Now we get to the actual reason of this Norway journey: the so-called Flam-Train.

The Flåmsbana is a single-track normal gauge of the Norwegian Bergen-Line. It goes from 866 m high located Myrdal down through the Flåmsdalen to Flåm at the Aurlandsfjord.

We get to Flam at the end of the Aurlandsfjords, a side arm of the 204 km long and to 1,308 m deep Sognefjords. Loch Ness with a depth of 230 m cannot really rival this.

Quite hot today but just the right thing to travel the mountains by train. In the background a cruiser is mooring, many of the passengers want to join. Anyway, it isn't as crammed as a few years ago, we seem to have picked a fine time for travelling.

Flåm was mainly ruled by agriculture and transhumance before the railway was built.

We get our tickets in the only Tourist Office. Of course we had made an online booking. Clearly not much on here. Looks like not much travelling just before Midsummer. Less than the rest of the year at least.

The Flamsbana is close by. Like everything else in Norway it is well polished and gleams in the sun. We board, look for a good place and find that the train really is not crowded.

A few informal information in several languages so that even the last one can understand it, then the train slowly starts. 

The Flåm-Train is one of the world's steepest railways on normal gauge. The incline is almost 80 % on the route 55/1000, meaning an incline of 1:18.

Our destination will be Myrdal in about 20 kilometres distance. Before that 20 tunnels are waiting for us. Sheer joy for any photographer...

In the 1950th and 1960th the line was to be put out of service like many other side lines in Norway. However, there was a steady increase in the passenger service and so they refrained from doing so. The newly founded society Flåm Utvikling AS in 1998 took over the complete marketing including the PR for the Flåmsbana.

In 2013 with 718.195 passengers a new visitors' record could be reported (2005:  475.033 passengers). So the Flåmsbana became one of the most visited tourist attractions of Norway.

Suddenly the train stops. What happened? On July 31st, 2019 there was the last and hopefully only accident on this route. When on that day the train to Flam was about to pass the train to Myrdal at Berekvam station, the turnout was in a wrong position so that the two trains collided. More than 10 people suffered minor injuries tumbling down in the train. About 800 persons were on board of the trains.

The route is operated without stick block. Two sets come into use in summer, crossing in Berekvam station. The turnouts are set manually and this is what our conductor now does. After the oncoming train has passed, we can proceed.

We pass wild waterfalls or rivers, rushing on all sides. Green valleys through which masses of water find their way to the valley.

On we go towards Huldra and the Kjosfossen.

Huldra is a female being of the Scandinavian myth. In some regions she also is regarded as the guardian of the wood. Her special sign is long blond hair and a tail down her back which is well covered by hair and dress.

First we stop at the Kjosfossen. It is awesome, you rarely get that close to a roaring waterfall. A welcome refreshment today and not the least chance to get out of the way of this shower.

And then we see Huldra dancing at the right bank!

Huldrae perfer to keep near water. They are known for leading hikers astray, dazzle the minds of farmers and lure fishermen off the fairways. Irresistable by their singing and seductive looks, they have nothing in mind but leading their male victims a merry dance or even... Well, take a guess!

If a man throws or shoots iron objects over a Huldra's head, he has to marry her. At this occacion she looses her cow tail but not her magic powers. Depending on how she is treated, she can be nice or become a horrible dragon. Well, that isn't that unusual...

In 1951 close to the waterfall this stopping point was established for the train so that the passengers can get out to take a look.

By the way, the Kjosfossen can only be reached by the Flam-Train and only from this spot the waterfall can be admired, coming down with a height of 93 metres.

After being well watered, we board the train again. Myrdal is only a few kilometres off.

Myrdal is a train station in 866.8 meters height at the western verge of the high plateau Hardangervidda. Here meet the Bergensbane between Oslo and Bergen as well as the Flåmsbana from Myrdal down to Flåm at the Aurlandsfjord.

We expected something but not a train connection from here. Most of the travellers get off to take a stroll.

There goes the train of the Oslo-Bergen-line. Perhaps one day we should leave the car at home...

Some passengers are actually changing. Also we have to board again to go back to Flam...

...with all those tunnels botching up the best pictures. Well, never mind, we caught more than enough of the wonderful scenery.

So we just relax and enjoy the tour. 

Passing the small stations, only two of which are a stop still.

Flam coming up.

We really have been lucky with the weather and Flam with its train showed off to their very best.

The train stops, the station is much more crowded in the afternoon. Time to get our things and start the journey to Bergen where the Ulriken is still waiting for us.

A last glance at the fjord which these past weeks has been omnipotent...

Now, if this isn't a duck farewell!

We take the E16 through the Nærøyfjorden Verdsarvpark and the direction is Bergen.


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