We arrived late into Oslo from Tallinn and had just enough energy to make our way down to the newly developed wharf area for a bite to eat. Very similar to our Southbank in Melbourne but with slot more pizazz.
We began our Norway adventure the following morning by doing the “Norway in a Nutshell” this is a very popular way of getting from Oslo to Bergen or vice a versa via public transport and viewing some wonderful scenery along the way. I don’t think anyone can prepare for what nature has in store in this part of the world. The views are spectacular. We boarded a train in Oslo and 6 hours later we were transported to a train station in a little town called Myrdal. We left Oslo and the weather was a pleasant 20Celcius. By the time we reached Myrdal the weather had plummeted to a very crisp 6Celcius. We were surrounded by snow capped mountains and groups of tourists huddled in the tiny station waiting for the Bergen Railway to take us to Flam Station.
We were to spend one night in this tiny little place nestled in the innermost corner of Aurlandsfjord. The train journey takes about one hour to cover 20 kilometres and travels through 20 tunnels. To avoid the risk of avalanches the Flam Railway criss crosses the river and the bottom of the valley three times. This allows for some amazing views! This was to be the beginning of some of the most spectacular scenery over the course of our stay in Norway.
We stayed at The Fretheim Hotel, one of the historic hotels of Norway. Flam is a tiny little town surrounded by amazing snow capped mountains, and nothing can compare with waking up in the middle of this amazing fjord. Being surrounded by such extraordinary nature really does make you feel so insignificant in the scheme of all might mother nature.
The following day we boarded the ferry in Flam headed for Gudvangen. This was our next mode of transport to get us to another sleepy town situated amongst the fjords. Photos can only describe this journey. Waterfalls in abundance, sleepy little towns…but of course when you have a teenager with you there is always a different perspective so to quote our gorgeous 14 year old Thomas after I questioned him about having his head stuck in a book instead of watching the view. ” Mum if you’ve seen one fjord you’ve seen them all” Ahhh what to do.
From Gudvangen we caught the public bus for the one hour ride to Voss. Once again surrounding us as we drove along the narrow roads were mountains, tiny streams, cascading waterfalls and coloured houses. Once we arrived in Voss we boarded the local train for our final destination, Bergen.
We arrived to a slow but constant drizzle of rain and this was to be the constant during our stay here. We checked into our hotel located right on the waterfront facing the popular fish market. A celebration was in order this evening as John spent his birthday traveling all day. The restaurant were sweet enough to surprise him with a few birthday candles on his chosen dessert, a cheese platter.
We were o lucky to be able to meet up with Jorrunn during our stay here so we had our own personal guide. She took us through the Bergen fishmarket explaining all the different fish and other products available. It had never occurred to me that whale was so widely available in Scandinavia but we saw in abundance in Norway. It was in the breakfast buffet in Flam and in many of the fishmongers stalls at the market.
We continued our stroll through the city walking through The Bryggen area. Bergen has more than 200 days of rain and we were unfortunate to experience that part of it’s lets say heritage. It is surrounded by seven mountains and on a clear day you can board the funicular and experience some panoramic views. For us this was not to be as we were surrounded by a fine drizzling mist and fog. That did not stop us exploring on foot with umbrella in hand. Bergen has gorgeous wooden houses all built so tightly next to each other that you really must get along with your neighbours.
Jorrunn was nice enough to invite us for a home cooked meal and a spot of a Blueberry picking in hills behind her house. We enjoyed the delicious crab from the market and enjoyed the best pan fried salmon we have ever tasted… Lucas’ words in fact.