The village of Flam lies in the heart of western Norway at the innermost part of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord. At almost 130 miles long, the Sognefjord is the longest and some say, the most beautiful of Norway’s fjords. Flam itself is surrounded by picturesque scenery of meadows, orchards and imposing mountains. Tourists come from all over the world to ride on the famous Flam Railway, which runs up to Mydral to connect with the main Oslo to Bergen line.
The railway is a masterpiece of engineering and offers one of the most scenic train journeys in Europe passing dramatic cascading waterfalls, steep hillsides and snow capped mountains. Over a distance of less than 13 miles, the train track climbs from sea level to approximately 2,850 feet, crossing back and forth across rivers and through 20 tunnels.
Tours departed throughout the morning with many passengers choosing excursions on the Flam Railway. Other tours included ‘Fjord Village and Osterbo Mountain’ and ‘Iconic Norway’. Iconic Norway was a comprehensive full day sightseeing tour beginning with a short walk along the pier to the railway station platform to board the train for a memorable journey on the Flam railway, passing through a narrow valley hemmed in by towering, snow capped mountains.
As our guests ascended, the train paused at Kjosfossen, and some stopped and took pictures of the tumbling waterfall. They then changed trains at Mydral and joined the Oslo to Bergen mainline into the village of Voss which is pleasantly situated beside Lake Vangsvatnet. Although heavily bombed during World War II, its old church which dates from 1277 remained standing. It has some rather unusual features, including an octagonal steeple dating from the 16th century. After a buffet lunch in the restaurant of a local hotel our guests rejoined the coach and continued through Norway’s dramatic scenery, stopping at another beautiful waterfall, Tvindefossen, before heading down through Stalheim Canyon. After pausing in Stalheim, they headed off on the final part of the excursion, driving along a thrilling road that negotiates 13 hairpin bends in just one mile before returning to Flam.
The original plan had been to remain in Flam until 3am and then hot foot it around the fjord to our next port, Skjolden. However, I decided it made far more sense to heave anchor shortly before 7pm, thus allowing our guests an early evening cruise through the Sognefjord and a quiet night alongside in Skjolden.
Tonight’s 'Showtime' was a classical affair as we invited The Covent Garden Piano Consort to the Ballroom as they proudly presented 'Classical Favourites'. The evening continued with music for dancing from the Over Easy Duo and our gentlemen hosts attended for any ladies who wished to trip the light fantastic.
Some guests chose to end the evening with Dave Peterson in the South Cape Bar as he tinkled the ivories until late until the night or sampled some gourmet bites in the Lido Cafe
Tonight the preview stage lit up with our cheeky gentlemen from Explosive Productions. Dan & Andy performed their show entitled ‘The Boys are back in Town!’ singing a touch of soul and rock ‘n’ roll! Accompanied by The Saga Ruby Orchestra the boys had the ladies swooning at their renditions of classic hits from Elvis to the Blues Brothers with many staying up till late as we sailed the short distance to our next port of call Skjolden, Norway.