The first day of our pre-planned tour took us from Bergen to Sogndal. This tour comes with a rental car, hotels, and an itinerary with suggested sights to see. We saw so many fjords that they almost seem to merge into one. Tunnels and farms and small towns everywhere. And the river we followed much of the day was awesome. The amount of flowing water is mind boggling.
We had been told by our friends, the Plums (see Small World post on July 2), that the waterfalls in Western Norway were as good as any anywhere. As we travelled today, we saw lots of fairly interesting waterfalls, some were short and fat, others tall and skinny, but nothing that really stood out until — Tvindefossen. Almost 500 feet high! More here.
The people who designed our car tour suggested, if we had time, we should visit the Stavkirke in Borgund. It was about a half hour each way longer than the direct route to Sogndal, but we both wanted to see it. We are glad that we did. It’s a 12-century church. At one time there were around 1,000 of these churches but now there are 28. This one is the most well preserved. Details here.
The road to Borgund went through two fairly long tunnels. Having been through the 24.5 km Laeder Tunnel (longest road tunnel in the world), we decided that we would return from our detour via the “Historical” Road. We were glad we did, because we came across the second outstanding waterfall of the first day. The Sokni, or Soknefossen, waterfall (also known as Galdanefossen) was almost as spectacular as Tvindefossen.
After a quiet lunch (during an even shorter heavy rainfall), a short ferry ride (free!), and one more longish tunnel, we made it to Sogndal to rest and recuperate for another day tomorrow.