I posted before that I recently explored Norway with my friend Dr. Jessica Williams, who is a philosopher and assistant professor at the University of South Florida. We stayed in a cottage one train stop before Flåm. Flåm is a crowded tourist town that looks like a boardwalk that grew into a destination. Many of the neighboring villages only have 5-10 people living in them. Some of them have properties on AirBnB. We stayed in one of these properties , which was part of a pig and sheep farm. I was happy to be away from the bustle and to see animals every day.

The white cottage below is where we stayed. I took photos of the village and sheep.

The main reason for our trip was to explore the Norwegian fjords.

A fjord is a u-shaped inlet with steep, mountainous sides that connects to the ocean. Glaciers carved out these deep channels. Since fjord water is partially composed of melted snow, it’s usually a mixture of salt and fresh water with greater salinity towards the bottom (the salt sinks).

The two fjords near Flåm are Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jessica and I took a boat tour through both fjords.

Here are some outtakes from the ride. We had to wear full-body floatation suits. Our guide pointed out a mountain that is said to be the fist of a giant troll that was turned to stone by the sun. He also showed us some goats that spend their days on the side of a mountain in the fjords where they have plenty of food and are safe from predators.

Flåm fjord safari: https://www.fjordsafari.com/

Town of Underdal is famous for their unique brown goat cheese (“brunost”)

The fist of a stone troll

A tiny village lines the shore, for scale

Modern Vikings preserve the old ways in Njardarheimr near the heart of the Nærøyfjord: https://fullsuitcase.com/viking-valley-gudvangen/

GOATS! I couldn’t get over how tiny they were!

The next day, Jessica and I hiked 9 miles through the mountains to a goat farm. The path we took ran parallel to the famous Flåm railroad (“Flåmsbana”): https://www.visitflam.com/activities/flamsbana—the-flam-railway/

We started at the road next to the Lundon train stop and walked in the direction of Myrdal. The hike is good for beginners – it didn’t require any technical skills – but you must have stamina to make it that far through changing elevations. It took us around 5 hours. We stopped a few times to eat snacks that we had packed. It is a beautiful hike and tasting goat cheeses and sausages at the end was a real treat! We took the Flåm train back from the closest stop, called Blomheller.

Waterfalls everywhere

Wild raspberries

We made it!

Enjoying goat cheese and meat

The third day, we travelled to Underdal to eat more of the famous brown goat cheese. The curds and whey are boiled together until they start to caramelize. It creates a flavor that is simultaneously sweet and salty. We ate it on waffles and it was so good that I forgot to take photos of it! Here are some pictures of the beautiful town.

Water from the falls is clean and safe to drink – we were told that the water in this river was too

We took the Flåm train back to Myrdal. The train ride between Myrdal and Oslo has beautiful scenery. The shots below were all take from the moving train.

Published by Dr. Daina Crafa

International neuroscientist. I study culture and sometimes make art. Italian-American, currently working in Amsterdam. Professional author. Photohobbyist. Full-time adventurer.

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