by Ethan Grandel ’12

1. Bergen, on the southwestern coast of Norway, is the country’s second-largest city.
2. Someone setting out from Bergen for the village of Flåm by train to Voss, bus to Gudvangen, and finally boat would arrive in five hours.
3. This would be at the end of the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of Norway’s longest fjord, the Sognefjord (over 200 kilometers).  Walking the ten kilometers along the Aurlandsfjord from Flåm to Aurlandsvangen, the administrative center of Aurland municipality, one could only follow the hiking path from Flåm partway.  (The remainder to Aurlandsvangen must be walked along the E16 highway.)
4. If on a winter’s morning a traveler outside the village of Flåm at this point ascends the steep slope, what story up there awaits its end?  The houses stand from the 17th century.
5. On your way to Myrdal with the Flåm Railway, you pass by the Kjosfossen, frozen in winter.
6. There is an excellent view of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen, one of the seven mountains surrounding the city.  But which ones are these?
7. A departure from the gateway to the fjords on a northbound Norwegian ferry would bring one to the Art Nouveau city of Ålesund on the following afternoon.  418 steps ascend to the Mt. Aksla summit.
8. The coastline grows increasingly rugged going north after leaving Trondheim, but may remain under cloud and snow still falling faintly.
9. North of the Arctic Circle, sea eagles watched us near Ørnes.
10. Snow faintly falls on dark tree-lined ridges, in a network of lines that enlace, in a network of lines that intersect.
11. Imagine that the same previously shaded islands and snow-covered coasts were, southbound, sunlit.
12. Along the Trollfjord, one almost wants to say that this is the most spectacular segment of coastline, but what does that mean here?
13. The second time in Trondheim, following the trend of returning, was warmer and brighter, weather in which the near rainbow colors of the warehouses lining the Nidelva showed themselves even more vibrantly.
14. Not yet home, we rearrive to the far calls of gulls amidst the mountains of Bergen.