Day 9: The Sights and Sounds of Flam
I love Norway. We visited Oslo and Bergen last summer and I've been thinking about it all year. After discovering a series of Norwegian family blogs updated daily with beautiful photos, I decorated our living room with Scandinavian Santas at Christmas time and festooned the tree with tiny paper Norwegian flags just like they do here. Now that we are in Norway again and out in the countryside I am enjoying every minute of it.
Norway is an expensive country. We always travel on a tight budget so here in Norway we might just have a salad for dinner or a grocery store sandwich. A soft serve ice cream cone costs $5 and a pizza can be $75, but the high taxes here accounts for some of the reasons why this country enjoys such a high standard of living.
Today was a leisurely day. We awoke to find a large graceful looking cruise ship in the harbor and breakfast was served overlooking the fjord. Back in town we visited the Flam Railway Museum. It told the history of the Flam railway which was built in the 1940's and we arrived on yesterday. To our surprise, much of it was built using a pick axe.
Our day trip today was to Borgund to see the best preserved stave church in Norway. Stave churches were built over 800 years ago entirely from wood. Only 28 of these unique historical treasures remains out of 2000 that once existed. The church on the outside is covered with tar to preserve the wood. It makes it appear pitch black in color. Next to the church a beautiful horse stood by a fence in a field filled with sweet smelling honeysuckle.
Tonight as we sat up in our room we watched the Holland America ship Rotterdam back silently out of the fjord as clouds drifted down the mountains. Its booming horn echoed through the fjord. I wish we could stay here longer.