Driving through Norway during Winter is a sight to behold. A land of mountains, fjords, trees and ice. I have travelled through this country twice during the cold dark months and even by the end of the second trip I was still being struck by awe.
Mountains for a start of course is a subject very close to my heart and passions plus the beauty of the fjords is something that I have dreamt of seeing. Of course I was constantly aching to get out and hike in every direction but as I travelled through it was a time to take it all in.
First came the drive over the mountains as we headed West. It is pure winter here and looking at all the snow, height and totally wild and open space, all I wanted to do was put on my boots, pick up my backpack and walk. Every bend we took brought new sights above and below. It is so hard to explain how great it all looked. One of those occasions that you need to be there to get what I mean.
Suddenly we entered through the 22 km long Lærdal tunnel that cuts through the rest of the mountains and brings us out at our first destination…. Flåm. A little place we are well advised is very full with tourists in the summer but on a cold winters day we seemed to have the pleasure of it to ourselves. It is famous for the railway that comes through the mountains to the water’s edge here. A pretty little place.
Even better when we were treated to beer tasting in the brewery. Always a bonus!
I was looking forward to getting aboard the ferry and out onto the fjord. From here we took an excursion on the icy water of Aurlandsfjord.
Incredible. Absolutely stunning. All pictures I had seen of the fjords in the past were in full summer with green summer. However we were treated to a black and white winter wonderland with blue skies, clear still water, ice waterfalls, and snowy frozen rock faces. To be there simply made me speechless. We even got a glimpse of a seal swimming in the icy water beside us.
Aurlandsfjord was an incredible place to be in the world. Even though on a boat with others you could sense the quiet except for the ice cracking. The dark winter day amplified as the mountains went straight up surrounding the water. Giving it a huge cathedral feel. This fjord is technically an arm of the greater Sognefjord, The deepest and longest fjord in Norway. It is 127 miles long and 1308 m deep! That is deeper than what England’s highest mountain is high!
My visual appetite is well and truly being treated here and today has been special for that. We had now arrived in Voss for an overnight stay and then onto the slopes for alpine downhill skiing. lets hope I can stay upright longer than I did with the cross country.