We took the Sognefjord Tour, which starts in Bergen and travels from the ocean side in on the Sognefjord. This is the same fjord which has a small inland end at Flåm. We took an express boat from Bergen, which also functions as a ferry, but only for people and stuff, no cars or anything like that. It stops at a lot of towns, but not all of them. Riding in this boat is, as my mom describes it “like being in your living room.” It is an extremely smooth ride and there’s plenty of space. But really, you’re flying through the water. No idea how fast they actually go, but it’s quick.
We spent around 4 hours on this boat, to get off at Balestrand, to get immediately onto another, smaller, boat. This boat took us to Fjærland, which is the town closest to the glacier. We jumped onto a bus that was waiting, and had a brief stop at the glacier museum, before heading out to the glacier. I thought they were joking when they said the glacier was close to town, but it’s no more than a 15 minute drive.
As you can see, it’s quite a pretty place. The glacier seen here is the Bøyabreen Glacier, which is part of the largest glacier on the European continent, the Jostedalsbreen Glacier. The Bøyabreen Glacier used to extend a lot farther than it does today (even 200 years ago it was essentially in the town). There are so many cool things that I learned about glaciers at the museum that I want to share, but that’s a lot of brain dump and I’m sure not interesting to anyone else. If it is, you’ll just have to make a Norway trip.
We then repeated the sequence to get there, in reverse, to get home. Sadly, we didn’t get to spend any time in any of the towns we stopped in.
We spent our final day in Bergen wandering around and looking at the museums we didn’t get to on the previous day in town.
This included a new Fisheries Museum, which was interesting, but could have had SO much more information. Fishing has been and still is a HUGE part of Norway’s economy and I know there’s more information out there than the tiny bit in the museum. The cool part though was that the museum was in an old fish warehouse, similar to the Hanseatic League museum.
Then we went to the Maritime Museum. This had a lot of cool information about ships from the viking age to the modern. However, it was under construction and therefore lacking a lot of information, particularly in English. This could be great to see in a couple years when it is back up and running like normal.
We made it over to the Leprosy Museum for our final stop of the day. This museum is in what used to be the Hospital. This hospital was built specifically to house lepers, when that’s what happened to people. The hospital used to be in the boonies, but is now located right in the city center area. Interesting to see, but didn’t end up covering a whole lot that I didn’t know from the book Moloka’i which I read a bit back. See the link for more info.
After that, it was time for some laundry. I was lucky enough that our Airbnb host agreed to let me do a load of laundry. However, in my poor planning, I did not do this early enough. I forget that Europe seems to not use dryers at all. So not all my clothes were dry by morning. Oops. Lesson learned.
Steps: 7093 (lots of boat sitting)