I didn´t have much time so it had to be a “turbo-tour” to the Sognefjord this time. After some planning and a few telephone calls I knew where and when to go.
The next 31 hours, I would experience the Bergen Railway, Biking the Flåmsdalen Valley, join a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, hike along the Nærøyfjord and before taking the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal.
Train along the Bergen Railway
The weather forecast at looked good, with sun and clear blue skies predicted from mid-day the next day.
I put on my rucksack and headed down to the local train towards Oslo. From Oslo I took the night express train towards Bergen. The train passed Finse at 1222 metres, which is the highest point on the Bergen Railway. Immediately after Finse we arrived at Myrdal Train Station (865.5 masl) and I left the train here at 05:00 hrs.
Biking down the Flåmsdalen Valley
I had ordered a bike from Cafe Rallaren at Myrdal Train Station in advance, and I picked up the bike and started biking at 05:30 hrs, down the last part of Rallarvegen (the Navvies Road) towards the Flåmsdalen Valley. Then I continued along the 20 kilometre long road in the Flåmsdalen Valley, mostly downwards, towards Flåm at the inner part of the Aurlandsfjord.
It was fog and drizzling rain, but the atmosphere was magical in the dark. The waterfalls were frothing and roaring, the forest with it’s numerous trees were covered with moss. The air was fresh and cold. I was completely alone. Wonderful! The zigzag path down towards the Flåmsdalen Valley was steep, slippery and rocky but it turned out well and I was soon down in the main valley.
Down by the fjord
The Flåmsdalen Valley is wild and beautiful with it’s steep mountains and vertical waterfalls. The path had now become a road and the twenty kilometres from Myrdal to Flåm were an easy ride. The road is more or less downhill or flat all the way and at 08:30 hrs I arrived at Flåm, the end point of the bicycle tour. I left the bike down at Flåm Railway Station, at a designated place for bikes from Cafe Rallaren. The bike was then taken care of and transported back to Myrdal, this was included in the rental price.
At 09:00 hrs I boarded the boat for a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. It sailed out the Aurlandsfjord and into the Nærøyfjord, and two hours later I arrived at Gudvangen after a great boat trip along two of the most spectacular and beautiful fjords in the world.
The UNESCO Protected Nærøyfjord is a 18 kilometre long branch of the worlds second longest fjord, the Sognefjord (204 kilometre long). It is only 250 meters at the narrowest, and more than one kilometer at the widest. The depth varies between 10 and 500 meters. The surrounding mountains are up to more than 1400 meters high. By the Nærøyfjord, we have the small villages Gudvangen, Bakka, Styvi and Dyrdal. Dyrdal and Styvi are the only places without permanent inhabitants during the winter, and is without road connection.
Boat across the fjord
I had arranged in advance to be picked up by Svein in his boat at Gudvangen. He helps people who need conveyance over the fjord, and I was informed about him when I called the Tourist Information at Flåm. If you want to a shuttle across the fjord as I did, you should ask for contact information at the Tourist Information in Flåm, and then book the boat in advance. The boat can take you over to Bleiklindi from Bakka or Gudvangen, depending on what is most convenient for you.
Note! If you take a Fjord Cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen, some of the boat departures stops on request at Styvi so you can either leave or board the boat there. Note that not all boats have this stop at Styvi, check the Fjord Cruise Time Table for more information about the departure and arrival ports. Also note that if you are at Styvi and want to inform the boat to stop there and take you onboard, you need to turn on the flasher at the quay at Styvi. You can leave the boat at Styvi and hike along the Nærøyfjord to Bleiklindi (the starting point in my story), but then you must hike the same way back and then board the boat at Styvi for return to Flåm.
Svein and his boat took me to Bleiklindi, a good starting point for walking the Old Postal Road to Styvi six kilometres further out the Nærøyfjord. I had a lengthy break at the Quay at Bleiklindi. The weather was cloudy when I arrived but when I started the walk later, at 13:00 hrs, the sun from clear blue sky was shining brightly.
Walking the Old Postal Road by the Nærøyfjord
I have been kayaking the Nærøyfjord several times before but I have never walked this path and seen the fjord from land. This was a fantastic experience to see the fjord from another perspective. The Nærøyfjord was like a painting, with new motif’s turning up almost every step I took. Most of the people I saw were either in boat, canoe or kayak, but I also met a few on land. The boat-traffic had increased since last time I was here, probably due to status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Styvi – Norways smallest Post Office
At Odnes I had a break near the outlet of the river Odneselvi. I was drinking cold clear water from the river while enjoying the view towards the fjord, the mountains, the boats and the kayaks passing by. Then the walk continued out the fjord, passing Klungrenes before I arrived at Styvi at 16:30 hrs. Styvi was the endpoint of the path, and the view from here is spectacular. Kjellaug and Botolv from Styvi are staying here during the summer, serving people waffles and coffee. They also have a farm museum with old tools etc. Styvi has got the smallest post office in Norway and they have their own postal code, 5748 STYVI, despite the fact nobody lives there during the winter.
Ferry out the fjord
The Flåm Railway
Back at Flåm, at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, I entered the train at the Flåm Railway. This railway is one of Norway’s most spectacular with its 1 to 18 gradient and 20 tunnels taking you up the Flåmsdalen Valley to Myrdal. After a short stop at the wild and beautiful Kjosfossen Waterfall, the journey continued to the end station Myrdal which I had left 16 hours earlier. I had a few hours waiting at the Railway Station before I boarded the night-train, this time in the opposite direction back towards Oslo. I was tired but also full of impressions and experiences.
A fantastic day by the Sognefjord was at its end. I could hardly bear waiting for the next chance to come back to my favourite place on earth.
Information/Summary about my “Turbo Tour”
On a little more that a day I was biking the Flåmsdalen Valley from Myrdal to Flåm. I then took a Fjord Cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen and hiked the old Postal Road along the Nærøyfjord before I joined a Fjord Cruise back to Flåm and took the Flåmsbana Railway from Flåm to Myrdal.
I started and ended this trip in Oslo, with the Bergen Railway from Oslo to Myrdal and then back the following night. All this took 31 hours in total from/to Oslo Central Railway Station. The train departed from Oslo at 23:25 hrs and arrived at Myrdal at 04:34 hrs. The return started at Myrdal at 01:04 hrs and I arrived in Oslo at 06:13 hrs. Note that the times for the train may change, check VY.no for correct time tables.
To do this in 31 hours is tough, not much sleep, but very nice. Anyway, if you have the time, I would stay a night or two in Flåm or Aurland to experience even more in this area. Read more about Flåm, Aurland, the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area here.
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway
Biking Flåmsdalen and Hiking along the Nærøyfjord – Map Overview