Today we’ve been at Flam. We had decided quite early in our planning to not do an excursion here. The obvious one is the Flam train, the Flamsbana. Well, we’d already decided to do the train ride at Andalsnes yesterday, and we didn’t fancy train rides on two successive days. So the plan was to see what we arrange locally. One possibility was to see if we could find some walks, and another was a bus ride (local buses) to a viewpoint, the Stegastein viewpoint.
Britannia docked right on schedule at 9 o’clock this morning, after a passage up the fjord that lasted some hours – we were already in the fjord when I poked my head through the curtains at 6 o’clock. We had a late-ish start to the day, and it was just about 10 o’clock before we went ashore. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake. We found the tourist information centre and the ticket office, where we discovered (along with other people) that there were no tickets for the bus to Stegastein until 4 o’clock – all the earlier buses (one every hour) were already sold out. We decided that this was later than we felt comfortable with, so we dropped that idea. People trying to travel on the Flamsbana independently were also disappointed – by 10 o’clock there were no more return journeys possible before Britannia was due to depart at 6 o’clock. However, it would have been possible to go up to Myrdal on the next two trains, but not return – perhaps people on earlier trains were staying at the top and taking a later train down. Or alternatively, perhaps the passengers into Flam were in fact real travellers using the railway as public transport! – I believe it does connect to a main line somewhere.
So we just went for a walk around the village. For those who are familiar with the area we did walk 1 on the Flam Walks map, and extended it by finding our way onto road that took us into the back of the village, up along the river. Then we had coffee and cake in the village before assessing the retail opportunities. Val found a wool & silk top that she really liked, but they didn’t have it in a colour & size that she wanted. So we bought some Trolls instead….
We had lunch back on the ship, then went back ashore for another walk. (This was the beginning of walk 5 on the map which goes round the head of the fjord and down the other side.) We didn’t go too far – we were starting to feel tired, and it started to drizzle at times (the weather was really quite good this morning). However I suppose that we were walking for about an hour. On the way back we had tea in a cafe in an area opposite where Britannia was moored before returning to the ship at bit before 4 o’clock. Since then we’ve been sitting relaxing, on the balcony, in the Crow’s Nest and in the cabin. We enjoyed the walks – the first real exercise we’ve had all week – but we got quite tired.
Tonight we’re going to have a steak in the Glasshouse. And possibly some wine.