Our last day in Scandinavia started in Oslo, Norway as we disembarked from the cruise ship that we had sailed on overnight from Copenhagen. Most of our Percussive Tours group was planning to spend the day in the city, but I had my mind set on traveling inland to take a fjord cruise. This meant we had to make a four hour drive to Flåm, spend a couple of hours in Nærøyfjord, and make the four hour return drive all in time to meet back up with the group to fly home by 5:00 the next morning.
Naturally, we were in a hurry, so we left the ship as fast as possible and speed walked around the bay to pick up our rental car. Once on board we began our drive, and we were immediately rewarded with stunning vistas as we left the city. As we gazed out of the car windows at the placid lakes and towering mountains of the Norwegian countryside, we echoed a chorus of “Wows” at each new sight. The beauty of Norway is overwhelming, and we found ourselves pulling over to admire the views again and again. The landscape changed as we climbed higher into the mountains. Lush green hills morphed into barren, rocky fields, and then back again as we made our descent toward Flåm. We drove in and out of a series of tunnels, including the 25 km Lærdal Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in the world.
Finally, we arrived in Flåm, just in time to board the last fjord ferry of the day. We grabbed some seats on the top deck to make sure we got good views of Nærøyfjord. It was rather cold out so we ended up spending much of the ride alone on the top deck, with other passengers coming out only periodically to snap a few pictures. It was well worth braving the cold to see the breathtaking views of the mountains rising above us. The hills were dotted with little waterfalls, and we saw fjord porpoises, sheep, and a few colorful little villages. The fjord grew increasingly beautiful as we neared Gudvangen, which is where the cruise ended. We were then transported back to Flåm by bus (included in the tour), where we grabbed a delicious, warm dinner at Toget Café as the day ended.
It was dusk when we got back in our rental car to make the long drive back to Oslo. We arrived back at our hotel around 3 am, and got a couple hours of sleep before waking up again to board our flight back home.