A Travellerspoint blog

Fjords, waterfalls, and dancing temptresses with tails

rain 50 °F

I wrote this late last night but the internet was giving me fits (we ARE in the middle of the North Sea), and after spending $20 in internet time hitting refresh and selecting the same pictures, I gave up. So just pretend it's last night :) ...

Yet another great day – sorry for the repetitive starts but they just keep on comin’! Thanks for all the comments yesterday – it makes us happy to get them! We docked in Flaam today (it is actually Flåm but in English they write “Flaam”), and it was a breathtaking area, full of fjords, waterfalls, lush greenery, and postcard-like views. We had an all-day tour scheduled, which included a long train ride, lunch, and a return on the bus.

Overnight, we drove inland through Sognefjord, the deepest Norwegian fjord, which goes 115 miles inland and reaches 3,700 feet below sea level and up to 6,000 feet above sea level. All this, despite being only 2.5 miles long at its longest point! Fjords are amazing things. We got off the ship this morning in Flaam, which is a small community of only 350 inhabitants, but is popular with tourists. It was absolutely gorgeous already, and the tour hadn't even begun! We hopped on a train that would take us to Myrdal, and then Voss, another popular tourist location (and home of 19 Olympic medals from the last winter Games!) Honeymoon_Day_16_003.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_020.jpg

The views outside of the train were spectacular. Once again, you really can’t put it into words. Just think – steep cliffs, deep greens, and massive waterfalls everywhere. The houses that are built on these massive cliffs are amazing – we wondered how they get food, how they have contact with civilization, etc. (By the way, 98% of Norway’s electricity is actually powered by the several waterfalls they have!) A few views from out of the train here: Honeymoon_Day_16_017.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_022.jpg

Our first stop was at Kjossfoss Waterfall, which was gorgeous. We got to get out of the train and take a look, and we saw this dancer high on the cliff (you can see her in one of the pictures) doing some lyrical-like dance. When we got back into the train, a local started telling us about her, and this was probably my favorite part of the day. It turns out she “is” a real-life, mysterious troll living in the mountainside of Kjossfoss Waterfall (trolls and gnomes are extremely popular in Norwegian legend). Her name is something that starts with an H, and she has a beautiful face and beautiful dancing that tends to lure men into her cave. However, she happens to have a tail (!), and when the men see her tail, their eyes change so that, if they ever see sunlight again, they will explode. Therefore, they are forced to stay inside the cave with her forever, and never return to civilization. Sounds like a crock, but this woman HONESTLY believed it. No joke! We heard several other examples of “legends” having to do with trolls, and the Norwegians expressed various degrees of belief, but this woman was serious! Honeymoon_Day_16_035.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_036.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_037.jpg

Shortly after the Kjossfoss Waterfall, it started to rain and hail. We were on a train finished in the 1940s, and apparently it doesn’t drive well in rain, so we had to stop for a while until the worst of the storm passed. Honeymoon_Day_16_049.jpg

Once we got to Voss, we walked to the Park Hotel (still in the rain!) for lunch. This was definitely the worst part of the day – we had probably 150 people on the tour, and we were ALL in the same room, using the same small buffet line, with about 3-4 waitstaff. It took at least an hour before we got seated with our food, and while the British raved about how good it was, we honestly just didn’t enjoy it that much (probably due to our mutual dislike of unidentifiable salami-looking meats). Oh well! In the hotel, we bought a gnome (!!!) and some Norwegian cough drops that did a great job. We wish we could have looked around Voss a bit more, as we think it would be a fun and interesting city, but lunch took too long and it was pouring, so … onto the bus we went. Honeymoon_Day_16_043.jpg Honeymoon_Day_16_051.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_054.jpg

The bus took us to a few more amazing stops, the first of which was Tvinde Waterfall. This was enormous, and so much fun to see! Apparently, if you drink water from the waterfall, you’ll stay young forever, but Kev wouldn’t let me try it  Also of note, this waterfall (of ~600 feet) completely freezes in the winter, and several people try (with mixed success) to climb it each year! We took a video here and at a few other stops today, but I haven’t yet figured out how to upload videos, so that will be a treat for later. Honeymoon_Day_16_063.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_065.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_066.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_070.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_074.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_075.jpg

After the Waterfall, we drove down Stalheimskleivane, the steepest road in Norway. The gradient was 18% the entire time, with really tight switchbacks, and in a huge passenger bus, this is a bit scary! However, the views were completely breathtaking, so it was worth it! Trust me, the pictures don’t show you how steep this was! Honeymoon_Day_16_092.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_096.jpg

At the bottom of Stalheimskleivane, we drove to another fjord called Gudvangen Fjordtell, which was by far Kev’s favorite sight of the trip, and possibly mine as well. All we did here was look, but we could have sat there for days and days just staring – it was amazing! There is a small, rustic hotel at the bottom of the valley, and we set a goal to come back and stay there at some point in our lives. Honeymoon_Day_16_112.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_115.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_118.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_120.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_122.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_125.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_131.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_134.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_136.jpg

The bus then took us back to the ship, at which point we relaxed a little while, changed, and went to dinner. We really enjoyed dinner tonight! I had beet carpaccio as an appetizer (amazing!) and Kev had shrimp with butter/ flour mixture, made into a cake (about as strange as it sounds!), then we both had French onion soup. I had salmon as an entrée and Kev had sirloin steak, and we finished with brownie and cream ice cream (Kev, with an awesome face) and lychee compote (me). Honeymoon_Day_16_144.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_147.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_149.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_150.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_151.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_152.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_153.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_154.jpgHoneymoon_Day_16_155.jpg

After dinner, we walked around the ship and took in some of the views as we were exiting the fjord, had a few drinks, and went to a comedy show, which was very British- and mature-crowd-centric. Half the time, we couldn’t understand the comic, and when we could understand him, we only thought he was funny about half of that time, so we ended up leaving halfway. All in all, it was an amazing day. Even though we really only sat on trains and buses all day, we’re both tired, so we’re heading to bed. Tomorrow we’ll be in Olden, another town in Norway, but we have no excursions planned, so we’ll see what happens! Hope you all are doing well and thanks for reading!

Posted by megandkev 01:31 Archived in Norway

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Again, absolutely stunning pictures. I loved the story of the dancing temptress with a tail, and I can't wait to see the videos!

by Molly

Trolls are in.... so says the WSJ! Nice choice on your purchase.

by Pat

First food picture I wrinkled my nose at - what was the white slimy with yellow center thingy?
And don't we all know, you absolutely will get back to that rustic hotel, just because that's how you two are - can I come with?
Ummmmmm......the troll - fascinating, weird, scary, and 100% interesting. The scenery - no comment besides amazing. Kevin, good decision on not letting Megan taste the water - I can only imagine bacteria and stomach sickness on that one.
Wish there were fjords in Colorado. :)

by Mom / Karen

What's with the "mutual dislike of unidentifiable salami-looking meats?" All the new and exciting things you guys do and your scared of a little processed meat?!? ;)

Tell Kevin he is starting to look like a Viking with his "man-beard!!!"

by Scott

My Goodness,Should I really believe in trolls as the old saying goes 'seeing is believing" and I did see one dancing.You were lucky that she came out dancing just as you were going by.Ha The scenery there is magnifico. Love to you both

by Ama

Meg and Kev
Wow, Norway looks amazing....someplace I would truly like to visit....question...was that Beet Carpacio or Beef Carpacio? Beet would be great. The pictures of the food you are sending are absolutely fabulous, I don't know, maybe you 2 have found a new profession, writing a book about your trip around the world....you look happy, that's all that matters.....
Happy 4th, find some fireworks somewhere,
Love you
Aunt Debbie

by Aunt Debbie

Just think about what we could do if only we were able to harness Niagra Falls. Great pictures. Think of a Great Grandmother who had a maiden name of Johanson. Her ancestors must of hailed from some place in that area of the world. Love, Nana

by caroline michaels

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