I read once that when planning a trip to the Scandinavia countries, visit Norway last because everything pales in comparison. I would agree.
This was my second trip to Norway--land of my people. Should have done some genealogy research but did not. That just means I will return, right?
We overnighted in Oslo and then caught the early morning train that goes to Bergen. Last time I did the reverse all in one day. This time we stayed overnight in Flam which was heaven. A vacation from our vacation.
The Norway in a Nutshell tour is a series of tightly scheduled trains, busses, and boats that takes you from Bergen to Oslo or Oslo to Bergen. You can make it a one day trip or stay overnight at various stops.
There is no tour director--just hop on and hop off depending upon your ticket. It is easy peasy. Except, when you book make sure you don't just book the trip--you need a confirmation with assigned seats on the trains/bus. When I went to pick up the tickets at the train station, the traveler next to me had booked his trip through a travel agent but his agent didn't take care of the confirmation with assigned seats and all the trains were sold out. I felt so bad for him. I booked mine online through a Norwegian tour company and had no problem.
We didn't want to fuss with our luggage so I used a porter service to pick up our bags in Oslo and transport them to our Bergen hotel for us. We each took one small bag for our overnight in Flam. Best decision!
This is Flam. We arrived, checked into the Fretheim hotel and had lunch at the Bakkastova Cafe--I highly recommend. And it was warm enough to sit outside.
Very peaceful and quiet after the tour boats and cruise ships depart.
We had plenty of time to tour around on bikes and to take a hike above Flam.
Felt like a Midsummer Night's Dream with these fun little artistic pieces scattered along the sides of the hills on our hiking path.
We rode bikes alongside the river to see this pretty church from the 1600's.
We took the ferry out of Flam and spent a few hours traveling along the fjords and stopping occasionally to drop off passengers at small villages such as the one above.
Cloudy skies but no rain.
We arrived in Bergen and after checking in to our hotel walked over to take the funicular and look at the layout of the city.
The above view is looking out west and the view below is to the east. Around 10:00 pm.
We spent 24 hours in Bergen. Took a walking tour, shopped, went to the museum, and ate delicious fresh fish. Rained most of the time we were there which is usually the case for Bergen. But when you dress appropriately it really isn't a big deal.
We lucked out and attended the Karen Bit Vejle psaligraphy exhibit at the Bergen Museum. What's psaligraphy, you ask? The art of drawing or painting with scissors. You probably already knew that.
I would like to return to Norway and spend more time along the fjords stopping off at villages, hiking, and staying a few more nights--one night on the fjords was not enough!