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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
Copenhagen.
Lilly.
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
Bryggen
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
Bergen
Bryggen
Bryggen

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 » Eastern Norway » Oslo September 13th 2019

Oslo is wonderfully laid out for sightseeing. After breakfast, those of us interested in the museums, hopped the ferry to cross the harbor. The sun was shining and we were all excited to get our day started on the water. The ride over was perfect. There were already quite a few people out on boats and we even saw an 80ish year old woman and her friends out rowing. Water is life in Norway. The ferry dropped us off right in front of the Fram museum. The Kon Tiki and the Maritime museum were just steps away. We started with the Fram which is dedicated to polar exploration. Again, I wasn't sure I would find it interesting but I should really learn to keep my mouth shut. Ha! Right. Anyway, it was amazing to realize that ... read more

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo September 12th 2019

I'm not sure a group of people have ever been so happy to disembark a ship. We met up with our group and made the short walk to our hotel. I'm pretty sure I've said it before but Steve and Linda pick the best hotels. Always centrally located and easy to find once you've been out and about because they are near a major point of interest. In Paris, we were near Luxembourg Gardens. In Copenhagen, we were just 2 blocks from the Nyhavn canal and here, in Oslo, we are near the harbor and the Opera House. Again, we are able to walk to numerous attractions or jump right on public transportation close to the hotel. It is too early to check in so we stow our bags and hop on the tram to Vigeland ... read more

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo August 19th 2019

Today was my last day in Oslo. I started the day by going out of the downtown area to see the Munch Museum. Edvard Munch is Norway’s most famous artist, best known for The Scream. The emoji that Apple uses for the word “scream” is derived from Munch’s painting. 😱Afterward I had lunch in the museum cafe and then came back to town so I could go on the tour of Norway’s (relatively) new opera house. It is an architectural wonder with a long sloping roof made of white marble that runs right down to the water. And it’s constructed so that people can walk all the way to the top. Inside there are three performance spaces and we got to go into the main hall. We also got to go back stage and we saw ... read more
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Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo August 18th 2019

Unlike yesterday, today was a gorgeous sunny day in Oslo. I was out walking a good portion of the day and I enjoyed the weather. My first stop was to City Hall. I had tried to see the interior on my first day, but it was closed for some function. Today the main hall was open and I was there early so it wasn’t too crowded with tourists. The largest mural is from the 1930s and its central portion depicts typical Norwegian workers - fisherman, farmer, miner. I also liked the ceramic medallions in the entry hallway, especially the one depicting (I guess) Mother Norway looking after the people. Next I walked to the Historical Museum to see the Viking exhibit. I had read up on Vikings before the trip (that’s one reason I was so ... read more
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Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo August 17th 2019

It was a rainy day here in Oslo today. I was out in it a number of times, but never got TOO wet. The hotel provides umbrellas and I gave mine a good workout! First thing after breakfast I took the ferry to Bygdoy, a peninsula near downtown Oslo where there are a number of museums. I most wanted to see the Viking Ships Museum and it didn’t disappoint. It was a visceral thrill to see them in person, especially the well-preserved Oseberg Ship. The three main vessels on display were all recovered from Norwegian Viking burials in which prominent persons were sent to the next world in a ship loaded with a variety of goods, animals, and even vehicles (small sleighs and carts). My next stop was the outdoor Folk Museum which is a sort ... read more
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