….along a 20km “twisted” route, from Myrdal, 867m above sea level on the Hardangervidda plateau, snaking down to Aurlandsfjord, in the valley of Flam. A thrilling journey along one of the steepest regular rail tracks in the world.
We arrived from Oslo at 13:00, after a magnificent ride with the Bergen Railway (have a look at this post) and left Myrdal at 13:25 with the Flam train, which branches off the main route from Oslo to Bergen.
Online seat reservation for this small, cute train (if I remember well it had a wood interior) had not been possible and there were too many people waiting to board. I managed to get a window seat though, which was not really necessary, as we were all standing most of the time, trying to get a good shot. The speed limit is 30km/h when descending, but it did go even slower than that, which would have been ideal for taking photos, had it not been so crowded.
After running through shelters in the area of Myrdal, small tunnels, a big curve and a 900m long tunnel, we stopped at Kjosfossen waterfall (still covered with ice and snow in the middle of May), at an altitude of 670m, just 4km from Myrdal.
The fall is 225m tall, as it continues down into a gorge. A young blonde woman (I read they are students from the Norwegian Ballet school) in a red dress was dancing up on the hill, in the sound of the waterfall and Norwegian music…playing “Huldra”, a fairy that according to a Norwegian legend, haunts the forest and seduces men. You can see a sample of her performance here.
After the stop, we ran through two >1km tunnels and then crossed the Flamselvi (Flam River), followed by many short tunnels (no wonder it took them 20 years to build the line) and a magnificent scenery of steep mountains, snowy peaks, lakes, gorges and waterfalls.
The journey continues through one more long tunnel and passes by Rjoandefossen, another main attraction of this trip…but the Japanese tourists are going so crazy with their cameras that it is almost impossible to see anything.
The landscape then gets greener and less wild and dramatic…we will soon be approaching the valley and village of Flam, the port and Aurlandsfjord.
You will find more photos here. That was a spectacular ride, which only cost me 360 NOK (remember to book it directly through the NSB official site, as agencies charge significantly more), less than the meal I had in Oslo the night before. It was the best “dessert” after the Bergen Railway experience…how many wonders had my eyes seen that day…and it was not even 14:30 yet. Thank you Norway!!!! I would have boarded on the train to go uphill now and hike or cycle along the last 20km of the famous Rallar Road, all the way down to Flam again, had I not needed to catch the ferry to Bergen in an hour.