Blogs from Western Norway, Norway, Europe


Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 28th 2019

Our next adventure begins with meeting a famous dancer on the train. She is from Chicago and is the opening act for Burlesque Oslo. Todays journey takes us from Denmark, through Sweden, and into Norway. First impressions are that the country is similar to Canada; well manicured farms, Manitoba like rock walls, many lakes, and miles of forests. Wanting to see the Norwegian countryside, it is back on the train. The scenery was constantly changing, and absolutely breath taking. At first there are densely forested areas carpeted in moss, then pastures with dozens of waddling snow geese, glacier pot lakes, cascading waterfalls, rock cropping hills, and ending with an almost apocalyptic looking landscape dotted with sporadic cabins. Interestingly enough, we are going through several towns on the way to Myrdal. We pass through Geilo, Al, and ... read more
The Viking Ship Museum - Oslo
Wonderful construction - these are old boats
The Viking Ship

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 26th 2019

Yes. Back in Norway at Chris and Hege's enjoying catching up with our Norwegian family. Our plan for this year was to stay in NZ as Chris and his family had been out to NZ in December / January. But as everyone knows, Grandchildren rule the world, and after a couple of skype's where Lilly and Stella suggested that we should seriously reconsider staying in NZ, and just come to Norway, Di contacted our travel agent and within about 5 hrs, it was all settled. A good price, with Singapore airlines providing the wings, and once again, off to Bergen. This is the 17th year we have travelled here to stay with Chris and Hege. Our first trip was in October 2002, spurred on by the need to meet Hege. Amy joined us, and meeting Hege ... read more
Nana and Lilly.

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 24th 2019

We were speaking to a Dutch couple at breakfast, who had been on an amazing expedition further north in Norway armed only with a Landrover that had a roof tent. They had been defeated by the rain and had retreated back to hotel civilization in Bergen. It will be busy in town today - they informed us - there is a big football match. This obviously wasn't new information to me and we were back at the hotel to pick up our tickets. The "big" football match was the "Westland" derby between Brann Bergen and the upstarts from down the road, FK Haugesund. The distance between the 2 cities is miniscule in Norwegian football terms which in theory makes it a hot rivalry, but the tradition of the 2 clubs could not more different. FK Haugesund ... read more
Mount Floyen, Bergen
Edvard Grieg Museum, Troldhaugen

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 21st 2019

I have never had good reason to monitor the weather in Norway. My eyes have always focused on the clouds passing over Britain and heading to Denmark and the lower areas of Scandanavia. However having decided it was about time we made our first forray into the country, I purchased two £30 pound returns to Bergen and everything changed. Bergen is officially confirmed as the European city with the most rainy days. I know you don't exactly go hunting the sun in Scandinavia, but the averages make some depressing reading. There were on average 17 days of rain in September. The hours of total sunshine in the month didn't look too clever either. The average rainfall is even extreme by Norwegian standards and comes in at nearly 3 times the totals of Oslo. I checked back ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Flåm September 14th 2019

Our group was leaving for the train station at 11am. The train was leaving at 12:03pm and the station was only a couple of blocks from the hotel. We had walked over to the station the previous evening on our way home from the bar and familiarized ourselves with the layout and food options. We still wanted to try and fit one more museum in before we left Oslo so we told our guides that if we were not in the lobby at 11am, we'd meet them at the train station. We got up early to make sure we were packed and ready. Hotel checkout wasn't until noon so we left our bags in the room and timed our walk to the Nobel Prize Center so we would know precisely how long we could take. The ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen August 15th 2019

I explored more of Bergen today and this time I didn’t need an umbrella even once. The sun was shining first thing this morning, so I decided it was a good time to ride the funicular to the top of Fløyen, a hill near town with views. The sun was in my eyes as I tried to take a selfie from the summit and the view was nice, but not as nice as the viewpoint I visited later in the day, so I’ll include a picture from there at the end. Later in the morning I went to the Kings Hall for the daily tour. The guide did her best but the truth is that medieval Bergen has a pretty dull history and, while one can admire the reconstruction job on the huge 700-year old hall, ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen August 15th 2019

August 14, 2019 – Bergen, Norway – Weather: 57°F/14°C, overcast, intermittent rain showers throughout the day – some light while others were torrential, wind 11.4 mph, humidity 76° Located on Norway’s southwest coast Bergen is Norway’s second largest city and is the nation’s largest port. The city lies in a lush green mountain landscape which experiences 280+ days of rain each year. The city rose to prominence in the early 12thcentury due to its dried-cod trade. The old wharf area on the inner harbour is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and features wooden structures, or long houses, established by the Hanseatic League to carry on their commercial traffic. Today we set out to explore Bergen first by taking a funicular ride that ascended 1,200 feet above sea level to the observation platform on Mt. ... read more
2_One of many views
3_Woodland troll
4_Bryggen Wharf district

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen August 14th 2019

Today I had a good day in Bergen. I toured several sights that I wanted to see and learned some history along the way. First of all, I took the 90-minute tour from the Bryggen Museum which concentrates on the history of the city, especially the period when the town depended on trade with the Hanseatic League in the late Middle Ages. Codfish was the big commodity and one museum had a dried cod hanging from the ceiling. There is also a giant cod statue nearby that doesn’t mind a little rain. Walking around town, I came upon a large monument in the middle of a square that apparently memorializes the town’s Viking and pirate history. At the end of the day I visited the city’s art museum whose paintings feature peaceful landscapes and pastoral scenes. ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen August 13th 2019

Today was a travel day and I am now in a new country, Norway. It feels good to be here, sort of like the REAL start to my trip since I’ve been to London several times before. Actually I’ve been to Norway before, but that was 42 years ago and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember much about it. I do have positive memories of Bergen, which is where I am now. It is on the west coast and is famous for its cod fisheries and as an access point for the Norwegian North Sea oil rigs. Tourism is also big here because it is located near fjord country. Surprisingly, some of the waterfront warehouses from medieval “Bryggen” still exist, although they now house tourist shops instead of salt cod and trade goods. Another ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Gudvangen August 8th 2019

Today was a preparation day for one of the highlight days of the tour starting with a 3.5 hr bus journey to the incredible fjord region. Our accommodation for a 2 night stay was a rustic self-catering Norwegian hut at a village near the town of Gudvangen. The setting is beautiful, surrounded by steep cliff walls next to the crystal clear Kjelsfossen waterfall falling from the top of the fjords. Next task was to buy food supplies for two days leaving the afternoon free to walk along the fjord before a casual BBQ dinner. Some doubtful weather was forecast but we woke next day to a bright clear morning and perfectly still conditions for our boat trip up the World Heritage Naeroyfjord. The fjord is 18 kilometres long & incredibly deep yet narrows down to sheer ... read more
Gudvangen starting dock
One of many small villages along the fjord
Narrow point on fjord.

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