Sunday, 26 April 2015

Exploring Undredal & Gudvangen

While heading towards Undredal yesterday morning, we woke up to the impressive views that the 29-kilometre long Aurlandsfjorden was offering us. This fjord is a branch of the Sognefjorden, Norway´s longest fjord and reaches depths of 962 metres below sea level. Once in Undredal, we brought everyone on shore by tender operation with our small polar circle boats. 
The weather was already a lot better than the days before as the sun rays were pushing their way through the photogenic clouds. Only a few drops of persevering rain came down during our landings yesterday. Most of the passengers discovered Norway´s third-most visited tourist attraction: The Flåm railway line. After a 20 minute bus ride they arrived at the station and boarded the train after a quick shopping spree. This train runs through the valley of Flåmsdalen and connects the mainline with Sognefjord. The line's elevation difference is 863 meters (2,831 ft); it has ten stations, twenty tunnels and one bridge. The maximum gradient is 5.5 percent (1:18) which offers exiting views offer steep cliffs down in the valley. When the train was half way, thick snow was starting to fall from the sky.
Once at the top at Myrdal, we were surrounded by four meters of snow that was still lying there from the winter. We literally were surrounded by a winter wonderland where even the famous waterfall on the left hand side of the track was entirely dry due to the cold/late spring of this year. 
In the early afternoon we sailed from Undredal into Naerofjorden, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. From here we started our 6 kilometre long hike along the postal route which follows the fjord. Our guests were surprised by our Chef who made hot dogs on the way! 

At the end of the Naerofjorden we visited the village of Gudvangen. We had plenty of time to explore the area which was also the starting point of our second kayak adventure of this trip. On their way to Bakka, the small group of kayakers were able to enjoy the scenery surrounding us from a unique perspective. Once there, they visited the church before returning to the ship. 

In the beginning of the evening we sailed out of Naerofjorden again and the weather/light was a lot better then in the morning. It was very nice to stand outside on the decks to watch the landscape and take a few photos for home. 
We are very much looking forward to the rest of our trip and the ever improving weather!