30 June 2014
A drive down the Fjaerland fjord
This 22-minute video takes the viewer for a ride down Norway's Fjaerland Fjord (which branches off at Balestrand from the larger and better-known Sognefjord). The trip begins at the head (north end) of the fjord, proceeds for about 6 minutes south to the area of the Fjaerland "booktown," then turns back north, ending at one of the tunnels that opened this fjord to the vehicular traffic of the world.
The video holds special interest for me because one quarter of my genes (the Distad family ones, from the hamlet of Distad) emigrated from this valley to settle in Minnesota. I visited this area in the 1980s, when the only access was by ferry, and met family members who gave me a copy of a family tree tracing various Olsons and Torsons and Ivarsdatters and Andresons and Distads back to the 1600s.
Posted mostly for my family. Casual readers will not want to view the entire video, but it's worth sampling the first 4-5 minutes just to get a sense of the majesty of a real fjord. Americans will notice a) the absence of advertising billboards, and b) that some people actually walk.
If you do watch, absolutely click on the full-screen icon in the lower right corner. That's what it's for.