Fjording Ahead

As I drive along the remote west coast of Norway, I'm pretty sure I've arrived at the end of the world. The single-lane blacktop hugs a fjord with towering cliffs on each side; the only other access is by boat. Nestled at the end of the fjord is the small town of Modalen. Population: 350. Aside from its spectacular setting, the sleepy community has two main attractions: hydroelectric power and sand — lots and lots of sand.

This, to say the least, is an economic backwater. But Modalen is no longer feeling isolated. Since the beginning of the year, everyone in town...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!