One of the things we’d looked at doing planning our way up to the Nothernmost point of Norway and Europe was riding one of the most beautiful & famous railway in the world – the 20-km Flamsbana railway from Flam to Myrdal. “An engineering wonder which hauls itself up 864m of altitude gain at a gradient of 1:18 up to Myrdal.” as quoted in the Lonely Planet guide to Norway (2008).
|The Flamsbana train passing through|
In our enthusiasm to experience such an awesome ride, we’d forgotten one important factor – the cost. Unfortunately, it seems that everything in Norway comes at a price and, sometimes, a pretty dear one indeed. After enquiring about it and leaving Jamie sorting the van in Flam’s pretty campsite, I had to bear bad news that if we wanted to not only hop on the train, but also enjoy cycling the journey back on the Rallarvegen, the old navvies road from Finse, we’d have to pay a whopping £1,280Kr (about £140).
It really killed our excitement. We couldn’t justify paying such a high amount, not even for the basic return Flam-Myrdal train journey without bikes which still came up to about £68. We decided to cycle it up and down instead! Yes, it was a crazy idea, but we didn’t want to let it defeat us.
The ride was beautiful, going through small villages, passing through old farms, rivers and waterfalls, small tunnels and crossing over bridges, little stations and train-crossings.
|Some of the beautiful scenery along the way.|
Unfortunately Jamie had to leave me two-third of the journey up. He was too tired, bless him – it was understandable, he’s the main driver and hadn’t been able to rest properly after leaving Bergen (see our post). I continued on my own – it actually felt strange, it was the first time since we’d left the UK that we were separated. Back in London, we’ve always been quite independent and doing things separately, so it was weird, but it felt like I was missing a limb and somehow vulnerable.
|The goats and farm near my lunch spot.|
|The raspberry field, 3km from Flam.|