Sunday, September 25, 2011

Norway in a Nutshell

That's the title of the great suggested tour that leads from Oslo to Bergen.  I discussed Copenhagen and Stockholm in my earlier post, and now its time to cover Norway.  Such an amazingly beautiful place and unfortunately the camera really can't do it any justice.  But it'll have to do for now.

Our adventure starts with water and lots of it.  It's definitely not something they'll have to worry about anytime soon.  At least it seems that way.  If you like waterfalls, you'll love Norway.

Tvinde Fassen Waterfall

Also, the train ride between Oslo and Bergen is beautiful, but if you must get off the train, I recommend highway 13. It's got more tunnels than I knew existed in the world and some beautiful bus shelters.

Route 13 To Vik Bus Shelter

The water is pretty still as well.

Route 13 Reflections

And the ski resorts have grass roofs

Green Roof Ski Resort

At the end of highway 13 is the town of Vik.

Vik from the Mountain Vik from Route 13

And in Vik is Hopperstad Stave Church, built in the 1100s, this church has been renovated to a certain extent but the inside is still in tact and an amazing specimen. It is said to be the oldest surviving church of its kind.

Hoppenstad Stave Church Hoppenstad Stave Church

On the train from Oslo to Bergen, the train ride is full of farmhouses and deep canyons. And we rode in the car that allows pets.

Animal Car on the Train Oslo to Bergen Scenery

At the Finse Glacier is the highest train station in Northern Europe. Only at about 4,000 feet the tree line doesn't go as high as it does in California or the Rockies because it gets so much colder. We found out later as well that this was where they filmed the Hoth scenes for Empire Strikes Back.

Finse Glacier Finse Station

On the other side of the Train ride is the beautiful Fjords with more waterfalls. This one was from a train that has some serious elevation changes.

Kjosfossen Waterfall Naeroyfjord "Narrow Fjord"

On the way back, we were in a commuter type bus going down this switchback, which was quite amazing that the driver could pull it off

Stalheim Switchback

And Bergen is a beautiful city

Bergen City Center

The Hanseatic quarter burnt down in the 1700s and the debris was pushed into the bay and built upon. But that was a bad idea as the buildings are shifting so much that some of them don't match up.

Hansiatic Quarter Mishmash Bergen Norway Hasiatic Quarter Hansiatic Quarter

Back in Oslo, Frogner Park is a must see and here's the obligatory tram shot. The photo below is a really cool water feature that the trams run directly over.

Tram Water Feature Frogner Park Tram
Frogner Park
Angry Kid at Frogner Park Frogner Park

And the urbanism is pretty great as well

Oslo Norway Oslo Norway

Finally though, I thought I would share our prison abroad, the US Embassy in Norway. That's what I thought it was at least the first time I saw it. It's too bad we create so many enemies and have folks that don't like us that we need to even do this. At least there is a tram line.

American Embassy Oslo


Alex said...

The abundant water and topography is part of the reason why Norway is gaining spectacular wealth from North Sea oil - they don't need it since 99% of their electricity is hydro.

Nothing on Bergen's new light rail line?

Anonymous said...

Can you fit Norway in a nutshell? Even a Brazil nutshell wouldn't be large enough.

Canaan said...

Can you shine a little light on how much your trip cost? Did you find it more/less expensive than you thought? I pretty much want to do the exact same trip you did.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Canaan send me an email theoverheadwire at gmail dot com

Van Hire London said...

All are very lovely pics. Really, the place is so beautiful to spend holidays peacefully there. Thanks for sharing such an marvellous post with us.