Rallar Museum

Rallar Museum is based in the eastern locomotive shed at Finse. The museum shows the preparatory works, planning, marking out and construction of the Bergen Railway during the period from 1871 through to opening of the line in 1909. A proposal for a railway between Oslo and Bergen was first put forward by forest manager H. A. Gløersen in the Bergensposten newspaper in 1871. In 1894, the plan to construct a railway line between Christiania (as Oslo was then known) and Bergen was formally approved.

Construction of the Bergen Railway presented some major technical problems, especially on the section between Mjølfjell and Geilo. In the summer of 1907, rails were laid between Myrdal and Ustaoset. It was important to complete this section of the line before the winter and 1150m of rail were laid every day. On 10 August, the rails reached Finse. In 1908 and 1909, countless trains became stranded in the snow drifts and two rotary snow-blowers were stationed at Finse. From commencement of the work in 1894 until the opening of the line in 1909, 700,000kg of dynamite, 500km of explosives fuses and 2.5 million man-days were used. In addition to snow fences and snow sheds, the Bergen Railway has nearly 200 tunnels. In connection with the opening of the Bergen Railway, the train carrying the King and Cabinet stopped at Finse, the highest station on the line. During the opening ceremony, the King described the whole scheme as “the greatest achievement of our generation”.

 

From commencement of the work in 1894 until the opening of the line in 1909, 700,000kg of dynamite, 500km of explosives fuses and 2.5 million man-days were used. In addition to snow fences and snow sheds, the Bergen Railway has nearly 200 tunnels.

 

In Rallar Museum, you can experience a working blacksmith’s and Rotaren café, which sells waffles and souvenirs. There is a special themed exhibition here called “the fight against the snow”. The exhibition shows how the mountainous section was kept open right through the winter. Rallar Museum is open every day throughout the summer. During the winter season, group tours of the Rallar Museum can be booked by prior arrangement with the curator. A key can also be borrowed from Finse 1222.

 

Rallar Museum also hires out rooms either with or without catering. By prior arrangement, we can serve Rallar waffles, cakes, Sluske soup, “Blacksmith’s comfort” and coffee/tea/mineral water.

Fagernut Vokterbolig – Rallar Café and exhibition

Along Rallarvegen, between Finse and Hallingskeid, is Fagernut Vokterbolig (lengthman’s cottage). This is the highest lengthman’s cottage along the Bergen Railway, at a height of 1342m above sea level. Here, you will find the Rallar Café, which sells Rallar waffles and Sluske soup.

After 10km of steady climbing on Rallarvegen from Finse, a rest at Fagernut is well-deserved. In addition to the café, you can visit the exhibition which illustrates the lives of the lengthmen and their families along the Bergen Railway. The cottages have a long history as homes for railway lengthmen and, more recently, also for tourists. Like many other lengthmen’s cottages, Fagernut is protected by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. Rallar Museum at Finse owns the lengthman’s cottage and also runs the café. The cottage lost its electricity supply when the Finse tunnel opened in May 1993, as the cottage received its power from the overhead power lines, which were taken out of use at the same time.

The story of Fagernut Vokterbolig

Fagernut was built in 1904 and during the construction period through to 1909, Fagernut was used as a dwelling for engineers and managers along the high mountain section of the line. The cottage has two apartments which enabled two lengthmen’s families to live there at the same time. The Rallar Café is situated in the eastern dwelling. Many families lived there for varying lengths of time. The cottage was vacated in 1965. In connection with Nature Conservancy Year 1970 and the 40th anniversary of the Norwegian Hostel Association, international working camps were held in the lengthman's cottage from 1970 until 1975 with participants from 60 countries. Improvements, repairs and essential clean-up operations along the railway line were carried out to enable Rallervegen to be reopened and used as a cycle way. The reopening ceremony took place in Fagernut in July 1974.

Life as a railway lengthman

Life as a railway lengthman was probably both lonely and sociable, with tough shifts and a lot of time when nothing happened. In 1948, 28-year old Rolf Breili got a job as a railway lengthman for NSB, based at Fagernut on the Bergen Railway. Fagernut Vokterbolig is the highest lengthman’s cottage along the Bergen Railway. The following year, his wife moved into the cottage and their eldest daughter was born the same year. Doing the shopping was no easy feat, as Finse was the nearest place with a shop and Geilo was the nearest town. NSB had many employees at the time and another couple lived at Fagernut at the same time as the little family from Ringerike. There was no electricity at Fagernut, but plenty of dry wood and a telephone if anything should happen. The highest sections of the Bergen Railway are renowned for their harsh climate. Many metres of snow could fall. Rolf Breili has talked about a 12m-high snow cutting. On occasions, he also had to follow a piece of string between the railway line and his home to ensure that he got home safely. His wife often tied a rope around her waist when she collected wood. The young Breili inspected the line 3km on either side of the cottage, and it was vital to stay alert. He used a draisine (a rail cycle) for his work and if a train suddenly appeared, it could be difficult to get out of the way in time. He not only had to save himself, as the draisine, for he was personally liable, also had to be saved. Working on the railway line involved a lot of hard work, but it also meant a supplement in your pay packet.

Cafe Rallaren

Cafe Rallaren is situated at Myrdal station, 867m above sea level. Myrdal station is the upper terminus of the world-renowned Flåm Railway and an interchange between the Bergen Railway and the Flåm Railway. The café is located in the premises of the old railway restaurant, which opened in 1909. We also run a souvenir shop selling T-shirts, caps, ornamental pins, mugs and other souvenirs from Rallarvegen and the Flåm Railway. Cafe Rallaren also has a left-luggage facility. The Myrdal area is suitable for most people but is not wheelchair-friendly.

 

Food

Serving of hot and cold meals: cream porridge with cured and smoked meats and fish, meatballs, lasagne and Rallar soup. Coffee and cakes with homemade pancakes, carrot cake and pastries as our speciality. Refreshments, coffee, cappuccino, café au lait and tea. We serve beer, cider and wine. Lunch and dinner boxes available to order. At either end of the main tourist season, we can serve lunch and evening meals to small groups.

 

Bike hire

We hire out bikes and helmets between Myrdal and Flåm. A cycling trip to Flåm takes about an hour and a half, or if you prefer to walk, expect to take about five hours.

Rallarvegen bike hire

Haugastøl Turistsenter is Norway's largest bike hire company. We hire out bikes from both Haugastøl and Finse. You can return the bikes in Myrdal, Voss or Flåm. We have specially made DBS Finse 1222 bikes with 8 gears, DBS 02:52 Offroad bikes and children’s bikes of different sizes and types. You can also hire bike bags and luggage and child trailers.

The hire shop opens in mid-June and closes in early October.

Our hire bikes are also available in Flåm through Flåm Tourist Information. Here, the season starts in the beginning of May.

Contact us to book hire bikes on tel. 32 08 75 64 or use our online booking service at www.rallarvegen.com

Sykkel 1222 – bike hire

The best bikes along the Rallarvegen can be hired from Sykkel 1222. Our Merida bikes are high quality, modern and new. You can choose between Merida Rallarvegen, Merida Specialized Rockhopper, Merida Specialized Epic and the junior bike Merida Viper.

 

Bikes undergo a full service between each cleaning. This involves cleaning the bike, replacing worn parts and tightening or slackening screws as necessary.

 

Bikes should be booked well in advance and can be collected from our bike shop, which is situated on the platform. All bikes can be returned to either Myrdal or Flam before 12.00pm on the following day. We will arrange for them to be transported back to Finse.

 

We also hire out bike trailers and bike panniers to our bike hire customers. We do not hire out bike helmets for insurance reasons. You can either buy a bike helmet from us or bring your own. In the shop, we also sell bike equipment and clothing and can carry out repairs on your own bike.

 

Technical questions: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / To book bikes: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jøklagutane

Jøklagutane is an activity company which predominantly offers guided tours on the Hardangerjøkulen glacier during the summer season. However, the company has also arranged a wide variety of activities in the Finse area and along Rallarvegen over the years. Glacier walks are arranged daily throughout the summer season. The walks start at 11.00 from outside the waiting room at Finse Station. A glacier walk with Jøklagutane includes a guide, essential glacier equipment, insurance and a personal gift which you can use during the trip.

 

Glacier walking on Blåisen

 Glaciers and ice are part of the summer scene here in Norway. The Blåisen glacier is beautiful. The sunlight that colours the ice crystals in the most beautiful blue colours never fails to seduce us with its grandeur and timeless beauty. However, you must not forget that glaciers can be treacherous with crevasses several hundred metres deep beneath slender snow bridges. Yet the crevasses can also offer exciting experiences in the form of ice-climbing and abseiling.

 

It is therefore important not to set foot on the glacier except as part of a roped group with a local glacier guide. This applies in both summer and winter. That is why Jøklagutane, with their local knowledge, offer safe and unforgettable glacier experiences.

 

A little about the glacier trip

 It is about 5km from Finse to Blåisen and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours on foot. The entire excursion takes about 6-7 hours. This means that you have around two hours’ walking on the glacier itself. All the equipment is kept next to Blåisen. You should be in reasonable physical condition and wear normal mountain clothing for Norwegian conditions. The trips can be booked directly with Jøklagutane or through Finse 1222.

Klemsbu

Klemsbu is owned and run by Finse 1222. The cabin is situated about 5km from the centre of Finse and forms the perfect destination for a shorter trip. Klemsbu is available for hire. The cabin has no electricity or running water and sleeps 4-5 people.
During the winter season, Klemsbu has become a popular meeting place on the Klemsburunden, a 12km-long ski route marked out by the hotel using twigs. During the winter season, waffles and chocolate as well as hot and cold drinks are also served at Klemsbu. It is our own guests, acquaintances and the friends of Finse who keep the cabin open, cook waffles and sell other refreshments. You can become a Klemsbu helper too; contact Finse 1222.

Ægir Brewery Tour

From Norse Mythology to a brewery in Flåm

In Norse mythology, Ægir is referred to as a ‘jotun’, or giant with superhuman strength. He is the brother of Vinden and Elden and is the ruler of the sea. Ægir’s hall is not lit by fire, but by the purest gold. Every year, he invites the Old Norse gods to a banquet in his banquet hall, Brime, where the beer and food carry themselves around and the drinking horns fill themselves. According to Odin, Ægir brews the best beer. Ægir brewed his beer in the biggest vat in the world, 10km deep. In Ægir’s hall, the gods had to keep peace with each other and anyone who caused trouble was banned for ever more.

 

In the spirit of Ægir, we have developed our brewery and the associated tavern which bears his name. The brewery opened in June 2007 and has been a big success. Our beers are also available at an ever-increasing number of outlets and bars around Norway, and soon some will also sell our draught beers. We believe people deserve to be able to choose between different types of beer in the same way as they can with wine, and we therefore offer a wide variety of different beers in our range. All are made according to Ægir Brewery’s own recipes. The beer types consist of both over- and underfermented types, drawing inspiration from a number of microbreweries around the world, including the USA. For 22 years, our brewer, American Evan Lewis, has been creating his own versions of exciting and familiar beers, drawing on both his home-brewing experience and his formal education.

 

We serve simple dishes to accompany the beer in Ægir. All the dishes we serve use beer as an ingredient. The dough in the pizza bases for example contains Rallar beer. These bases are specially made for Ægir Brewery at the local bakery in Aurland.

 

The brewing volume is 10 hectolitres and the brewery has an annual capacity of around 1400 hectolitres. Over half the beer we produce goes for resale.

 

If you have any questions concerning Ægir Brewery or would like to know where you can buy our beers, please contact us by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Tours of Ægir Brewery

We arrange tours of the brewery and tavern and we will also give you an introduction into the art of the beer brewer. You will get the chance to try out the various types of beer – “a half-metre of beer” – all of which have a characteristic colour and taste. You can also try out some exciting combinations of beer and food. We prepare menus using local ingredients and, regardless of the time of year, we always make sure that our menus are compatible with the various Ægir beer ranges that we are producing at any one time.