Today we had to get up at the ripe old hour of 6:30 to go and catch our fjord cruise at 8:00. Before we had left for Bergen we had tried to book the Norway in a Nutshell tour online, but it looked like it was full and we were out of luck. We were bummed, but we just figured we’d go to the info. booth when we got there and see what the situation was. It turns out there are all kinds of options for the tours, so we decided we were going to do the 12 hour fjord, bus and train combo. No Gilligan’s Island 3 hour cruise for us, oh no!
We started off with a 5 hour cruise to the Sognefjord, Norways longest and deepest fjord that extends more than 200 km inland to the national parks of Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen. My dad has always said that he never really want to come to Norway because he thought it would be too much like British Columbia. Well, I can now say he was 100% right, only it’s a little more, well, Norwegian! I’ve always wanted to come here, because I love nature, and I think somehow we’re always drawn to places that remind you of home. (Or maybe that’s just me!) At this point of my adventure, I’m welcoming things that remind me of home, let me tell you.
So we were told by the unfriendly and barely conscious boat guy that we were to change boats Midtfjords. We just figured they meant there was a stop in the mid point of the boat ride where we’d dock and get onto another boat. Oh no, what that really meant was we actually changed boats out in the MIDDLE of the water. So yes, truly MID fjord! So they put some sort of a plank between the two boats and a few steps later we were on the new boat. The reason we were changing boats is that we wanted to do the tour that took us into the narrowest part of the fjord, plus we’d avoid the extra long train ride that we had just done the day before.
We got to Gudvangen, where we were to take a bus to Voss. This town has a hotel, a restaurant, a few houses and a Viking Village called” Viking Valley, The Viking Experience.” A first glance it just looked like a rudimentary theme park, but upon closer inspection it looked like the people there were living there. They were all dressed in Viking gear and there were babies and dogs and kids running around. They were cooking and just hanging around and it had a bit of a commune vibe. It actually looked kind of interesting, but we didn’t have enough time to check it out.
Next we got on the bus and were on our way to Voss, where we would catch our train back to Bergen. Our bus driver thought himself a stand up comic, and in broken English he tried very hard to make us all laugh at his jokes, but he was thinking so hard about how to say it in English that he was pausing too much and his delivery was all wrong, but oh my god…. it WAS funny! He told the longest, most drawn out story about trolls going to Los Angeles and doing god knows what. Hilarious! Trolls factor big here in Norway. I just don’t think they’re as cute and lovable as the gnomes.
Here is Michele looking very happy because we had just found my camera that I had (stupidly, and accidentally) left on the train. In usual Andrea fashion I immediately gave up all hope of ever getting it back, but Michele insisted we go back to the train to see if we could find it. We weren’t even sure if the train that was still in the station was the one we had just been on, and I was scared the train would take off with us on it! We run through the train, going from car to car. Miracle of all miracles, there it is, sitting on the seat. I was so happy I jumped up and down! Then we got off the train stat and went and had some Indian food. Bergen is astonishingly ethnic with their restaurant choices!