From Aurland we took a boat ride through the Naerofjord, the narrowest part of the fjord and an UNESCO World Heritage site, to the town of Gudvangen. Being on the boat gave a different perspective of the fjord’s size and beauty, and we spent the 2 hour ride snapping photos of the small towns (most with human populations under 100 and goat populations over 300) dotted along the coastline. Most impressive were the lone farms perched unexpectedly almost 1000 feet above the fjords. To reach them the owners have to boat to a private dock and then make the 1000 ft climb up the edge of the fjord, usually with the help of ladders and ropes. Impressive.
On our last full day in the fjords, we hiked the Aurlandsdalen Valley known as “The Grand Canyon of Norway.” It was a stunning 20 km hike that meandered up and down the edge of the fjord from the small hiking town of Osterbo down to the slightly larger town of Vassbygdi. Pictures below don’t really do the view justice since the grand scale was hard to capture, but when you go to Norway (have you bought your flight yet?) you’ll see for yourself how the beauty of this hike varies from sweeping cliff-side vistas to quaint abandoned farmhouses to serene fields where goats approach, sniff your shoe, and try to befriend you in exchange for the wild raspberries in your pack. Though it was a full hiking day, it was never boring and was certainly one of the most diverse hikes we’ve ever done with a different view around every turn.
Boat Ride and Hike Photos!
Heading out from Aurland on the boat
Boat harbor in Aurland, looking back towards Flam
More Aurland. Aurland is pretty.
Peeking around the corner at Undreal
Farm and house perched on top of this cliff. The tiny white speck to the right of the waterfall is their boat dock… and then they climb up to get home.
Pulling into the port at Gudvangen, a tiny tourist town at the end of the Naerofjord.
Waterfalls in Gudvangen
Hiking the Aurlandsdalen
Looking down the valley
Beautiful, and steep, ledges.
Photographing the valley
Passing abandoned farms – Erik, I think we might be able to get a deal on this one
And some not abandoned farms
Befriending the residents
Last 6 km down to the bottom
Looking down at the path
and up at the farms