My first stop on my round-the-world trip was Norway. I had always wanted to see some fjords and if you’re looking to escape a hot Texas summer you could do worse than Norway. I flew into Oslo, spent a few days there, then headed out to the fjordlands for some sightseeing and an overnight hike to Stavali cabin.
The world famous Flåmsbana (Flåm Railway) makes a couple stops on its trip from Myrdal to Flåm and one of them is at this waterfall, Kjosfossen. (“Foss” is the Norwegian word for “waterfall.”) I don’t think you can actually drive to it, but according to Google Maps, it does have a street address: 5718 Frekhaug, Norway
When the train halts everyone gets out to take pictures of the waterfall. Not me, though, I’m too cool for that. Run out and get the same old photo as everyone else? No thanks! But Norway has a surprise in store.
Elbows on the open window pane, I’m watching the people and the waterfall. Then some music starts up — I spot a woman in red dancing on the waterfall. I wasn’t intending to shoot a lot of video on my trip, but I figured this was a good time to do so—I grab my 20x zoom camera. She disappears, I zoom out to show the scale of the waterfall (exaggerated by the wide angle view, you should know), then she reappears! Zoom back in.
The woman in red darts in and out of view like a shy pixie. To someone like me who knows little of Scandinavia, it all seems very Scandinavian. According to WikiPedia: “The Huldra is a seductive forest creature found in Scandinavian folklore.” So, kind of like a siren on a waterfall. I didn’t realize this at the time, but there are actually two Huldras on this waterfall. (Look in the upper right of the waterfall when I zoom out.) Or maybe there’s only one and Huldras just have the knack with space and time.
In the age of Trip Advisor and “1,000 waterfalls to see before you die” checklists, the unexpected is really the only thing that I appreciate. I wasn’t expecting this bit of theatrics on the waterfall, and I thought it was pretty well done. Bravo, Norway!
(August 25, 2013 at Kjosfossen, Aurland, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway)