MAIDEN OF THE FALLS
In 1994 I gave lectures on the Royal Viking Queen, and again in 2002, on the Crystal Symphony, both cruises plying the magical waters of the Norwegian fjords. On both occasions the ships visited the mighty Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, and both times, when the ship arrived at the small town of Flåm, I took the historic Flam Mountain Railway to Myrdal. This train ride is one of the most scenic excursions in the world — climbing to an elevation of over 900 m (3000 ft) in a distance of only 19 km (12 mile). Numberless tunnels dot the undulating, meandering trajectory of the train ride, which reaches its crescendo at the roaring waterfalls seen in the picture.
In the 2002 trip, I found that the local authorities had added a little extra drama. Periodically, the ‘Maiden of the Falls,’ a young woman draped in a red flowing robe, was seen to emerge from a hut on the rocky outcropping in the center, and saunter to the edge. In this, the first of two images in this series I am posting, the ‘maiden’ can be seen, her size providing the scale for the site. (She is about two-thirds of the way up from the bottom, and about one-third of the way from the right.) I must confess feeling trepidation and fear for the woman, standing on what must have been slippery and slimy rocks, and so precipitously close to such lethal white water.
PS Two discerning observers (ben4321 and untrained) pointed out the small red specks near the top of the falls. These would have been easy to correct, if I had seen them earlier. Thank you Ulf and Ben.