Norway in a Nutshell

After much delay here is the recount of our day travelling through Norway’s fjord country on our way from Oslo to Bergen.  There are a number of variations on the popular trip known as the ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ tour.  Basically the trip consists of some combination of train, boat and bus and takes you through some of the most amazing scenery in the country.  Not afraid to book online in Norwegian (finally a use for my Swedish classes) we were able to cut out the bus portion of the trip and spend a bunch more time on the water through the fjords.

The first phase of the journey involved an 6:30AM train leaving Oslo arriving about 5 hours later in the small mountain outpost of Myrdal.

Near the foothills of the mountains outside of Oslo
A little further up the trees get a little shorter
It's pretty rocky and desolate up near the tree line but there are still isolated houses along with way. Some of them are pretty large so it's possible that people live there year round.
Glacier and alpine lake near Finse which is the highest stop on the rail line at over 1200m above sea level. (Dad took this picture)
The tiny village of Myrdal at over 800m above sea level.

Myrdal is the starting point for the famous Flåmsbana Railway which in its short 20km journey winds its way from over 865m to sea level making it one of the steepest sections of track in the world.  The train winds its way through a series of 20 tunnels before arriving in the small town of Flåm which lies at the end of the Aurlandsfjord which is an arm of the worlds longest fjord called Sognesfjord.

Mom and Dad by the Kjosfossen waterfall which the train stops at to allow everyone to take pictures.
About to go through one of the 20 tunnels
A little village in the valley

In Flåm we had a few hours to kill before our boat left so we had a picnic and wandered around the village.

View from the picturesque little village of Flåm
First in line for the boat

In Flåm we boarded the fast boat to Bergen that took us out the Aurlandsfjord to the main channel of the Sognesfjord and then out to the coast before weaving through some islands down to Bergen.  The whole 5 hour journey was packed with great fjord scenery.  The pictures don’t really do it justice as it’s hard to capture the magnitude and scale; they give you a feeling, but you really need to be there to experience the fjords for yourself.  That said, the trip really validated what we already knew: we have some amazing scenery back home in the Pacific Northwest.  If these Norwegian fjords are the biggest and best our little fjords at home are pretty top notch as well.  Here is a small sampling of the scenery:

Wooden stave church

After about five and half hours we made it into Bergen all of us with a healthy dose of sensory overload.  Fourteen and a half hours after leaving Oslo we found our apartment and quickly fell asleep for the night.  Stay tuned for all the details of our two days in Bergen…

2 Comments

  1. It’s a long time ago that I was in Norway but I seem to remember parts of it are just as beautiful as here. I always wanted to go back and kayak the Fjords. Back than I did mostly backpacking on foot. My pack felt really heavy climbing up into the mountains in Jotunheimen NP (Land of the Giants). But after passed by a family with the dad carrying a big pack plus his kid on his shoulders, I swallowed the pain and started to enjoy the views.

  2. Ed has done the trip you did, although the weather was mostly foul the day he did it – everyone else stayed below on the boat, and Ed had up top to himself.

    He has also said that he has seen many landscapes around the world, and many are awesome, but we have one of the prettiest right here at home. Go,us!

    The photo of Myrdal is beautiful! And the one of Graham hanging out the train window – priceless – I was waiting for the cartoon-look around at the approaching tunnel. 😉

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