I’ve been a little sick this last week, so I hadn’t had a chance until today to take you to our next destination on our first day of our road trip. Flåm is tiny village located in the valley Flåmsdalen, in the area of Aurland. It is a popular tourist destination and it’s main attraction is the scenic Flåmsbana Railway, which travels between Flåm and Myrdal. Although this train ride is highly recommend we decided to skip it, since we had done that Bergensbanen line a few days before. Instead we spent a couple of hours having a look around before settling for the night in Aurlandsvangen.
So as we drove into Flåm it became apparent that most people were there for the Flåmsbana Railway. Many people travel by cruise ship or bus to take this trip, so that they can experience some of the most beautiful landscapes in Western Norway. The ride takes about 2 hours and ascends 866 metres. One of the highlights is a short performance of dancers in front of a backdrop of the Kjosfossen waterfall (see previous post). As I mentioned we skipped it since it was going to cost each 550 NOK ($90 AUD) for an adult ticket and a discounted ticket for Octavia. There are plenty of other activities you can do from Flåm for a fee, such as boat rides, kayaking, and tours. You can also hike for free and there are maps to show you where to go.
Another great reason to stop into Flåm is the view of the beautiful Aurlandsfjord. This fjord does flow through Aurland, Vik, and Lærdal, so chances are you are going to come across it if your in these areas. It is a 29-kilometre long fjord, which branches off the main Sognefjorden, making it Norway’s longest fjord. Of course each town or vantage point has its own unique view of this fjord and this one is very lovely. There was a big cruise ship when we visited which did obstruct some of the view, but it also had some great jazz music.
There is plenty of shopping in Flåm for tourists. I did find many of the same stuff that I had come across in Bergen and on the way here, but I also found much more that I hadn’t seen. The Museum Souvenir store had many specialised goods for this area and many items for kids. There was also a high end store, factory outlet and Sami store. I enjoy looking through everything on offer. Octavia enjoys rearranging the magnets and anything else that looked out of place. So you can imagine we had a little problem. Luckily there was a playground where Marco was able to take her.
Originally we were going to have dinner in Flåm. There are quiet a few restaurants to service the tourist visiting for the day and others staying in overnight in the accommodation. I really wanted to go to Ægir microbrewery, which is a restaurant and brewery. The building is just stunning and it has great reviews. Unfortunately since we ate so late at the Viking Village, we were really not hungry. We thought we would drive back after we settled into our Airbnb in Aurlandsvangen, but we didn’t come back. Our hosts actually worked here and did recommend this place, so I am bit sad we missed it.
Inside the yellow Souvenir store is a Flåm Railway Museum. This was probably the most exciting thing for me, since we weren’t taking any trips from Flåm. This free permanent exhibition tells the story of how the world’s steepest railway was built and the challenges they faced. It also explores the lives of the people who built the rail and the rural culture of nearby areas. The Flåm Railway actually began construction in 1924 and wasn’t completed until 1940. 18 of the 20 tunnels that were built to facilitate this 5692 metre rail line were actually dug by hand. I was just amazed as I read their stories and imagined what an amazingly difficult feat it would of been to create this railway.
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Flåm. I am sorry I couldn’t show you photos of the Flåmsbana Railway, but I have more amazing fjord photos coming up.
Have you been to Flåm and did you take the Flåmsbana Railway?