We tiptoed into the far more touristed area of the fjords than where we are — the area around Flam. I can see why it draws so many people – the scenery is more dramatic than Solvorn, with higher, tighter mountains lining the fjords. There also are lots of tourist amenities including the “Norway in a nutshell” train, buses and cruise ships. But I never found a place I wanted to stay more than pretty and relatively placid Solvorn, so that was good.
We did see some great scenery by taking the ferry cruise from Kaupanger to Gudvagen, a slow moving boat that glided along the sognefyord, the grand daddy of fjords here, and the Nærøyfjord, the particularly narrow and scenic fjord around Flam. We showed up at 8:30 a.m for the 9 am ferry, without a reservation and easily got on the ferry. Good to know, although I am told with later ferries its wise to book ahead. After the ferry, we drove to the remote village of Undredal, which was as lovely and unspoiled as we’d heard. Situated in a dramatic spot along the Nærøyfjord, the little village has a handful of businesses including one shop selling its famous goat cheese and goat sausage, which we ate for lunch at one of several handy picknic spots by the fjord and the one place to stay in
We passed quickly through Flam and Aurland, lots of people and tour buses. next stop, the spectacular Snow Road from Aurland to Lærdal, the highest road in Norway, we’re told, and not for the faint of heart. WE drove up and around and around the mountains, with one astonishing fjord view after another, and fortunately not too much oncoming traffic, since the road is basically one lane with some wide spots for passing. I was also relieved that there were guardrails. We stopped at the stegastein platform that stretches out over the mountain, which was packed with selfie-stick clad tourists but most of them did not continue on as we did to the really high and barren stretch of the Snow Road, which felt very lunar with occasional pools of ice water and stretches of deep snow. We stopped at one overlook and walked into a strange cave -looking entrance that we thought might be a toilet.Turned out to be an art installation — a fake bear sleeping atop a pile of random stuff. That was a surprise.
After shopping at the bigger grocery store in the bigger town of Sogndal, we happily returned to our sweet little village, took another swim in the frigid fjord and made dinner (grilled cheese for dirck, smoked salmon, snofisk cream cheese and crackers for me…the other guests at Eplet make far
We keep it quick and simple.with fresh strawberries or raspberries at every meal.) Right now, at almost 10 p.m. (and broad daylight) I am writing this from a cozy Danish modern chair in the Eplet common room. An American mother and daughter are sitting nearby and a Scandinavian couple. A French couple with a little girl have moved on. Another couple is drinking beer and quietly playing scrabble. Some American and French kids are playing croquet on the lawn beside the sprinklers shooting water on the garden. New age and Jazz is playing softly. I look up and out the window: Tree covered mountains sloping down to the blue water. Sunshine and shades on the slopes.