Saturday, March 19, 2016

SCANDINAVIA - Afterthoughts

Loved every minute of our trip to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.  But here are a few thoughts on what I would do differently as well as what was just right.

On the path to The Little Mermaid - Copenhagen

When I began planning this trip it was a very busy and stressful time with work and my church calling (organizing a women's conference).  So, I used a travel agent to book flights and help me with a few things.  I let him talk me into taking flights between Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo.  We have always preferred a combination of trains and cars.  The flights were definitely less expensive, but the added stress of airplane travel and such wasn't worth it.  We would have preferred taking the scenic route that trains and cars afford. Even if it took a bit longer or cost a bit more.  Should have listened to my gut on this.  Lesson learned.

Copenhagen Harbor

We also needed one more night in Stockholm to get a better feel for that city.  Two nights just not enough.  I like to pack a lot into touring a big city but I also like at least a half day for wandering and observing--no time in Stockholm for those pleasures.


Norway requires more time on the fjords--pictures don't do it justice.  We met a darling and intrepid couple from Los Angeles, Marjorie and Dave.  They said they once made the same mistake taking flights in between closely connected cities/countries when they knew they preferred the more scenic route, too.  This trip, they spent more time traveling by ferry, car, train and loved it.  And they went deeper into the fjords.  Ferries are abundant and you can hop off and on staying in various villages and hiking as you go.  We met a few families with small children and teenagers who were doing that and loved it.  They unplugged from phones and tablets enjoying each other and the spectacular countryside.

Cute Marjorie and Dave

And, always, always book a Norway in a Nutshell tour. I have been to Norway twice and have booked this tour both times.  You can customize this tour to suit your needs and time constraints.  It is a brilliant plan and is an effortless way to tour the beauty of the fjords and its villages.

Norwegian countryside

We relied greatly on ground transportation to and from hotels and airports and only took two taxis.  The subway/train system in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo is superb.  From what we experienced, there were escalators and elevators galore and no station had only stairs for entry and exit.  Stairs are miserable when you are dealing with luggage.  The trains we were on just sailed right into a clean station with an escalator just steps away.  Heaven.

There was one time we absolutely should have taken a taxi and that was from our Copenhagen train station to our hotel.  Instead dragged our four-wheeled luggage over serious cobblestone streets THE ENTIRE WAY--we felt (and looked) like idiots and I may have used a curse word or two (or at least thought them).

We packed just right for these cooler weather countries.  Layers work so well for traveling, don't they?  My new found love is the Barbour Summer Liddesdale Gilet.  I wore it every single day over long-sleeved shirts and sometimes underneath a thin unlined Eileen Fisher raincoat, plus a scarf.  Worked beautifully.


  1. I so enjoy your photos and hope you are planning another tour soon.