Always be Fjording // Day 2

For us, this trip to Norway was really about taking a small little trip before joining the family in Germany. We only a handful of days we figured the "Norway in a Nutshell" tour was our best bet for encapsulating the experience and views. The title sounds like a joke but the Nutshell is real and gets entire chapters in tour books - it is also how we spent our entire day.

Here's how the Nutshell breaks down:
1. train from Bergen to Voss
2. Bus from Voss to Gundvagen
3. Boat from Gundvagen to Flam
4. train from Flam to Mrydal

If you do the entire thing in one day, you don't get home for like 12 hours. That seems unnecessary ... so we intelligently elected to do an overnight in Flam before heading to Oslo (via Mrydal) tomorrow. We are geniuses. I know this because right now we are sitting on a balcony wrapped in blankets a stone's throw from the glassy fjord. 

The Nutshell
As you can tell from the list above, the Nutshell is a transportation intensive experience. It is literally one of everything except biking perhaps. Add in about 250 people that you wish you never saw again and that is a seriously beautiful day in Norway. The people of Norway? Very nice. The tourists of Norway? The worst. 

Given that this was like a 6-7 hour activity, I'll keep it to a few bullet points.

Bergen train. Doesn't really matter which side you sit on, but maybe sit on the left. Care more about who looks annoying to sit near for 2 hours. I'm not joking. We took a morning train so all the valleys were still filled with a heavy morning cloud cover. It was pretty crazy and beautiful.

Bus from Voss. Your goal should be to sit in the front of the bus - but we sat in the back. The ride is largely uneventful, but still filled with Norway charm. The main highlights are this incredibly steep switchback road down to Gundvagen. I think they said it was like a 20% incline at points. There are some great waterfalls as well. People go crazy for a waterfall.

Boat from Gundvagen. This is largely the highlight of the trip because you are actually in the fjord. Your main goal should be to get two seats on the railing. After defending our personal space for the past two days, we took this seriously. The fjord trip is seriously gorgeous. You keep getting excited when you see a waterfall or a small house just tucked on the edge somewhere. 

It kind of reminded me of my trip to Capri. The ledge / mountain is so high and massive. I think like 1800 feet? You don't honestly realize how big it is until you see a baby kayak in comparison or another big old fjord cruise boat. There are a few little towns along the way too. While the main one to stop at is Flam, Aurland also looked "developed". We saw people parachuting down to Aurland from the top of the mountains. We also saw a helicopter deliver a cow. I'm not joking. The helicopter came zipping through the fjord with a massive object hanging below it. It was absolutely an animal and was either a cow or a horse. Kerrianne still can't talk about it.

And lastly Flam. Flam is an incredibly small town. It essentially consists of the following: a train museum, 4 hotels, a brewery, and a sweater shop. The town is perfectly peaceful, so if you are looking for a hubub of activity... this just is not it. Our hotel, the Flamsbrygga, is situated a little outside the main area with an unobstructed view of the fjord harbor. Maybe fjord's don't have harbors but this is literally the end of the fjord. We fell in love with the balcony immediately.

It seems that a lot of people who stay in Flam do so to hike or bike or kayak. We chose to walk and go to the brewery. The Aegir brewery is super cute and made us wish we had like 10 friends here to hang out with. There was an awesome fireplace, sheep skins on all the couches and seats. It was really perfect. We split a beer flight and a burger, planned our Oslo sights, and uploaded some pictures. The burger was beyond amazing. I can't even describe it.

On deck for tomorrow? Train from Flam to Oslo... and touring Oslo.

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