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Published: June 17th 2010
After leaving Copenhagen the next part of our trip took us to the very northern tip of Denmark and then onwards via a ferry to Bergen in Norway. Although this isn’t the most direct route across northern Europe, with 4 days of travelling to get from Copenhagen to Stockholm instead of just one, we really wanted to see Bergen and also travel on the famous Bergen to Oslo railway. This part of Scandinavia is at the same latitude as the Shetland Islands so this time of year is known as the month of white nights. It’s not getting dark until about 11.30pm and is getting light again by 2am. Crazy. Hirtshals, Denmark
6 hours on the train north of Copenhagen is the harbour town of Hirtshals. Arriving in good time on a Saturday afternoon we decided to check out the centre of town to do a bit of food shopping and get some dinner. Unfortunately, as if there had been some sort of apocalypse, the whole place was almost deserted! The high street was buzzing with at least six people, two of which were Liz and I. The food options were also limited, with a selection of pizza or
chips. If we wanted to splash out we could have had pizza AND chips.
On the plus side the beach was lovely with miles and miles of clean white sand. Due to some high winds the waves coming in were also pretty big so we enjoyed watching them crashing over the harbour wall. We then realized that the ferry we due to catch the next day would also be enjoying these big waves - Liz turned a slightly green colour at the thought!
The next morning the winds had dropped but the waves remained large. The ferry left at 3pm and rest of the day was spent getting wind swept on the top deck and spotting big waves as they came towards us. The boat was rocking, as much due to the big waves hitting us as the bar full Germans enjoying their 4-0 win against Australia in the football.
Luckily both calmed down as we moved into the night and we were able to get some sleep. Bergen - Norway
We arrived into Bergen at 10am with clear blue skies. I’d heard a lot of good things about the place and we weren’t disappointed, the
town is stunning. There are some UNESCO world heritage fishing buildings set back from a picturesque harbour and behind the town there is a backdrop of forested hills and mountains.
We spent the first part of the day wandering around the old town and having a look through the local market. Reindeer sausages seemed to be popular as well as bucket loads of fresh shrimp! In the afternoon we went to the aquarium where the highlights were the penguins (so cute) and the sea lions (so blubbery). They also had some of the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen.
The other reason we came to Bergen was to catch the Bergen to Oslo train which is rated as one of the top 10 railway journeys in the world (Lucy - I know how much you like videos of railway journeys but I couldn’t find one for you!). The train made its way around the fjords and then up into the mountains. The scenery was amazing. If you like trees, rivers and mountains then I can’t recommend this trip enough! The highest point of the journey was at 1222m where there was still snow on the ground and you can
see a glacier from your window- in the middle of June! On the other side of the mountains the landscape slowly changed to more agricultural land and then after 7 hours we arrived into Oslo. Oslo - Norway
We were only stopping Oslo for 1 night before heading onwards to Stockholm. Oslo is the most expensive city in the world (fact) and so we were quite glad not to be spending too much time in the city! The highlight of the evening was visiting the opera house which has a sloped roof that you can walk up onto. The lowlight was going to the recommended "mid-range" restaurant only to find that main courses were about ₤30 each. We settled instead more reasonably priced Thai restaurant! The next morning we were back on the road towards Stockholm which is where we are now, just about to go out exploring.
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