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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Waterfalls of Vestlandet (Westlands), Norway

"Just another thousand-foot waterfall."  That's what you'll find yourself thinking after you've been in Vestlandet (Westland), Norway two or three days.

We visited western Norway for a week in mid-August.  It wasn't unusual to see multiple thousand-foot waterfalls at once.  The photograph below shows a typical waterfall seen in many fjords and valleys of Vestlandet.

Watching water slide hundreds of feet down a slick black mountainside is hypnotic.  The waterfall is so large, the water seems to be moving in slow motion.  It was so quiet in some of the valleys and fjords we visited, we could hear the sound of the falling water from more than a mile away.

Here's one of the first exceptional waterfalls we passed on the drive from Bergen to Jostedalbreen (Jostedal Glacier) National Park.

A different way of seeing the same waterfall.

Most of the waterfalls we saw stayed in a narrow strand from top to bottom of the mountain.  This was probably the widest we saw.   See the buildings at the shoreline for scale.  It was a thrill to watch. 

This massive family of waterfalls, known as Voringsfossen, has its own roadside stop and clifftop paths to view them from.  There are several all together at the head of a steep, deep valley.  This first photo includes the hotel at the top for scale.

The rush of air accompanying the converging crashing water propels the spray upwards all the way to the top of the valley, creating its own roiling cloud, seen rising from bottom center upwards to the left.

Better view of the monster waterfall on our side of the valley.

Closeup view of the one on our side.

Another view of Voringsfossen, but the point of this one is where I'm standing.  See the little plants in the foreground?  I'm leaning over the edge of a 500' cliff.  Many tall cliffs; only a few small rails.  They do have one sign that says "Dangerous Cliffs.  Watch the Children."

Finally, Kjosfossen, from along the Flam railway, a short, steep railway from the bottom to the top of a valley.  I love the mist, the reflection on the wet black rocks on the left, and the strange texture of the water splashing its way down.

We saw lots of other amazing waterfalls along the way, but we couldn't stop every time we saw one, or we'd never get to our destination.  Also, it was too rainy to take photos sometimes, though even that didn't stop us sometimes.  I could be seen standing in the rain with a tripod quite often on the trip, desperately trying to capture some amazing sights without getting droplets all over the lens.  As I would say to Jennifer when conditions prevented me from taking the photographs I desperately wanted, "I'll guess just have to remember this one."  Tragic, isn't it?      

Hope you enjoyed your tour of the waterfalls of Norway.  Stay tuned for Fjords of Norway.  And after that, Glaciers of Norway.

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