Kostiantyn’s Trip to Western Norway
Most popular things are not necessarily the best ones, and the same may be true about travel products. You may have an impression that I didn’t initially plan to include Norway in a Nutshell in my itinerary, and you would be absolutely right about that. Nonetheless, I traveled from Bergen to Oslo along this route, which turned out to be a really thrilling journey!
However, the first leg of the journey – a train ride from Bergen to Voss – was worrying for me. Yes, whenever you look from the window, you see either beautiful landscapes of western Norway or… yet another tunnel. This leg of the journey had too many tunnels, and it was almost impossible to enjoy the landscapes. Thankfully, that actually was the last worry of my trip!
As the buses started moving from Voss, the landscapes of the Norwegian countryside were becoming more dramatic and bewitching. As a person who takes a particular interest in mountaineering, I was absolutely amazed by the towering mountains in this area of Norway. On top of that, beautiful valleys and meadows that are lush with greenery rather evoked the scenes from the Lord of the Ring’s Shire than the actual region of Scandinavia.
But then came the crowning point of the journey – an unforgettable cruise across UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord. This is the kind of experience that I believe everyone must try at least once in a lifetime! We were lucky enough to get really nice, sunny weather on this day, and this made this voyage even more splendid!
At some point, the ship’s captain had set the vessel to approach waterfalls, and all of the tourists could take stunning photos. In fact, there are two impressive waterfalls that you will get to observe on this cruise: Tuftefossen and Lægdafossen. Even though the cruise was quite long, the time passed by really quickly, and I was surprised that we arrived in Flåm so quickly (at least, it seemed so to me).
Flåm is a typical Norwegian mountain village that lies on the shore of Nærøyfjord, and its location makes it a popular tourist destination. Here, you can have a nice lunch (either outdoors or in a cozy cafe), buy souvenirs and merchandise, hike, or have a walk while taking in the beautiful scenery around. But there is one particular thing this little village is known worldwide — Flåmsbana, which is often described as “the most scenic train journey in the world.”
After a short lunch break, we got a chance to ride in the historic Flåmsbana train, which also contributed to that wide variety of emotions. Though, to be honest, it’s better to take this train ride before the cruise (i.e., I recommend you to start the journey from Oslo and not the opposite way, just like we did it), since, after such a fantastic cruise in some sort of a fairyland, every other experience would seem underwhelming.
Nonetheless, this train journey took us across some of Norway’s most beautiful valleys abounded with greenery and picturesque landscapes. While we were gazing out the windows in this historic train, we were narrated the story about the history of this railway. Almost at the end of this train ride, the train stopped near the powerful Kjosfossen waterfall, and we were able to enjoy a short performance taking place there. Eventually, the train brought us to Myrdal, and, from there, we continued our way to Oslo.
Indeed, this trip was an unforgettable experience, and I absolutely loved this fantastic journey! This entire experience was full of emotions and memorable moments, and it’s not surprising that I arrived at my hotel in Oslo late at night, completely drained. Yet, it was absolutely worth it!
After enjoying this experience, there are a couple of tips I can give:
- If you plan to include Norway in a Nutshell in your trip, plan in advance that you may arrive in Oslo/Bergen a few hours later than expected. At least in our case, the train arrived in Oslo almost 2 hours later.
- This tour is incredibly popular, so expect that there are will be many other travelers and that the trains/bus/cruise will be packed.
- The tour takes the entire day and is quite exhausting, so make sure you get enough rest day before the tour.
- Be sure to charge all your devices (especially photo cameras). I would recommend bringing a power bank as well.
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