Aurland: The Quiet Place

Sometimes, it’s really good to just slow down.
Last time we did the Norway-in-a-Nutshell tour, we did the entire trip in one long day, rushing to see as much as we could in a short amount of time. This time around, we (mostly my parents at the time) decided to take things a bit slower and try lingering in one of the quaint towns lining the steep cliffs of the fjords. We decided to stay overnight in Aurland, a tiny little town perched on the edge of the Sognfjord with a population barely topping 1500 people. After doing a bit of research (i.e. a Google search of “What to do in Aurland”), not much came up and I was quite worried we were all going to be bored out of our minds an hour after disembarking from the ferry.
I really need to learn not to judge small towns by their Wikipedia pages. Aurland turned out to be fantastic! It was quiet, peaceful, and absolutely GORGEOUS, settled right there in a crook of the fjord. We spent the better part of our time there just wandering around the winding streets, checking out the darling neighborhoods, admiring the scenic views, eating ice cream, sitting on the docks watching the occasional ferry pass by, and just enjoying a place where time seemed to pause for a bit. No stress, no obligations, nowhere to be except present right there and then, enjoying our time together.

Plus, there actually was a surprising number of things to do and see, once you decide to accept the slower pace and just wander. We spent a good hour following a mouthwatering smell of baking butter and cinnamon across town hoping it was coming from a shop from which we could purchase said tantalizing treat. But alas, we ended up pastry-less at a dead end. We concluded it was probably a sweet little Norwegian grandmother lovingly baking up an heirloom family recipe in her rustic home kitchen. Her grandchildren were lucky souls indeed.

We checked out an old church built in the 1100s. It was the oldest thing Cameron has seen to date.

We walked around the cemetary for a while as Mom and Dad picked their favorite Norwegian names for our future children off of the gravestones. Odd, Ingeborg, and Sven were some of the top contenders.
The Aurland Fjord Hotel where we stayed the night.
The kid in the middle spotted the camera around Chris’ neck and kept trying to ask in Norwegian if he would take a picture of him. When we finally figured out what he was asking he grabbed his friends for a “PHOTOSHOOT!!”
Getting an up-close look at the making of a beautiful blown-glass bowl at Merete Rein Glasblaseri & Galleri.
Did you know Aurland, Norway is apparently the histoic home of the penny loafer? How’s that for a random fact to stumble upon on your vacation! Originally called the Aurland Shoe, it is still handmade at the…you guessed it… Aurland Shoe Factory. Someday this will be the million-dollar question on Jeopardy.
I mean, for real guys. Does it get more beautiful than this?
I think my dad described it best the next morning when he told us how, after waking up for a bit in the middle of the night, he sat by the open window and just listened to the dark midnight silence. We don’t experience peace and quiet often enough in our daily lives I think.


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5 Responses
  1. Dad says:

    It’s not hard to believe in Heaven after spending some time in Norway. :-)

  2. […] another town along the way, but we would really recommend Aurland. We initially narrowed it down to Aurland and Stalheim because we wanted something that was close to half-way through the tour. We ended up […]

  3. janey says:

    So beautiful. Makes me want to visit norway. Great job on the photography.

  4. Kaitlyn says:

    Hi, I’m thinking about doing the Norway in a Nutshell tour and staying overnight in Aurland. I’m just having a bit of trouble figuring out how you got to Aurland? Is there a stop at some point in the NiN tour in Aurland? If you could help with this, I’d really appreciate it, thank you!

    • Hi Kaitlyn!

      The ferry between Gudvangen and Flåm that’s part of the NIN route makes a few quick stops along the trip (since it’s not just a tourist ferry and locals use it too) and one of the stops is Aurland. I’m pretty sure they even announce it over the speakers so it’s really easy to find. Then when you want to leave the next day the ferries come on a regular schedule. The hotel you are staying at should be able to tell you the schedule no problem. Best of luck! The NIN tour is great!

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