Monday, July 27, 2015

Sognefjord and Fjaerlandfjord, Norway

 I left Bergen at 8am, went on the ferry to Sognefjord. I was going to make a stop at Balestrand, stay the night, continue tomorrow up to Flam, stay the night at Flam and then take the train back to Bergen. As we approached Balestrand, the captain announced that what we're seeing up ahead is the 6,000 year old Jostedal glacier, the biggest in Europe. In fact there is a boat waiting at Balestrand to take people there right now. So a bunch of us jumped at the chance. I took my luggage and got on this little skiff and off we went up the Fjaerlandfjord and on to Fjaerland to see this glacier.

 All the way up the Sognefjord we passed remote farm houses.

 Fjaerland is a very prosperous town. The retreating glacier has left behind some of the most fertile soil in Norway. The Norwegians prefer the warmer South of Norway and that is why most of the population is concentrated in the warmer southern cities. The North is very sparsely populated.
 It's summer and the glacier has retreated.

 Then we came back to Balestrand and I'm in my hotel, showered and fed.

 This is the view from my bedroom which is at the back of the hotel. Balestrand is a cute place.
 This is St Olaf, an example of a stave church. This is stave architecture. I was surprised to read that the church of England runs this place.
 This is the view from this apartment when they look out their back! Imagine that. This is July and the snow stays all year round.
This was what I ate for dinner, Norwegian meatballs. They were really good. What a day it was. I was wondering how to travel up the Fjaerlandfjord to Fjaerland and by some quirk of fate, I did it!

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