.
Two things come to mind. How many dramatic scenes do I need to capture to give the feeling of this incredible trip?? And.. At last, dammit, I have my pictures of spring waterfalls, after having ruined my chance at Yosemite falls when my film didn’t wind, many years ago.
[p.s. – we were seeing spring runoff, meadows near the rivers were flooded, but no damage. I come home to reading about flooding south in Germany, and hear later from travellers who planned the trip a week after me that flooding had cancelled parts of the route. I was lucky! I was also lucky that the weather was beautiful – if it hadn’t been, I’d have been chilled to the bone and gloomy!]