14 Feb Norway
Last week we focused on the Faroe Islands (smack between Iceland and Norway) so this week we’re going to Norway. Norway is tied with Ireland for the greenest place on earth I’ve ever seen, but, instead of flat plateaus and rocky lands, Norway is full of dramatic mountains and valleys –the whole country seems to be built in small valleys between towering mountains.
To get to Norway, you’ll definitely arrive in Oslo – see the Olympic ski jump, the Akershus castle, and the Fram Polar Ship museum. The next day, head to the real reason you’re here (other than the nice people and spotlessly clean air, streets, etc.): The Fjords!
To get to the Fjords you’ll train over to Bergen and, after a day in that quaint town, begin “Norway in a Nutshell” for the next two days. From Bergen, take a two-hour train ride, past waterfalls and valleys, to Myrdal Station where you’ll change trains to get on the truly beautiful scenic Flam railway, one of the steepest standard-gauge railway lines in the world (80% of the journey has a gradient of 5.5%.).
The next day see magnificent fjords, green lush valleys, bird and wildlife sightings to end in Gudvangen. On the boat, you’ll see the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord, a dramatic fjord surrounded by high mountains which is one of the narrowest fjords in Europe and included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. From Gudvangen take an amazing and all too short bus ride to the town of Voss, via a hairpin route seemingly handing onto the edge of cliffs on the “Stalheimskleiva” road. From Voss take the same nice train ride as the day before back Bergen to finish the day. You’ll fall in love with clean, easy, beautiful Norway.