Category: Norway

Norway in Pictures

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We visited quite a few places while we were in Norway, and we took a ton of out-of-this-world pictures. To keep it all organized and make it easier to reference, I created this summary/index to pull it all together. If you aren’t a member of jcmarxblog.com, then you may have missed some or all of these articles.

Article and pictures of visit to Oslo

Article and some pictures of scenic train ride

Article and some pictures of road trip from Bergen to Flåm

Article and some pictures of road trip from Flåm to Geiranger

Geiranger, Norway

Once we left our great little cabins in Flåm (click here for that article), we took the high road out and, as you can see, the scenery was epic.

So epic, that we started to feel ourselves becoming a little desensitized to all the beauty. Can you imagine that? But I just couldn’t stop taking pictures, just like I can’t stop showing them to you!

How about a change of venue?

Can you believe I saw this (above) on one of the (many) ferry’s we rode to hop across rivers? Unbelievable! Near mint condition! Even has the raised outline Uniroyal tires! I can only imagine what parts must cost for that thing in Norway! I bet he wishes there was an AutoZone nearby!

And speaking of cars, check out the roads we had to brave as we zipped along the mountain tops. Yes, that is a two-way road. Encountering cars from the opposite direction was always nerve racking. One of you would have to find a way to move over to let the other one pass.

We stopped at this really cool overlook that extended out over the mountain.

A little scary, but well worth the view.

By late afternoon, we arrived at our lodging for the evening in the small town of Olden. This time we decided on a really snazzy airBNB rental.

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but the views from this place were, um, well, breathtaking? Check it out:

And here, below, is the unrestricted view (from the following morning). Some interesting observations about this picture. This is definitely one of those times that a picture doesn’t do the view justice.

You see the lowest level, where all the greenery is. The next level up looks like just fog. What the camera can’t see that the human eye could was that whole layer was completely frozen. The light layer of fog frosted everything beneath it, but it just comes out as fog through the camera. Then the layer at the top is, of course, is snow. Amazing.

We hit the trail the next morning destined for Geiranger, which has famous hotel perched high atop a mountain valley overlooking a beautiful fjord. So spectacular is this view that the name of the hotel (translated) is…. The View. Seriously.

The problem is that as we continued climbing higher and higher into the mountains, the weather began to deteriorate. Seeing snowflakes in late April was fun at first, but then it began to get more treacherous. Welcome to the Norwegian Highlands!

Our original plan was to drive from Olden straight to Geiranger (The View). But seeing as the snow was continuing to get worse, we found a ferry close by that would take us almost right to the hotel.

See the map, above. You can see Geiranger on the upper right. But instead of driving directly to it, follow the blue line to the red thumbtack, which is Hellesylt. We drove onto the ferry there. The ferry followed the red line to Geiranger and our hotel, The View.

This turned out to be a great decision since now we could just sit back and enjoy the ride, and, of course, take more picture! But it was also a good idea because some of the roads on the original route had not even reopened from winter, they were still buried in snow!

The landscape from the ferry was substantial enough to warrant its own online photo gallery, which I created here:

Once you’re in the gallery, just click on the first picture to enlarge it, then scroll to see the rest. If the picture seems a little blurry, that means it is still getting data from the server. Just wait a second or two and it will come into sharp focus.

Ok, so we finally made it to “The View”. Was it really all that? I’ll let you decide. But first, check out these two pics below. Both pictures are from the same spot in the lobby of the hotel. The first one is when we first arrived while it was still snowing. The second was during a lapse in the snow.

And without further ado, here is the gallery for the views from The View:

Once you’re in the gallery, just click on the first picture to enlarge it, then scroll to see the rest. If the picture seems a little blurry, that means it is still getting data from the server. Just wait a second or two and it will come into sharp focus.

And that’s pretty much it. From The View, our journey took us to the small town of Førde, where spent the night before returning to Bergen. I have to say, this definitely one of those trips that you just know you are never going to forget. I put it up there in my top five! And it’s not always the location or the destination, but the company that can really make the difference.

Flåm, Norway

This was an incredible leg of our journey. After the seven hour (spectacular) train ride from Oslo to Bergen (click here for that article), we picked up our car and drove from Bergen to a place called Flåm. This was a fjord that we cruised on a boat.

So on the map, above, I have highlighted Oslo, on the right side, then the yellow line was the train ride, and the blue line was the road trip to Flåm. As you can see, it was pretty mountainous terrain, which means pretty awesome pictures!

We made a few stops along the way to stretch our legs and enjoy the beauty that was all around us.

And you may recall from the Oslo article that we were accompanied by our friends, Marie (left), from New York, and BiBi, who hails from Bulgaria but joined us from the UK.

To reduce my footprint on my content server, I have created an online gallery for your enjoyment. Please click the link below to open the gallery:

Once you open the link, click on a picture to enlarge it, then just scroll right and left to see more.

Once we arrived in Flåm, we were utterly shocked to see a full sized cruise liner docked at this tiny little town.

The direction he is facing is a dead end. We would have loved to see how he got out, but he was gone by the time we returned from our cruise.

The giant ship made our little cruise boat look small by comparison. We took this boat on a one and a half hour cruise through the magnificent Norwegian mountains and back again.

Refer to the map, above. See Flåm on the upper left side of the map. We took the boat from there, down and around the mountains, then up the other side to Gudvangen. Then we came back by the same route.

As with the other areas, I took so many unbelievable photographs. Once again, I have created an online gallery so that you can see all of the pictures instead of just a few. Please click the link below to view the gallery:

Photo gallery of the Flåm cruise (click)

  • Once inside the gallery, click on a picture to enlarge it, then scroll left and right to see more.

So we had started the day with a long drive through the twisting, winding and beautiful mountain roads. We arrived at the small town of Flåm for a three hour cruise among the legendary Norwegian mountain range along the fjord. By the time we drove another thirty or so minutes to our cabin, it was getting a little late.

Are these not the cutest little cabins you ever saw?

And wow, I am glad I have the pictures to prove how incredibly picturesque our views were from the back balconies of our cabins!

What a nice way to end a major leg of our amazing Norwegian journey. The four of us (thanks for snapping the pic BiBi) sat and sipped wine while talking of our adventures and planning what lies ahead. Truly blessed.

Scenic Train from Oslo to Bergen

The Train

We took the train from Oslo (capital of Norway) to Bergen (click here for the Oslo article). It’s a seven hour trip, and it is advertised as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. So I’m like, whatever, and I proceed to get out my iPad and start working. But within minutes, my attention was pulled to the window. It was truly spectacular. The next thing I knew, my camera was wearing down my battery and I had more pictures than I could possibly deal with!

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As we ventured through the lowlands, we would see views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Then, after a few hours, you suddenly realize you are IN the snow-capped mountains and they are unbelievable.

Now I have to step back and tell you about blogging. It is always a struggle for me to decide which five or eight pictures to include in an article. This is because my content host only allows me so much global online space. But this train ride, and in fact nearly this whole trip, will NOT be inhibited to a handful of pictures.

So in the spirit of giving YOU, my readers, a more quality Norway experience, I figured out a way to host the pictures on Google and give you a link to them. In this way, I can share a lot more pictures with you. So please click on the link below and enjoy about twenty more fantastic pictures. But just keep in mind that every single one was snapped at 100mph zipping through the landscape on the train. A few of them may also have a little glare. But still worth it. Come see what I mean:

Once you are inside the gallery, simply click on the first picture to enlarge it, then scroll right and left through the gallery. If the image appears foggy or blurry, just wait a couple of seconds for the server to finish processing.

Bergen

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The train took us to Bergen, Norway. Bergen looks like a really cool city to explore in more detail. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay there very long.

We did walk around a bit, and we took the funicular up to the top of the mountain, and OMG, what a breathtaking view of the city!

We will have to come back here and give Bergen the proper exploration it deserves.

By the way, that pigeon charged me 100g of fresh bread to pose for the picture. Well worth it, I’d say!

So if we traveled seven hours by train to get here and were giving it such a quick stay, why did we come here, you might ask. We came to pick up our car for the GREAT NORWEGIAN ROAD TRIP! That’s. Right, we picked up a car here and continued the journey deep into the mountainous regions of Norway.

So keep following The Travelin’ Man for a fabulous Norwegian experience!

Not an advertisement for Volvo, an actual photograph taken by The Travelin’ Man!

Oslo, Norway

On our last trip to Vilnius, Lithuania (click here for that trip), we finished out the Baltic countries. This trip to Norway was the last of the Scandinavian countries for us to visit. Oslo was a forty-five minute flight from Stockholm.

We met up with our friends Marie, from New York, and BiBi, from Bulgaria (currently living in the UK). You may remember Marie (pictured on right) from our visit to Portugal (click here for that article). That was a great trip!

We spent two days in Oslo, which was plenty of time to see the highlights and get a feel for the city. From the minute you step out of the airport, you will notice that Oslo is far different from most other European cities: it looks completely modern.

No medieval buildings, magnificent churches, or historic Old Townes. So my first reaction to this was a shrug of the shoulders and an audible “Hmph.”

Our hotel was situated right next to a food market called Mathallen Oslo. A great market with fresh meats and vegetables on display.

We found a nice Hungarian restaurant inside where I enjoyed a sandwich called “The Messy Pig”. It was a delicious pulled pork sandwich.

When we travel, we take public transportation as much as possible. We used the busses and trams during our visit. It was easy getting tickets and, using Google maps, easy to figure out where the bus stops were and which ones we needed.

We walked over to see the opera house. Very modern and beautifully architected.

We spent some time at a couple of pretty cool museums. The first was, what else but the Viking Museum!

They presented original viking ships that had been used as part of their conquests. After having been at sea for several years, the ships were pulled ashore and used as “burial ships”. The dead were placed in burial chambers built onboard the ships, then the entire thing was buried underground. The moist soil by the sea and clay helped in preserving the ships from around 400 A.D. There were also a number of artifacts that had been buried with them and those are all on display at the museum. It was a very good exhibit with lots of good information and was well presented.

From there it was a short walk over to the Fram Museum. The Fram is a ship that was specifically built by the Norwegians back in the late 1800s to allow deep and extended exploration missions of the Antarctic regions. The idea was to freeze Fram into an Arctic ice sheet and float with it over the North Pole.

Here is a really old photograph I found on Wikipedia of the ship in action (above). The ship is displayed in all of its glory inside the museum and I must say, it is fantastic. You even get to go inside the ship and see how the crew lived. But the best part was that on the top deck, the walls and ceiling come alive with a multimedia presentation of a storm, and then later as the ship is drifting amongst the frozen glaciers.

Absolutely fascinating to see. If you go, make sure you stay on the top deck long enough to get the sea storm. And if the bench is available, sit on the bench and will rock from side to side in unison with the waves.

We wrapped up our first day enjoying some drinks right on the river:

I will say that by the end of the first day in Oslo, the city had worked its magic on us. We were starting to fall in love with its modern yet laid back way of life. And there is still enough old stuff and history around the town if you really want to see it.

On our second day, we ventured out to the Frogner Park.

The entire park is an exhibit of the sculptures of the famous Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943). The featured photo at the top of this article is from there.

Over 200 sculptures of granite, bronze, and wrought iron. Gustav tried to capture the human experience, for better or for worse, the happy and the sad.

After that, we walked along the water and found a nice place to sit outside for a bite to eat. Then we took a three hour bicycle tour with “Viking Biking” tour guides.

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This showed us a lot more of the city than we would have ordinarily been able to cover. We got to see the Nobel building, as well as many of the major tourist attractions of the area.

By the time the bike tour was finished, we were definitely liking the city. The people are warm and friendly, the food is delicious, and the restaurants and pubs are cozy as ever. We totally enjoyed our stay here and would come back again.

With all of that behind us, we went to central station and took a train to Bergen, Norway. This was a seven hour ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I will be documenting that as part of my Bergen article, so don’t miss it!