Wednesday, 14 April 2010

When terminology fails

How many words does a language have to describe nature's highlights?
Gorgeous, baffling, marvelous, breathtaking, mind-boggling- stop it right here! Otherwise there will be no description of the day. But what else springs to mind when you enter a place like Sognefjorden in the brightest of all days in springtime? The weather is suitable for a coronation, the valleys and villages are gleaming in the morning sun. Splendid, great, overwhelming, fantastic! A little later, FRAM stops in the railway station. That's right - we are in Flåm, departure point of one of the most spectacular train rides in the world, starting right at the pier. Only 21km, but 20 tunnels, bringing us high up to nearly 900 m, crossing rivers and valleys and glaciers. Unbelievable, unreal, thrilling, magic! Some take the train back right away, some continue to Voss and the open air museum of Møstetunet. But the real fresh air fanatics join the mountain bike tour from Berekvam back to Flåm. Some time later a dozen of us glide down the fjord-flanking little roads, warm wind and sun in the face, the glittering of numerous waterfalls around the path, passing frozen waterfalls and lush meadows, stopping here and there for a picture.
Tremendous, enchanting, awe-inspiring, stunning!  Finally, after too short a time, we roll back into the port, where FRAM is already waiting to carry on, deeper again into the Fjords until the world seems to end. Gudvangen, dead end for ships but the starting point for a very unusual excursion - the white caves of the Sognedal. Pragmatically speaking, it is a marble reservoir that has been dug out of the mountains for about fourty years. But look what they did to the place! They transformed it into a beautifully lit grotto with little snippets of classical music here and there, you walk on your own, treading softly on a carpet to avoid noises that distract you from this silent moments of introspection. At the end of this peaceful path is a big hall with wooden benches and reindeer skins and tea and candles and cookies. A little quieter than before, we get back on the bus, down to the pier, into the boats and - finally, after a very long day, home to FRAM.
Isn't the world - simply beautiful?