In all the 29 years of my life I had never traveled to a location without knowing where I would sleep that night. But there are always firsts of everything, and this was no exception. The next stop on our itinerary after Flam was to go to Balestrand. We scoured the internet the night before for hotel rooms and hostels in Balestrand, but they were all booked. However right before leaving Flam we had a brief email exchange with the very last hotel we found and they stated they had a room for us. Relieved that we wouldn't have to pay an astronomical fee, or sleep at the station, we were actually able to enjoy our boat trip through the fjords.And talk about incredible. We were in a luxury high speed boat that whipped the hair into our faces, but even that couldn't distract from the incredible scenery. The views from the water were indescribably beautiful,... so I won't even bother trying.
By the time we made it to Balestrand there was a car waiting from the hotel to pick up our suitcases, providing a great welcome to a great village. The village itself is situated right on the fjord with mountains in the background. Many artists have found their inspiration there and it's not hard to understand why. I could have walked around for days absorbing the sites if I had the time.
Like Flam, Balestrand is another small village, but not half as commercialized. We only saw one other person as we walked along the fjord. There were very few people at the reastaurant we ate in, which is one of three in the entire area. And there were a handful of people who participated in a prayer service that was being held at St. Olaf's church. The Anglican church was built for an English woman who had moved to Norway and consequently fell in love with a Norwegian. Today services are still held in English by rotating English preachers.
The whole day was extremely relaxing, and as one man we met had said, "it truly is one of the most peaceful places I've ever been."