A fjord is a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley. Sognefjord is the third longest fjord in the world – 203 km long. The longest fjord in the world is Scoresby Sund in Greenland (350km long). We boarded our Sognefjord cruise ship at the pier that was just within a few minutes’ walk from the lovely restaurant where we had lunch.
There are smaller fjords which branch off from the Sognefjord. However there wasn’t much narration provided on board hence we didn’t know what we were viewing most of the time. In fact, we think that’s one of the things this cruise ought to improve on to make it more interesting and informative. Here are some pictures taken along the 1.5 hours cruise for you. 🙂
According to the tourist information board, Undredal is a village in between the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord, in the midst of the World Heritage Area. This village is characterised by wooden buildings, old farms and has a population of only 80 people. There is also a stave church – Undredal Stave Church, the smallest stave church in Norway with only 40 seats. But I guess it’s enough to house the village folks already! 😛
Finally the cruise captain decided to speak on board and told us that this tiny village we saw along the fjord, is called Bakka and is the oldest habitation village along Sognefjord. Currently there are only about 20 folks staying in the village! It also has a church in the village which can house 150 people. I wonder why does Bakka church need to house so many people when it has only 20 folks staying there? 😛 Oh I read on Wikipedia that the name Bakka is derived from the Old Norse word bakki which means “hill”. 🙂
Gudvangen is a village located at the end of the Nærøyfjord where the Nærøydalselvi river empties into the fjord. According to Wikipedia, it is a popular tourist destination. It is located at the end of the Nærøyfjord where the Nærøydalselvi river empties into the fjord and is about 5km south of Bakka. Maybe that explains why there is a souvenir shop right in front of the pier where we made a brief stop. 🙂
Overall, I think we had too high expectations for the Sognefjord and so were a bit disappointed after the cruise. Photos seen online or from other tourists are somehow nicer than the real thing haha. Nonetheless it was still a cool experience (literally because the temperature was about only 8 degrees celsius)! 🙂