140608 Bergen – Balestrand

The Plan

This morning, start your journey by train from Bergen to Myrdal where we change trains and continue on the world-famous Flam railway.  Amid spectacular scenery and roaring waterfalls we will descend 900 metres to the picturesque village of Flam.  From here we enjoy a gorgeous fjord cruise to Balestrand where our hotel is located waterside at the junction of the Sognefjord and Esefjord. FB,D Overnight Special Stay: Balestrand

How the Day Turned Out

Our itinerary says we have just done Day 5 of 10. Of the 5 days, 3 have been full of postcard pictures at almost every turn. Today is no exception as we board our electric train to Myrdal where we change trains to the famous Flam railway. There are lots of those Norge mountain scenes which we have all seen and wondered at in times past, but to be ‘in it’ is a real privilege.

Myrdal is situated on a mountain plateau, and we have been warned to have warm clothing ready as often the temperature is way below freezing point but fortunately, for us, not today. The Flam railway train is waiting for us. Our seats have been pre-registered which enables us to be in the one compartment on the train. There are 10 carriages, with a second engine on the back.

For all the technical buffs, here are a few facts about the railway:

Year of completion 1940

Length 20.20km

Altitude Difference 863.6 meters

Steepest Grade 1:18

Brake systems 5

Tunnels 20

Bridges 1

Water Tunnels 4

Stops and halts during the 1 hour ride – 8

Time to build it – 20 years

Cost – 20 Million Krone

Cost if built today – 20 billion Krone, per kilometer.

While travelling down the very steep slop towards Flam, the train brakes are continually on. For all my fellow menieres disease sufferers, I have found a temporary cure for tinnitus; ride the Flam and experience high screeching and so, for a short period, no tinnitus.There are many waterfalls along the way. If only we were here a month ago when the snow-melt was at its highest, the waterfalls would have been a real treat to behold.

The train meanders down from the high plateau through tunnels and makes a stop at the mighty Kjosfoss, a waterfall whose spray showers the train with its fine mist. We get out and take the “selfie” (that didn’t turn out ok at all) and get our camera lenses dampened from the waterfall mist. As the train gets close to Flam, we see orchards and meadows in the valley.

We are given free time in Flam to wander through the train museum, have lunch and just stand in awe at the high cliffs that go straight down into the water many many meters below. Large cruise ships can come into this fjord, it is so deep.

Our hydro-ferry is waiting to take us to Balestrand, just 90 minutes down the fjord. We check into the Kviknes Hotel and have the best buffet meal we have had on the tour so far. The view from the table is one you would die for as we look out over the water and up the fjord. After the meal, we wander along the quiet streets of the village looking for vantage spots to take photos and to remember them for tomorrow morning’s early, early morning photo shoot I plan to do on my own: would you believe it is light enough at 2:00am? Look for the next post to see the results.

Thank-you Scenic Tours, a great day for all of us.

Author: @colinspain

The Official Blogger for Grey Nomads Travel and Cruise Group Tours

7 thoughts on “140608 Bergen – Balestrand”

  1. I did this trip ten years ago and would do it again. Fantastic memories, except the train from Myrdal was so crowded, in the front carriages, we ended up standing the whole way… Still I will check back with your posts again, as in 36 hours I myself am headed for Norway! Great photos…enjoy the fabulous land that is Norway

  2. Hey Colin, Your photos are amazing, I wish I was there.
    Best wishes to all and please say hello to Harold for me.
    Keep up the good work – Regards, Brian & Sandra

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: