WOW! As promised we were blown away by the scenery.
It was so different from where we live in Adelaide, Australia.
We don’t usually hook up with commercial tours. We are fairly confident that we can always arrange things cheaper and generally better ourselves. But Norway is pretty much the most expensive place in the world. So after some research we decided that a good way to see the highlights of Norway was to book a package with ‘Norway in a Nutshell.’
It is amazing how many people use this service. We ran into people all over who had done the same thing. The idea is that you do the trip from Oslo, the capital, to Bergen or while going in the opposite direction. Both great cities. Because we flew into Oslo with Ryanair, we took it west from there. Interestingly, the bus from the airport into Oslo, followed by 4 stops on the local bus, cost us more than the international flight (19 pounds) from London! But I digress.
With the Norway in a Nutshell Tour I would recommend that you buy a ‘Fjord Pass’ (quite cheap) and then book your own accommodation. Before you book the accommodation, try Airbnb though, because that would be even cheaper, if you can find something. Flam, possibly not, but Bergen or Oslo, almost certainly.
Our Norway in a Nutshell package took us on a beautiful train journey from Oslo through to Myrdal. This included Summer snow. At Myrdal we took the ‘Flam Railway’ down one of the steepest, most scenic, most amazing railway journeys in the world to the beautiful village of Flam. (See main photo)
Some of the passengers continued on from Flam that same day, all the way to Bergen! Luckily, we had decided to overnight in Flam and we are so glad we did. It gave us exactly 24 hours in Flam and then we joined the next day’s group. Admittedly the food options were so expensive that we bought bread and ‘extras’ at the supermarket but we had a good night’s sleep and did a wonderful walk to a waterfall (how’s the alliteration!?) in the morning. Honestly, there is so much to take in that it’s too much for 1 day.
From Flam we joined a boat for a 2 hour cruise through the fjord.
We enjoyed chats with fellow passengers, waterfalls, steep hillsides, narrow sections, hydro-electrics, cute villages and improbable houses perched on the cliffs. Then it was onto a bus which traversed down the mountains through some incredible switch-backs a la Lombard Street in San Francisco and yet more amazing views.
From the town of Voss we re-joined the train for the last leg into Bergen. More great scenery! Imagine a trip across the Nullabor in Australia by train. It is the complete opposite in every respect. Steep, green, scenic, forests, water everywhere. Nature at its best. The flipside of course is the long harsh winters. But for us, in summer, beautiful weather, it was stunning!
And then you get to Bergen! A beautiful town on the coast of Norway. Yachts, seafood, wealthy tourists everywhere. Access to even more fjords if you are keen. Mostly beyond our bank balance but you can still soak it up and think how great it is just to be there. Norway in a Nutshell? Highly recommended.