Getting from Oslo to Bergen Step by Step Guide
First, A Train Ride
We left Oslo in the morning on a train to Mrydal. Since I’ve been on what I think is the most beautiful train ride in the world, on Amtak up the California coast, I couldn’t help but compare. Of course, the common denominator is water and views. California certainly has scrumptious views of the Pacific and many quaint little towns along the way, but I have to give this one to the Norwegians.
With water on both sides, mountains all around, sun, snow, and ice abounding, the continual view was astounding. It was then peppered by more red barns, tiny towns centered around ancient churches and sheep, foxes, and birds we called cridgeons (they look like a cross between a crow and a pidgeon). Kinda similar to a road trip around one of the Great Lakes, yet tucked into the Rockies…but only at elevations of 1000-5000 feet.
I can’t talk about Scandinavia unless I include something about the skiers. Although we saw a few sets of runs on the sides of mountains, I have to say I now know why Steamboat, Vail, and Aspen are truly world class. The resorts we saw were puny–more like a Big Bear in southern California, or an Eldora in Boulder, CO. But, the cross country skiers were everywhere. Fully decked in appropriate gear, they exited the train and took to the snow like penguins in the spring time. We even saw kite skiing…cross country skiers using kites, like wind surfers, skipping along the gorgeous snow plains. Occasionally we would see one straight, steep run down the hill and discovered that these were ski jumps waiting for anyone to give them a try.
Another Train, then a Ferry
At Myrdahl, we jumped on another train to Flam. Older, this train chugged up and down the steep slopes to get to Flam, gateway to the famous fjords. A short time later, we boarded our first ferry. It was super that Nutshell in a Norway had purchased all of our tickets and included them in a handy packet. All of the transit options were public, and we joined the locals on their commutes.
With waterfalls everywhere that were both frozen and flowing, we could see evidence of spring popping through in purple flowers and yellow daffodils. A ride with many tunnels of great engineering feat, it was fun to also hear the many international voices of our traveling entourage, including Norwegians, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Swedish, and Germans.
Finally in Flam, we boarded a two-hour ferry cruise through the fjords and UNESCO heritage sites. A fjord is a body of sea water surrounded by three sides, and geographically a valley. Within the fjords, we saw porpoises as well. The views were tall, rocky, scraggly. They reminded me of the east coast of Canada, but the trees were deciduous not conifers. I simply couldn’t make my mind grasp deciduous trees in the cold northern climes! Regardless, the fresh air and picturesque fjords were well worth the effort of planes, trains, automobiles!
Next Up, A Bus and then Another Train
We reboarded the ferry then took a bus to Voss then hopped on our third train of the day to Bergen. Arriving late in the evening, we walked into our next AirBnB apartment.
The next morning, which was Sunday, we ventured into Bergen. Unfortunately, Sunday morning closed the fish market and stores. So, we viewed Bergen’s beauty, including historic Bryygen, grabbed the best pastries we’ve ever eaten, and then hopped the plane back to Stockholm. If I had to sum up Bergen from our short stay, I’d call it a mini Seattle with history.
All in all, although I wish we could have spent more time in Bergen, I loved Norway. The Norwegians are quiet, proud and adventurous yet respectful of their fishing history and prowess. Next stop, Athens.