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Monday, December 12, 2011

A "Flam"-tastic shore excursion with Cunard

Where can you find storybook landscapes, bike along roaring rivers and waterfalls, and stop to watch a train emerge from a mountain tunnel?  In Flam, Norway, that's where. It's one of the stops that on the Cunard Northern Adventure cruise that's featured on this month's FROSCH Hot List!

Flåm­ is the destination of the 12-mile branch line of the train from Myrdal, a 50-minute ride that plummets nearly 3,000 feet into Flåm­ Valley. The tiny village lies at the end of the Aurlandsfjord, amid meadows and orchards, surrounded by towering mountains. A trip on famous Flåm­ Railway is a thrilling experience. Its track took four years to complete and leads through breathtaking mountain scenery, past cascading waterfalls and through hand-dug tunnels. At one point the train travels through a reverse tunnel in order to negotiate a gradient of nearly a thousand feet, making it one of the steepest anywhere in the world. It operates year-round - a great tourist attraction during the summer and a local lifeline during deep winter. Strolling around the few souvenir shops or walking in the picturesque Aurland Valley are popular pastimes. Guests interested in exploring on their own would enjoy a hike in the countryside. The picturesque setting among orchards and meadows draws visitors to this serene and peaceful place.
It's even stunning from above! Check out those snow-capped mountains and fluffy clouds...

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