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Published: August 25th 2016
I arrive at the Flåm mountain railway station and join one of the two queues waiting to board the train. I'm quite a long way back at first which is a pain as there are only a set number of openable windows where you can get a seat which makes photo taking much easier. Fortunately the ticket inspector guy is having problems fitting people onto the platform behind us and we get to legitimately queue jump as a result and I therefore manage to get myself a spot by one of the favoured opening windows even if I will be going backwards. There is a video playing on TV screens overhead with bit and pieces of information about the history of the railway line. As I'd already had a look around the museum I was already pretty clued up so was able to concentrate instead on waiting for views to appear and get photos without trees, power lines, posts and other random items that always seem to get in the way JUST as you click the shutter. As we pull out of the Flåm harbour area where the station is, we pass the actual village of Flåm and see what must
be one of the most picturesquely situated schools ever, surrounded as it is by beautiful mountains with a waterfall as a backdrop. We see a cute church and church yard in the valley before the track starts to climb more steeply passing through gaps hewn through the rocks. As we get higher we start to pass through some of the twenty tunnels I'd found out about at the museum. Most are pretty short, but a couple are long enough to give you an added feeling of awe at the amazing achievement the creation of this mountain railway really was.
There are a few stops at tiny stations linked to villages where locals get on and off - the train is not just used by tourists. Some holiday makers do get off too though as there are some good walking routes in this area. We hear on the video about a legend of that tells of the Huldra, an underground spirit who captivates travellers with her enchanting song luring men into the mountains. Just after this we stop at Kjosfossen waterfall and have time to get out and take a few photos. All of a sudden we hear singing and
a woman wearing a long, red floaty dress appears and dances on the hillside next to the waterfall. She disappears and miraculously appears a few metres away (you think there might be two of them haha!). The dancing is very reminiscent of Kate Bush and her Wuthering Heights arm waving. I rather like the whole effect but others think it's a bit odd or funny even.
We get back on board and carry on climbing higher up the mountain. At one point we can see the gaps in the tunnels further up the track as it twists and turns above us. We have to stop at the double track portion to let the 'down' train pass. We also see the winding cycle path that wends it's way down the mountainside from Myrdal back to Flåm. Some train passengers take their bikes, or hire them, getting a one way ticket to the top and then cycling back down. We pass through more tunnels, including the open section, with wooden slats barring the view and then finally arrive at the top of the track at Myrdal. Here there is a crush of passengers lugging rucksacks and suitcases off the train ready
to transfer to the Bergen line. More passengers get on board and I take the opportunity to swap sides - still next to an opening window! We are treated to the journey in reverse, but this time with different views from the other side of the train. We have the enchantresses singing at us, trying to lure the men again. This time we get a wave as we leave. All too soon we are pulling into Flåm station and my journey on the fabulous Flåm mountain railway is at an end. Brilliant trip, spectacular scenery, a bit of folk law thrown in and the demonstration of an amazing achievement by the men who worked so hard to create this amazing train line.
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