Our last big stop on our 2nd day of our road trip was Balestrand. This was probably the one I was most excited about. We arrived it was quite late, so we did a little bit of wandering around. My daughter had also become very unruly, so we ended up spending a couple hours before retiring for the day at our apartment in Førde. I did really like Balestrand and happy we trekked this far to explore this small town.
The village of Balestrand is in the Balestrand municipality, in the Sogn og fjordane region. It is located on the northern shore of the Sognefjorden and the mouth of Esefjorden. This town has been a major tourist stop since the 1800s. It is also known as the Art village and has inspired many artists from England and Germany. These travellers have also influenced much of the architecture.
Some points of interest include Sognefjord Aquarium (Sognefjord Akvarium and Gallery Munken), Golden house Gallery (Det gylne hus), Kviknes Hotel (Private collection of art mainly from the national-romantic period), King Bele Statue and Balestrand Viking Barrows, St Olaf’s Angelican Church and the Norwegian Museum of Travel and Tourism (Norsk Reiselivsmuseum).
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 2 : Balestrand (part 4)”
After stopping at Undredal we made our way to the town of Vikøyri. This stop wasn’t originally in the itinerary as we had intentions of crossing the fjord to Balestrand. However we were starving, so this was a convenient stop to make to have a break and try some Viking cheese.
First a bit about our major stop. Vikøyri is the central town for the municipality of Vik, in the Sogn og fjordane region. This old coastal settlement is situated midpoint on the Sognefjorden and the mouth of the Vikja river, which is the best salmon river in the region. Some of the points of interest include the Tine cheese factory (see below), the Hopperstad Stave Church, Hove Stone Church, old shore dweller site, Moahaugane Burial Mounds, the Kristianhus Båt- og Motormuseum.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 2 : Vikøyri (part 3)”
When I last left you we began our day in lovely Aurlandsvagen and next made our way to Undredal. We weren’t sure about making a detour to this small town as we had heard mix things. I guess if you are doing a river cruise you will see a nice view of the town. However, since we didn’t do a cruise we thought we may as well visit Undredal since it was only 20 mins from Otternes Bygdetun in Aurland.
Undredal is a tiny village within the municipality of Aurland and is situated on the Aurlandsfjorden. It previously was only able to be accessed by boat, but today it can be reached by the highway network. It has very small population of about 100 people and 500 goats. Why so many goats? Well Undredal is famous for it’s a brown goats cheese and goat sausage. It is still made in the traditional way and important for the towns economy.
We arrived to Undredal still quite early in the morning, so nothing was open except for a small store. Some points of interest that were closed were the tourist centre, the Undredal stavkyrkje (smallest Stave church in Northern Europe) and Undredal Tredreieri (Wood turners).
Unfortunately for us there wasn’t much to do, except enjoy the beautiful view of the fjord. It was still worth stopping just for that. I recommend stopping by this town later in the day if I want to visit some of the points of interest or get a bite to eat. From what we saw there are no coffee or pastry shops, so I’m not sure where people have breakfast, who are staying in the accommodations. The only cafe/restaurant we found was Eldhuset, it opens daily, but not until 11am.
You can visit the local farms producing the goats cheese, but it was the wrong time of year for our visit. You can actually pre-organise with the farmers to visit them and at the very least spend time with their goats. I discovered this the evening before so it was a bit late book in and we still had quite a big day ahead of us.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 2: Undredal (part 2)”
We ended our first day and began our second day of our road trip in the stunning location. Aurlandsvangen is a district within Aurland and sits on the Aurlandsfjorden, which is a branches from the King fjord, Sognefjorden. It is only a short distance by car from Flåm, Undredal and Nærøyfjord (Gudvangen). This was the perfect place to stay over night, since it had cheaper for accommodation, had amazing views (unobstructed by cruise ships) and it was very nice and quiet.
During our stay we made the most our our amazing view of the Aurlandsfjorden, explore the centre of Aurlandsvangen and made a trip to the abandoned village of Otternes Bygdetun.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 2: Aurlandsvangen (part 1)”
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.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 1: Flåm (part 3)”
Last I left you we had just seen some amazing Norwegian Waterfalls on the way to Gudvangen. Why were we headed to this small village in Aurland, Sogn og Fjordane? To visit the Viking Village of course!
The Viking Village is nestled between the Kjelfossen (one of the tallest waterfalls in Norway, 755 metres) and the spectacular Nærøyfjord. During the Viking period, Gudvangen was an important place for trade and it’s name translates to a ‘place of the gods’. So this is a fitting location to step back in time and experience the Viking way of life.
Before we visited the Viking Village, we took some photos on the Nærøyfjord. It is the most majestic fjord. The water is so clear and catches the shades of green from the mountains that dominate the landscape.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 1: Viking Village (part 2)”