We weren't sure about the source of this plume, but it seems to be feeding the clouds:
When we arrived in Myrdal, we switched from the highest railway in Northern Europe to the steepest--the Flamsbanan, which descends those 2835 feet in just 12 miles. The views are spectacular, especially the 305 foot Kjofossen waterfall.The small village of Flam at the end of the line is at sea level, at the southern tip of the Aurlandsfjord. We would catch the ferry here for our trip through the fjords, but we had three hours to see the area. I decided to explore the local flora, but I didn't find much more colorful than Salix as he prepared for his Fjord Safari, a trip around Aurlandsfjord on a speedboat.
Once Salix was strapped in and on his way, I went for a short hike around the village to see what was growing. This tree was one of the first things that caught my eye, because it was growing out of a rocky hillside. As things turned out, I probably saw more of this tree than any other--it's prolific in this part of Norway It's a Sorbus aucuparia, also called Rowan tree or European mountain ash. This time of year, it's covered in red berries.
Fruit trees flourish in the villages on the edge of the fjords--this apple tree is growing in relative wild (in a field just outside the village), surrounded by Angelica.
We saw roses everywhere, particularly Rugosa. These are probably cultivated, but they give the appearance of a wild edge along the banks of the fjord.
We caught the Rugosas at a particularly good time--most of the bushes were forming hips, but were still in bloom.
Still, cultivation here is probably hard. The hills are very rocky--I was surprised to see large trees growing where there was no discernible soil. And in the rocks, even (Virginia) weeds become lovely wildflowers:
Salix returned in one piece and relatively dry, and we boarded the ferry for our ride through the fjords. The first half of our trip took us through the Aurlandsfjord--the villages and farms are typically lcose to sea level, with the mountains rising abruptly behind them.
Back in the day, the farms could be approached only by boat and reached only with ladders. The farmers could easily see boats approaching--and assuming that the only visitors would be church officials collecting tithes, the farmers would pull up the ladders when they saw boats approaching.
This is the village of Styvi in the Naeroyfjord as our ferry turned toward Gudvangen.
And this is the Sagfossen, the highest waterfall on the Naeroyfjord.
We landed at Gudvangen, took a bus up to Voss, and then the railway back down to Bergen. It was an absolutely beautiful trip--the gardens in Bergen would be more controlled, but pretty nonetheless.