Difference between revisions of "Sogn og Fjordane"
Revision as of 21:51, 14 May 2011
Towns and villages
Sogn og Fjordane is characterized by its many fjords, of which the Sognefjord, with a length of 204 km (127 mi), is the longest fjord in Europe. In tourist brochures you can often read that the Sognefjord is the longest in the world. But this is not correct. Nærøyfjord an arm of Sognefjord is together with Geirangerfjorden listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. North of Sognefjord there are two shorter fjords, Dalsfjord and Førdefjord. North of those you will find Nordfjord, which is 106 km (66 mi) long. The geography of the county is very varied, featuring many high mountain peaks, islands, and glaciers, including the Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest glacier in continental Europe.
People speak a Norwegian dialect. There is a vast variety of dialects, even in single municipalities there may be several. Nynorsk is the official form of writing in all municipalities. This writing form differs from Bokmål Norwegian written in urban areas and East Norway, and is more similar to the dialects spoken on the west coast.
Most people speak English, and many also have some knowledge of German.
There are four small airports in Sogn og Fjordane: Sogndal (IATA: SOG), Florø (IATA: FRO), Førde (IATA: FDE) and Sandane (IATA: SDN). All of these airports has scheduled flights from Oslo and Bergen. The nearest airport seeing international traffic is in Bergen (IATA: BGO).
There are two high-speed catamaran services from Bergen. One runs from Bergen up the coast and into the Sognefjord, ending in Flåm. The other runs up the coast of Sogn og Fjordane, ending in Selje at the border with Møre og Romsdal. Hurtigruten (Norwegian Costal Steamer) calls Florø and Måløy.
E39 is the major route from Bergen. From north on E39, from Ålesund. E16 from Oslo. Route 55 from Lom is a beautiful scenic drive over the highest mountain pass in Norway, 1440 m (4724 ft) above sea level.
Sogn og Fjordane has only one railway line. The railway between Myrdal and Flåm, witch is a great scenic ride. And a big tourist atraction. Myrdal is a station on the Oslo-Bergen line. A train journey from Oslo to Myrdal and then to Flåm, is a interesting way to enter Sogn og Fjordane.
The public transportation is not so good. The entire county is covered, although departures are scarce. However with some planning it is possible to experience Sogn og Fjordane by bus. Schedules for all public transportation can be found on internet.  Schedules covering all public transportation can be found on ferries, buses, bus stations and tourist information offices. These schedules are however only found in Norwegian. But they can be deciphered in the following way: On top of each row in the schedule some letter and numbers are found. This tells which day this route is operated. D=daily, numbers is days of the week (1=monday, etc), x means except (Dx7 means every day except sunday). Schedules on a grey background are operated only in winter(mid Aug-mid Jun), schedules on a red background are operated only during summer.
The easiest way to explore Sogn og Fjordane is by car. Since the public transportation is not so good, and the distances are great. And some attractions is only possible to reach by car. The main south-north route is E39. Route 5 runs mainly east-west from Sogndal to Skei and all the way to the coast in Florø. Route 13 goes from Balestrand over the mountain to Førde.
The wild landscape is the main "must see" in Sogn og Fjordane. The area has many waterfalls, high peaks and breathtaking views.
There are many oportunities for an active holiday in Sogn og Fjordane. Many scenic routes for trekking in the mountains can be found with breathtaking views from many mountaintops. Fishing in the sea or in lakes is a favourite with many tourists.
Tap water is drinkable and often of very good quality. Olden is bottled water, the source of which is the glacier Jostedalsbreen. It is sold as natural water (In Norwegian: Uten kullsyre), or as carbonated water (In Norwegian: Med Kullsyre).
The crime rate in Sogn og Fjordane is low. But even so, common sense applies.