Tuesday: Aug 19, 2008
(prohlidka Bergenu, cesta do Flåmu, kde jsme si pujcili kola na maly vylet)
On Tuesday we did some sightseeing in Bergen and then took road E16
to Voss, Flåm and Aurland.
The Edvard Grieg Hotel in Bergen was probably
the best (and most expensive) place we stayed in on our trip. Most rooms
were named after Grieg's compositions and inside you'd find Maestro's portraits
in very vivid colors (lower right).
Since our way back to downtown Bergen lead past Troldhaugen, where Grieg
spent most of his late years, we parked our car and took a
little pedestrian alley...
...to Edvard Grieg's museum.
Bergen is quite proud of its most famous denizen.
Here is a Concert Hall bearing Grieg's name in downtown Bergen.
From there we took a little tour of the neighborhood.
We saw the City Park...
...with a gazebo besieged by flowers.
On one side of the gazebo there was the City Hall...
...and on the other side - surprise! - a statue of Edvard Grieg.
We even found a little fountain dedicated to Ole Bull, the famous
Norwegian violinist who discovered Edvard Grieg's talent.
Ole Bull's fountain is the head of a little pedestrian zone...
...that leads up to a theater bearing Henrik Ibsen's name. There we took
a sharp turn to the right and walked down...
...to the famous Bergen Harbour.
At the end of the harbor's inlet there is
a fish market and when you get around it...
...you come to the beautifully restored Hansa style houses
- probably the most photographed street in Bergen.
At the harbor we turned around and walked back past quaint
streets leading up into the hills...
...and many museums and galleries...
...until we came to the Bergen railway station, which was a rather appropriate
place to bid farewell to Bergen...
...because after 3 hour drive through mostly mountainous terrain...
...we arrived at Flåm - the home of Norway's most
This is the place where the fjords meet the mountains
in the most symbolic way. It takes merely a few steps to walk from
the fjord cruising ferry to the mountain climbing train.
Flåmsbana takes you from Flåm (elevation 0), to Myrdal (elevation 850 m),
where it connects with the Oslo-Bergen railway. Going from the sea level
to 850 meters in merely 20 km makes Flåmsbana the steepest railway in Europe.
Here you can also rent a bike, take the train to the mountains
and then ride back
to the fjord on the old construction road which the engineers used
when they were building the railway.
And that is exactly what we did.
Since Flåmsbana is a scenic railway, on its climb up to Myrdal it makes
a stop at the Kjosfossen station
where the passengers leave the train for about 15 minutes...
... filled with hectic waterfall shooting.
After about 40 minutes we arrived at Myrdal which is located
on a mountainous plateau.
There we hopped on our bikes and started our journey back to Flåm.
The train station is up there where the red houses are.
The first part of the bike trail was mostly flat, but that was soon to change
as we were about to enter the narrow valley leading to the fjord
(you can see it in the background).
The first half mile was rather steep,
and it was recommended that we walk our bikes down,
which was an advice most bikers heeded with the exception
of some Bulgarian dare-devil, who rode it out anyway.
Very soon the trail became a mildly descending dirt road...
...that followed a
wild mountain stream fed by numerous waterfalls from both sides.
After about 4 miles, the trail turned into a paved road,
because it was used by farms that started popping up
as we descended into lower elevations.
The free range goats were quite eager to show off their grazing skills.
Lower still even the little river calmed down, the road became mostly
flat and the last mile was like a little village-spotting field trip.
After we turned our bikes in, we drove to Aurland and settled for the night
in the first reasonably looking camp we could find.
As it was still too early to hit the sack, we drove down to
one of the branches of Sognefjord...
...and stayed there till twilight.