We got up early in order to catch the train that was the first leg of the "Norway in a Nutshell" journey. We were glad we got there plenty early as the train quickly filled up with other tourists- all of whom had tons of luggage. We had gotten the premium luggage spots. The ride to Myrdall had amazing scenery- green forests, glimmering lakes, rocky mountains, quaint villages, unique tunnels, pastoral villages, raging river rapids, roaring waterfalls, and even a glacier towards the end. Both sides of the train had the amazing views, so everybody got to see. This is some of the Norway I remember from the Disney ride.
The train lets off in Myrdall for those not going straight to Bergen, which is most of the tourists. You have a little over a half hour there to grab a bite to eat, take a bathroom break, and preview what you'll see next. They apparently aren't super-organized. Our train was overbooked so some people had to stand. Also, there was very little room for luggage, but everybody had a ton. Since it's free-for-all seating, my best recommendation is to get in line as early as possible so that you can get a spot, preferably on the left, but the other side is also excellent.
What we saw just can't be described in words and the ride at Epcot doesn't even come close to replicating any of this. I can't explain the grandeur, the scale, or the immense beauty, and no pictures can sufficiently capture it. It's like trying to explain how cake tastes to somebody by having them smell it through a glass display case. So, here are some pictures, but the moral is that you have to take the train ride yourself. Having done so, I understand why this is repeatedly rated on of the top 5 train rides in the world.
At the end of the train ride, we were in Flam. Unlike many of the other passengers who were continuing straight on, we were spending the night. The town is a cute little town with only about half a dozen buildings, so it's relatively easy to find everything. We got settled at our hotel (Flamsbrygga) and went out for a hike. The hike around the area is also breathtaking. Again, here are some pictures that do it no justice.
We had a reasonable dinner at a cafe in town and perused the mini-grocery store. Afterwards, mom and dad went for a walk, but I just sat here and enjoyed the amazing view from the hotel room (and chatted with my baby sis).