“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”

Nr 18. Sailing the Sognefjord: from Ægir to Zipline

After spending a long weekend at the city of Bergen and visited islands like Fedje, it was time to discover the next fjord: Sogneford. In the brochure it said: ‘This is the King of the Norwegian Fjords, it is the oldest, deepest (up to 1300 meters), longest (204 km), steepest (up to 1700 meters)’. So we were excited!

We sailed into the Sognefjord and this was already a pleasant surprise to us. The tall mountainwalls in the fjord usually block most of the wind in the fjord, so we often have to use our engines, but now right tight and strong current (2.7 knots!) and wind blew us into the fjord with a speed of 7 knots!

On the southrim of the Sognefjord, we visited the village of Vik which has a big statue of a Viking King, 30 meters high in bronze, we saw it already when we arrived our boat in the harbour. Closeby was also the beautiful stave church of Hopperstad (build around the year 1130) which we visited with our e-bikes. Once there were a 1.000 Stave churches in Norway, where Chrisitan church services were held with a touch a Viking symbols on the outside and inside of the church. Now only 28 churches are left, Hopperstad is one of the oldest stave churches.

The more we progressed into the Sognefjord with our sailboat, the more narrow the fjord became. The most narrow part was an arm of the Sognefjord, called Nærøyfjord (what’s in a name 😊). And because it was relatively small we saw people in kayaks and subboarding, really nice!

At the end of innermost part of Sognefjord is the village of Flåm. We stayed here for 5 days, because I delivered the 3 online trainingdays I have each month and we had 2 days of sightseeing. Both were very pleasurable: the guest harbour is very quiet in this September afterseason and the village is still full of activities.

We took the famous Flåm Railway, which is know worldwide among trainlovers, because it is one of the most steep and spectacular trainrides in the world. You pass waterfalls and beautiful lakes with an emerald green colour because of the melted gletsjer-ice on top of the mountains. We took our foldable e-bikes in the train and on top of the highest mountainpeak we got off and cycled back to the harbour through the valley, a beautiful 20 kilometers with a lot of hairpin bends!

One night in Flåm, we ate at restaurant Ægir. In the Norse mythology Ægir is described as a giant and is the master of the ocean. Inside the restaurant are driftwood walls, dragon heads and fireplaces, a bit rugged but also cosy. They serve a Viking inspired menu. It’s a brewpub, so their ‘Viking Plank’ of 5 courses comes with 5 small beers especially selected for each course. For example, we had shellfish and halibut with a white beer, deer with a red maltbeer and chocolate pudding with a dark beer which really put forward the cacao flavor in the chocolate.

The most exciting activity in Flåm is the Zipline. It is the longest zipline in Northern Europe and it sayed on the internet: ‘Once safety instructions are completed, you’re ready to throw yourself off the deck and fly through the beautiful valley at speeds reaching 100 km’. Ok, that sounds exciting! And most times when the word ‘exciting’ pops up in my head I am interested, because it means I find it scary but also challenging and fun. And the part that usually wins is fun! And that’s personal development to me. The things in live and work I find scary, make me want to do a step forward in stead of back. It means to me it’s an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, adding an experience to my life. This is how I have been my whole life: speaking at an American conference for 300 people? Becoming an entrepreneur? Buying a sailboat and start sailing the world? Everyone of these steps are challenging and to me that means interesting, because I can grow as a human being. So like standing on top of the mountain in the Zipline gear, I got a big smile on my face and threw myself off the deck and feeling like a bird flying across the valley!