Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Scandinavia Trip Day 4: Voss, Gudvangen, Flam


After a carbolicious breakfast at Scandic Bergen City’s Restaurant Amalie, we board the bus for a 1.5-hour ride to Voss.

On the way, we see…


Lakes and tiny wooden houses (well, at least they look tiny from our bus)


Bridge and church


More wooden houses and bits of snow on top of the mountains


Real snow-capped mountains this time, and a frozen river, too! I suddenly dream of becoming a figure skater. I imagine myself gliding and twirling as light as a feather on thin ice and OOOPS! The ice suddenly cracks under my weight. I fall into the water and freeze to death. Feather and me, I don’t think it’s a match.


221679_10150170822574570_510889569_6573251_837435_nWe have a 5-minute stop at this site just quick enough for a group photo op (and lots and lots of solo pics. Ha!) That’s Vibson, Me, Frances, Felisse, Ernest, and Erwin.


Then we’re back on the road again to continue our journey to Gudvangen Fjordtell. This time we see…


More wooden houses and snow-capped mountains




Gushing white water rivers. I so want to go rafting here!


Snow, snow, snow


Finally, we arrive Gudvangen Fjordtell where we board the ferry for the 2-hour cruise
that will take us to Flam


One of the soldiers that guard the entrance


But first, we make a quick run to the souvenir shop


Felisse and I luurrrve these boots


That’s our ferry on the left


Boarding time!


Auntie Anita, Auntie Jacky, Auntie Baby, Auntie Atis, Auntie Rosie, Uncle Harry,
Uncle Boon Tian, Auntie Nita, Florence, Frances, Felisse


We cruise along the scenic Nærøyfjord, one of the many fjordarms in the 204-km long Sognefjord, but the most scenic and dramatic of all. In fact, in 2005, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.


225911_10150170833094570_510889569_6573452_2630851_nTo say that it is breathtaking is simply an understatement. The water is so serene you see in it a clear reflection of nature’s magnificence.


Pristine white seagulls soar above, and we take turns capturing the beauties in action.


Frances’s bird shots:




Vibson’s bird shots:





My bird shots:

Nyahaha! But they are flying too fast!!!


This one’s a little bit better, but I give up!


So I just take a photo of Auntie Babie and Frances.
They are not birds, I know, but they are chicks! Winking smile


Other people trying their luck with the seagulls


231142_10150170828529570_510889569_6573330_7247962_nStripey pair


Uncle William, Uncle Boon Tian and Uncle Frank


230199_10150170829079570_510889569_6573347_6299218_n8 Aunties and an Uncle


223521_10150170829009570_510889569_6573345_1473946_nErrr… Rose and Jack wannabes, this is NOT Titanic


If you’re lazy to drive, the ferry will take your car in, too




Speeding up a bit


225160_10150170829144570_510889569_6573348_5554435_nAs we cruise closer to Flam, we see houses dotting the foot of the mountains


221993_10150170829589570_510889569_6573359_621108_nThere’s a lovely small community


226345_10150170831514570_510889569_6573412_73557_nAnd wooden houses built on stilts


226445_10150170828479570_510889569_6573328_4007423_nA long and skinny waterfall, too


222211_10150170838309570_510889569_6573577_600080_nFelisse so badly wants a photo of herself feeding the seagulls, but after standing and waiting with her arm stretched out for half a day, no seagull would go near her Skyflakes


230993_10150165509707293_718632292_6920019_3537942_nThat is until she finally gets lucky when one big and hungry seagull swoops down and snatches her cracker


227497_10150165509892293_718632292_6920021_1720335_nBig seagull is starving. Is it time for lunch yet???


222548_10150170832669570_510889569_6573438_2810592_nThis place looks like there’s food in it. Yey!


227293_10150165514712293_718632292_6920068_695186_nOur “Welcome to Flam” group picture


Bye bye, ride!


Lunch today is at Furukroa Restaurant


Buffet spread:

                                    Breads                                                              Salad and cold appetizers


           Salmon prepared different ways                                                     Desserts


My plates:

                        Cream of asparagus                                     Salmon, penne, beef, fish cake, etc.


                Smoked and baked salmon                                     Pudding, mousse, fruit cocktail


I especially love this area of the restaurant. So warm and cozy.


And this chandelier made from wooden branches is just brilliant and rustic


After eating we check in at Fretheim Hotel, settle in our rooms, tour the old (but so much prettier) wing of the hotel, and set out to stroll around Flam.

Turns out Flam is not a very big place. Tucked in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord, Flam is a small jewel of a town surrounded by steep mountainsides, waterfalls and deep valleys.  There’s not much to do, but really, you don’t come to Flam to do anything (except maybe fishing).

You come here to relax, recharge, breathe fresh air, and simply exist in the paradise that it is.




Flamsbana, or the Flam Railway, is one of the world’s steepest railway lines.
And tomorrow we are gonna experience it.




229554_10150170831149570_510889569_6573400_546066_nSad but true Sad smile


IMG_3254Dinner is at The Conscious Kitchen at Fretheim Hotel


                           Breads and butter                                        Arugula salad in balsamic vinaigrette


             Giant deer meatball and potatoes                               Giant deer meatball innards


Fresh fruits with vanilla cream


Happy, full and ready to snooze (just look at Uncle William, hehehe!)

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