Friday, July 10, 2009

Naeroy and Aurlands Fiords

The Good Ship Lykkeper, at Gudvangen

Waterfalls on the Naeroyfjord

Typical Naeroy view

On the Naeroy

Gulls follow the cruise boats everywhere, hoping for a handout


The village of Undredal (at the bottom of the mountain)

Geology students: note U-shape

More waterfalls


The boat cruise from Flam to Gudvangen (and vice versa) takes in two of the more scenic arms of the Songdefiord, the Naeroy and the Aurlands fiords. Both are unusually high and narrow. The Naeroy, another World Heritage Site, narrows to 250m at one point, and the cliffs/peaks along the fiords can reach 4,000 feet. Typically, one boats just one way, then buses back, either beginning or ending the day on the Flamsbana, a 20km alpine railway thrill-ride. We decided that neither the bus ride nor the Flamsbana were of interest and so elected to do the cruise both ways, from Gudvangen to Flam and back to Gudvangen. The photographer among us observed that this would give us good views and light on both sides of the fiords. Anyhow, this is what we did, driving (mostly tunnel) from Flam to Gudvangen, and then spending most of the rest of the day on the cruises, including the return stop at the formerly isolated village of Undredal.

The fiords, such as we have seen now, are awesome. We were very impressed with the fiords we saw in New Zealand (although they are mostly inaccessible to the normal tourist), and also Alaska. Norway's fiords seem on a different scale altogether in size, height, extent and complexity. The glaciers that made them are gone, although vestigial glaciers remain in the high country. The work of those ancient glaciers was colossal, their effects beyond any words or images.

We drove on from Gudvangen, past Voss, to a rest area on a lake just east of Dale.

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