Norway has always been on our radar and it ended up being the perfect starting point for our next European adventure. It also is the farthest north we have ever traveled. We flew into Oslo and spent a couple of days wandering through the streets enjoying the sunshine that greeted us.
We visited the Viking Ship Museum and saw 3 ships that were built in 650 AD. We like to picture these ships cruising through the fjords.
This ship would have held 30 vikings and could be oared or sailed. Their revolutionary design let them cruise through shallow waters far into the fjords, we would see the importance of this first hand in a few days. In real life its hard to believe that the water wouldn't be above the sides of this ship. We learned that the other ships (not pictured) have taller sides by two boards and the oar holes can be covered during rough seas. Norway is on the same latitude as southern Alaska so its pretty amazing to think of these vikings ships crossing the cold winter seas.
We were lucky to be able and travel through Norway with Melanie and Glenn. Thanks for all the good times.
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo was unlike any other we have visited in the world. The park is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist, Gustav Vigeland. This park displays his life's work with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron
Oslo to Bergen
The best way to travel from Oslo to Bergen is on the Norway in a Nutshell tour. The tour takes a whole day and you travel by train, bus and boat across the entire country. The breathtaking views change from ocean harbors, to mountains, to fjords allowing you to see a variety of stunning landscapes.
We traveled through the high mountains and past glaciers on the Flam railway. This scenic train was adorable and made us feel like we were on the Hogwarts Express.
Behold the water maiden! Along our journey by train to the small fjord town of Flam the train made a short stop for us to see this waterfall. As we were admiring the waterfall all of a sudden loud traditional Norwegian music started to play and out came a dancing "water maiden." This somewhat creepy/entertaining "water maiden" show was a fun surprise.
We stopped in the small village of Flam which is nestled below towering fjords. For lunch we ate fish curry from an outdoor stall. We are still dreaming of this delicious curry. If you make it to Flam make sure to give it a try.
The fresh seafood stall in Flam. Mussels, salmon, fish curry and fish cakes. Yum!
After a stop in Flam we jumped onto a boat for the most exciting leg of our journey, a cruise through the fjords!
One of the most dramatic fjords in Norway, Nærøyfjord is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The fjord is 3,000 feet tall and 5,000 feet deep in some areas. For scale note the kayaker in the bottom right hand corner. Next time we visit you better believe we will be on that kayak.
Protected from the wind the water inside the fjords was like glass.
Tiny villages speckled the coastlines and were dwarfed by the looming mountains.
After our wonderful tour across the country we made it beautiful Bergen.
Bryggen, or the old harbor of Bergen is a UNESCO heritage site and for good reason. You can get lost wandering between the narrow alleyways of these colorful wooden houses.
These famous wooden buildings were situated along the wharf and when the sun is shining they are the perfect backdrop to enjoy a nice cold beer.
A funicular runs up the side of a mountain and at the top you are rewarded with a spectacular view of the city and surrounding islands.
It drizzeled rain for a couple days but the water glistening off the cobblestone streets made Bergen even more beautiful.
Bergen's fish market sells fresh seafood including shrimp from the fjords and mussels. We grabbed a couple bags, took them back to our apartment and cooked up a feast!
We took another boat tour to outside of Bergen to see some more small towns and different fjords.
We made some new friends along the way.
Goodnight Norway, see you again someday.