Flam to Bergen. We woke up (early) to another sunny, gorgeous day. My itchy throat caused me to not sleep well. We went back to the hotel for the buffet breakfast. The mini croissants were out, then just as I began to despair, an employee brought more out. Hooray! After breakfast we bought our ferry/cruise tickets for Gudvangen. It didn’t leave until 1:00 so Marc agreed to go on a bike ride with me since the weather was so nice. We walked back to the hostel and rented bikes. We rode the same trail I had rode, along the fjord towards Aurland. Then we biked to the other side of town and around where the hotel was where we had got the prius. We also returned the huge chunk of rock wall that I had “stolen” the day before and that Marc said was way too large of a “souvenir” to take back home…
Back to the hostel, we officially checked out, returned the bikes and dragged our luggage back to town. The hostess/owner of the hostel told us she was so glad that we’d had a chance to see Flam in all its sunny glory. Her comments made me so glad that we had decided to stay here for a couple of days. So many travel messageboards advise AGAINST staying overnight in Flam because there’s supposedly nothing to do. But our stay here would end up being one of the highlights of our trip.
For lunch, we checked out several options including the small grocery store which didn’t have any pre-made sandwiches. We settled on a cafeteria-type place for Marc, he had a burger and fries for 110 krone (about $13) due to the lack of dairy-free options. I had lox and potato salad on a baguette for 68 krone (about $8). After lunch we boarded the ferry for the fjord cruise to Gudvangen. People were hell-bent on getting the absolute best viewing spot and ours was really good, in the back of the boat. The scenery was awe-inspiring and we must’ve taken hundreds of photos! I was so glad the sun was shining! Trying to capture all of the amazing light and the variety of greens and blues… The hundreds of multi-tiered waterfalls… The little towns and the hills dotted with sheep and small cottages and sheds… At times, trying to fit the scenery into the camera lens! It was such an amazing cruise.
After the ferry, we immediately got in line for the next bus to Voss. The road to Voss included a section with about 10 switchbacks. The bus ride took an hour and passed a lot of pretty scenery, but I was beginning to feel motion sickness and hadn’t had time to pee. We finally got to Voss and bought bus tickets from a vending machine inside the station. The train showed up about 50 minutes later. The train arrived 6 min late to Bergen and again, there was lots of profuse apologizing for its tardiness. Along the way, we saw a lot of people out on their decks/in their yards enjoying the good weather.
It was a 10-15 minute walk to the hostel, the Bergen YMCA hostel. There were a lot of cobblestones slowing us down. The hostel room was just okay, better than in Flam (no bunk beds!) but not nearly as nice as Oslo.
The sun was shining still so we decided to stroll down to Bryggen since it was so close. There were tons of people eating and drinking al fresco. We were bundled up in all our layers and the Bergen people weren’t even wearing jackets! Parts of Bryggen were covered with scaffolding and there was equipment everywhere obscuring the view. Across from Bryggenn, a concert stage had been set up with full lighting etc. We wandered a bit through the “back alleys,” but it was a little disappointing. It’s supposed to feel like being in the “old town” but all of the modern clutter detracted from the charm. I find myself feeling less anxious, less thinking about the cats and less worried about my feet.
We went out for dinner at a Thai restaurant and had chicken phad thai, cashew chicken and egg rolls. Everything was good and fresh. Then we walked back to our hostel. The pubs and bars and patios of the restaurants were still hustling and bustling. Bryggen had a much more youthful vibe to it than Oslo, or perhaps we didn’t see that side of Oslo when we were there. Bryggen does NOT seem bike friendly though. We stopped at 7-11 right by the hostel and got stuff for breakfast. We spent the evening going over our guidebook, trying to decide what to do the next day.
Go on the next part of the journey!