One of the things I had always wanted to do was to go to Norway and take the train from Oslo to Bergen. I had read that this is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. After spending a few days in Oslo - visiting wonderful museums and sculpture gardens and eating fabulous seafood we jumped on board for the seven hour journey that would take us to high altitude lakes through a gorgeous fjord down a winding descent of switchbacks past the siren songs of a Norwegian Mountain Wench past trolls and finally into the seaside city of Bergen with its UNESCO world heritage site - Bryggen. Come along for the ride.
The train in Norwegian is called the Bergensbanen and is operated by the NSB. We had secured tickets before we traveled to Norway so we knew both date and time of departure. We also had planned to arrive in Bergen in the early evening. The station in Bergen is in the city center and was just a short walk to the historic Bryggen area and our hotel. Very easy to get around.
The initial part of the journey is somewhat inauspicious. Traveling out of Oslo reminded me of taking the train out of Denver to Winter Park or Glenwood Springs. The countryside is non-distinct and you slowly gain altitude as you traverse the hills (or mountainsides). It was raining or more closely misting as we left and I wondered if the entire trip was going to be like this......I couldn't have been more wrong.
As we reached what felt like the higher altitudes of the trip we were in a cloud bank - but we burst through and were greeted with amazing views of high altitude lakes - partly cloudy skies where the sun periodically broke through - snow fields and deep blue waters. It was magnificent and beautiful. Even by Colorado standards.
The next part of the trip took us to a small city atop the Alpine lakes where a number of hikers and some backpackers disembarked for - to us- unknown destinations. But they were all smiles and giddy. We enjoyed watching their excitement.
Eventually and not too much longer we were dropped into Myrdal to catch the Flam train.
The Flamsbana (Flam Railway) is a beautiful ride past waterfalls and canyons filled with greenery. After catching this next train we entered the fjord Naeroyfjord....and I know I didn't spell this correctly. Where I was so impressed with the first part of our journey - it was about to get even more spectacular.
The boat ride through the fjord was beyond beautiful. The ferry was not very busy - at least on the bottom of it where the cars are parked. I was alone for much of the trip and had the opportunity to serenely sit and wonder at the fabulous vistas that came around every corner of the trip.
I met a commercial photographer who lived in this little mail stop - Unredal Brygge. He told me his professional business was out of Oslo but his home was here. IN the peace and quiet of this little - gorgeous - place on the fjord where he and his wife wanted to raise their kids and where they knew and cared about everyone in town.
Disembarking at Gundvangen - we boarded a bus and road the spectacular switchbacks of Stalheimskleiva to Voss to catch the final train to Bergen.
Coming from such a beautiful place as Colorado with majestic mountains and canyons - valleys and parks in between - from Telluride to Estes Park and Steamboat Springs - we live in a gorgeous place - but this trip was special. The weather gave us unimagined vistas. It was green - filled with waterfalls and foliage - it was wonderful.
We finally arrived in Bergen. There weren't too many tourists - matter of fact we almost had the city to ourselves.
The seafood - the shops in Bryggen - the museums - hiking from the top of the funicular down to the city. The girls at the picnic table - having lunch - laughing and just enjoying themselves. The "Pulverhekser's" - I will include a few pictures but to say the least we had a wonderful time.
We were told we were lucky. The weather was beautiful. But what was or were even better were the people. You hear stories of how "private or cold" Norwegians can be. To us they were gracious - charming and warm. Matter of fact as I write this - I am wearing the sweatshirt I bought in Bergen at the top of the city ! It simply says - Norway - 1814.
I LOVE IT !
Travel Well Travel Safe -
BK Travel Tips
To enjoy travel and see the world and often yourself as if for the first time and with with the eyes of a young child.