Polar Bear Hunt 2015 - Day 18

Flåm to Bergen by ferry, bus and train

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we walked across the road to the wharf where our ferry to Gudvangen was waiting to depart at 9am. This is a regular ferry service that travels through the fjords, visiting a host of small villages and isolated farms as required. Most of the passengers travel all the way from Flåm to Gudvangen at the head of the fjord, where buses are available for the trip up to the railway at Voss.

The local bus service took us to Voss, where we waited for the train to Bergen. We had selected a hotel close to the station at Bergen, so after checking in we walked through the centre of the town to the port area and the heritage part of Bryggen.

Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord by ferry

From Flåm, the ferry headed north, stopping briefly at Aurland to pick up a few passengers. We could see the lookout of Stegastein high on the hill, which we had visted the day before. We continued along Aurlandsfjord, passing the small village of Undredal before turning southwest into Nærøyfjord. These fjords are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and even on a cloudly and rather cold morning it was still a majestic sight in the narrow fjord. Water abounded, with the sides of the fjords covered in waterfalls. These are partly the result of the high rainfall, and also the rapid snow melt at this time of year. We passed through the narrowest part of the fjord at Nærøyfjorden and on to Gudvangen at the head of the fjord. Here we had to wait for about half an hour for the bus, so we bought a coffee and snack and watched the tourists go by.

Our ferry to Gudvangen waiting.
On board, looking back to Flåm.
Ready to depart, Aurland is this way.
The cruise ship is still here.
But judging by the smoke,
it is getting ready to depart...
Its smoke gives a clear view of the layers in the atmosphere - and how much pollution it creates.
Looking north along Aurlandsfjord.
Our ferry is also the postal service.
Waterfalls abounded.
Approaching Aurland.
The town of Aurland.
Bridge where the main road crosses the Aurlandselvi river.
The ferry wharf.
Fruit trees - the climate must be warm enough in summer.
Through the early morning mist, the Stegastein lookout high on the hill.
Approaching the junction of the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord
Turning into the Nærøyfjord
Farms or holiday cottages?
A short section of road that did not seem to go anywhere.
The town of Undredal.
We sailed past slowly but nobody wanted to get off - or on.
Undredal in the distance.
Steep side to the fjord with a farm house a long way up the side.
Goats! but they would be in this terrain.
Wharf and main entrace to the farm.
Another ferry.
More views of Nærøyfjord
There is something on that rocky outcrop...
A tent! How did they get there?
Kayak of course...
More waterfalls.
The village of Dyrdal with a group of kayakers camping by the rivermouth.
A quick stop to drop off a pair of explorers.
These seals are a long way from the open ocean.
Five men in an open dingy...
The town of Nærøyfjorden, at the narrowest part of the fjord.
Another ferry.
Approaching the end of the fjord at Gudvangen.
The camouflaged café
Preparing to disembark.
Footbridge over the river - for tourists to get to the other side I think.

Gudvagen to Voss by bus

There is a local bus service that runs from Gudvagen to the railway station at Voss. It ist imed to leave soon after the ferry arrival. We departed at 1140 sharp and it cost us Kr110 (about $NZ18) each. In summer the bus takes a detour over the old road, passing the Stalheim Hotel for those who wish to stay in this isolated place. It then drops back down the hill in a series of zig-zag 'S' bends that the bus was just able to negotiate. We then drove through the tunnel that replaced the old road and on to Voss.

Driving south along the valley of the Nærøydalselvi.
We then climbed high above the fjord to pass the Stalheim Hotel
The start of the steep bends. Note waterfall on left.
Looking back down to Gudvangen..
This will be a challenge for the bus.
If the yellow bus can manage it, so can we...
View back down to the valley floor
Back to the Nærøydalselvi river.
Passing through farmland on the road to Voss.
Foxgloves come in two colours
The road is open today..
Plenty of water everywhere.
Plenty of people too, at Voss. Where did they all come from? A cruise ship of course!!
Voss - 57m above sea level and 106.7 km from Bergen.


Our train from Voss to Bergen was running late, so we arrived in Bergen much later then we had expected. We checked into our hotel, the Grand Hotel Terminus, which is across the road from the station. It was a grand hotel alright, but grand in the old style. It was a bit dated but still comfortable. We then walked into central Bergen, passing the gardens complete with duck pond and the "Festplassen" where an outdoor concert was being held. We then walked on to the old harbour area (Bergen havn) and the UNESCO heritage site of Bryggen with its old wooden warehouses.

Concert in the park.
Street scenes.
Even Bergen has street performers.
The old harbour area.
Looking across to the old buildings of Bryggen.
A superyacht and small tug...
The tug is the Norwegian Fisheries Museum
These are all fish restaurants.
And the fish market
At a price - salmon dish for Kr199 ($NZ33).
Alternatively, you can have reindeer or "wild" burger.
And you will need gold or diamonds to pay for it.
Once a church, now Starbucks and Egon restaurants.
Some of the classic buildings in Bryggen.
Even the covers in the road have the iconic design.
Some of the charm of Bryggen is the narrow lanes that run between the buildings.
Down one lane the wooden building sold lace..
Back on the waterfront, most of the places were cafes.
Or tourist shops, this one sold silver.
Even the tour bus is scenic.
McDonald's - of golden arches fame - is appropriately housed.
Plenty of knitted woollens - even a cover for your Thermos flask.
Also toy shops...
and models of the Bryggen buildings.
Kiwi - what's THAT doing here?
Finally, cider and food.

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Last updated: 9/12/2015