Fjord day! You may have heard of this as the "Norway in a Nutshell" package tour, which it was in content, except (hot tip!) we booked the separate transportation pieces ourselves through Norway's exceedingly efficient and pleasant public transportation sector websites and saved a bunch of money (Hirsh's specialty) (expect such schemes to be a recurring concept).
We woke up early to catch the 6:20 AM westbound train from Oslo to Myrdal. Really beautiful views from our traincar, but in all honesty we were just exhausted from our early wakeup so we slept the majority of the ride.
From Myrdal, we hopped onto the Flam Railway. This is one of the steepest railways in the world, with five separate braking systems. We sat beside a nice family from Nashville, TN. As for the view out the windows, the pictures really don't do it justice. It's absolutely spectacular. One of the highlights was the thundering waterfall Kjosfossen, with a very special surprise appearance (to avoid spoilers, you'll have to visit Norway yourself to figure it out).
We got to the Flam port for our Flam-to-Gudvangen ferry and made a mad dash to the front of the ship for the best views of Sognefjord, the largest fjord in Norway. We had to aggressively - and I mean aggressively - defend our position in the front of the boat by building a wall with our backpacks. We had support from some other American comrades who pitched in with their packs, too. It was five young American backpackers against 500 Chinese and Russian tour bus tourists, some of whom tried to physically move our packs, but most of whom threw shade in their native tongue. It was a valiant battle, which I'm proud to say we won. 'Murica!
And as you can see from the pictures below, was it ever worth it! Until it got grim and rainy during the second half, but it was still so totally worth it!
After a two hour fjord cruise, we caught a local bus to Bergen and made our way to our next Airbnb. We were welcomed by our gracious host Inge, who gave us his scoop on Norway, and then recommended a local college hangout, Kafe Spesial, where we treated ourselves to a delicious meal of hot pizza and cold beer, much needed after a day on the fjords. 😀