Spectacular Sognefjord, Norway

A trip to Norway is incomplete without getting out on the water to experience the fjords. The sea plays an essential role in the history of Norway, exemplified by some of its most notable museums: the Viking, the Fram, the Kon-Tiki and the Norwegian Maritime Museum. But inland waterways and fjords reveal the country’s essence and striking beauty.

After experiencing Oslo, one of the most underrated cities in Europe, I made my way to Bergen on the west coast. From Bergen I booked a one-day cruise on the Sognefjord, considered one of the most spectacular fjords in Norway.

The first train from Bergen to Myrdal had some lovely scenery, but views were simply amazing on the second leg, Myrdal to Flam, as we descended into the valley. The train stopped briefly at a waterfall and other scenic locations for picture taking.

The weather was a bit gloomy as I climbed aboard a crowded vessel with tourists from all over the world, but the spectacular nature of the fjords revealed itself despite the clouds. I wandered inside the ferry as a light rain began to fall and was puzzled by the sight of a few tourists who were oblivious to the surrounding wonder, particularly one Japanese gentleman sleeping like a baby. Why would somebody come so far to take a nap amidst this beauty? I decided that despite the drizzle and wind, outside was the place to be. This is Norway, after all; you can’t expect the same skies as the Italian Riviera.

As we rounded each bend, our view opened up to awe-inspiring green cliffs and valleys. I occasionally spotted a little farm dwarfed by the mountains. Eventually the sun poked through the clouds, producing magical vistas.

After the boat docked, a beautiful rainbow graced the countryside – a fitting way to cap off the journey. Rain or shine, a fjord cruise offers scenic rewards that cannot be matched.

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