31 July 2018
Up early for breakfast and on the road at 7.45am.
An overcast morning, and not long before a few showers greet us along the way. We drove the scenic route, which was a narrow and winding road with our first stop at Voss, and the showers had increased. We could check out the church there, and also a comfort stop. Inger went in to check out facilities for us, no specials on today, 10 kroner each for the toilet, so we combined our change, and the girl stood and counted the money as well as counting us into the rest room!! She made a comment about the money, but think she just gave up in the end!!
We continued onto Stalheim where they provide us with coffee or tea. It was still wet, which was a shame as the views on a fine day would be fantastic. However, the mist and rain didn't deter us getting some photos. We left Stalheim for Flam down a tight switchback road with an 18% gradient, with spectacular scenery and views.
Arrived at Flam with just enough time to buy some lunch along with many, many tourists, all dodging the rain. There were two cruise ships anchored, one being the MSC Orchestra, which was huge. Would be interesting to see these ships sail down the fjord.
Our ferry left at 12.15pm, with a Japanese couple missing the boat. Their friends were hoping they would go back for them, not likely!! We found a couple of chairs outside that were partly under cover, the rain cleared for most of the three hour journey from Flam to Gudvangen as we cruised through the Sognefjord, the longest and deepest (over 1800m!) fjord. We were accompanied most of the way by many seagulls. Such a spectacular fjord, the photos won't do it justice!
Chris picked us up at the Viking Village at Gudvangen, once again packed with tourists and more showers. We decided to just hop on the bus and get on our way towards Balestrand.
A quick stop at a State Church, one of the remaining 28 in existence out of an original 1140. We opted to look from the bus, and keeping out of the rain. It costs 70 kroner each to get a look inside, and not the sort of church to interest us.
A short drive followed to the car ferry with one stop on the way. Interesting to drive off the ferry at this stop, turn around and drive back on!
Our next two nights are in Balestrand at the Kvikne, one of the historical hotels of Norway. The hotel is family owned, and we are keen to have a good look around tomorrow when the weather has cleared to a fine day, or so they predict!
A delicious buffet dinner again completed a great and full day.
Footnote for today:
While we were on our final ferry transfer, Don realized he didn't have his phone. Oops! Spoke with Chris, our driver, who said he would contact the hotel at Norheimsund. This was the best option as Chris can speak Norwegian. Yes, they had the phone, so after a few calls to organise how to get it back, all is now in place for them to send the phone to Oslo. A good outcome!!
The predicted thunder and lightning did not eventuate.