Fjord, Norway

What is a fjord? A fjord is a deep, narrow and elongated sea or lakedrain, with steep land on three sides. The longest fjord in the world is Scoresby Sund in Greenland (350 km), but the Western Norway region (Fjord Norway) boasts the next two spots on the list, with the Sognefjord (203 km), and the Hardanger Fjord (179 km).

I used the Norway in a nutshell 1 day tour (here) to get from Oslo to Bergen, while visiting fjords along the way. This tour was really well organised allowing you to experience the Bergen Railway, Flam railway, a cruise from Flam to Aurlandsfjord and on the narrowest fjord in the world- Nærøyfjord, and a bus ride from Gudvangen to Voss. If you have more time and money, I would highly recommend doing more than just this day trip, there are several options on the site to extend your journey. Here are some photos from my mystical experience:

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It got really cold at some point on the train ride!
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Fjords at Flam
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I love the reflection on the calm waters, taken from the ferry
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You pass by beautiful towns on the ferry

It would be nice to come back in future when there are blue skies. I can imagine a whole new look! Perhaps I’ll find some hiking options in future to oversee the area rather than be low down on the waters.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen is surrounded by mountains and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest. It is therefore a great start or end point for you to visit Norway’s famous fjords. Here are my top 5 recommendations in Bergen:

  1. Bryggen features colorful wooden houses on the old wharf, once a centre of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and does look like it will fall apart soon!
  2. Visit museums. There is a three in one museum entry ticket option which will take you about 2 hours in total to complete. The Hanseatic museum (45mins), Schotstuene (15mins) and fisheries museum (1h). You cannot buy individual tickets unless it is 3:45pm or later. Your ticket includes a free shuttle transfer to get to the fisheries museum which is just slightly further out although still walkable in 25mins. My favourite museum was the Fisheries one where you learn about the history that has shaped modern Norway, learn about the ocean and be engaged with the interactive games.
  3. Eat at the fish market. All the seafood you want to eat and extremely fresh! You do end up paying quite a lot though so budget carefully. The fish market is right opposite the Hanseatic museum and 1 minute from Bryggen.
  4. Ride the Mount Floyen funicular. You could hike up in 25minutes or if you are short on time, ride the funicular which closes at 11pm. This photo was taken at 10:30pm believe it or not! 19105622_10156589363663849_3245967091743184229_n
  5. Make sure you try Skillingsbolle (cinnamon roll) @Godt Brod or any cafe really because they originated from Bergen.19059316_10156595557208849_5207553207433036603_n

Restaurant recommendation: Bryggeloftet & Stuene at Bryggen in one of the main wooden houses. The restaurant was super cozy, food was good and staff was very friendly.

Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the capital and is a great place to visit for one day before heading on to other parts of Norway. Most attractions are walkable from the central train station where you will most likely arrive from after taking the airport express train (23min journey). Due to the poor weather while I was there, I was unable to visit Vigeland Sculpture park (recommended) which is a short bus ride away, but here are top 5 recommendations:

  1. The Royal Palace. You can see the changing of the guards as well as explore the palace gardens for free. When you turn your back to the building, you get a good view of the city centre. The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer but all visitors must follow a guided tour to see the interior, which you may wish to join: https://www.visitoslo.com/en/product/?TLp=18164418424022_10156583249073849_8723159526648555855_n
  2. Nobel Peace Centre. I didn’t capture an image of the building or any of the stories inside as they were quite emotional. The first floor was all about the Syrian conflict and the upper floor about Colombia as well as recognising the many Nobel peace prize winners.
  3. Try find random sculptures all over place as you walk around the city
  4. Akershus Fortress. You can get really good views from here as it is slightly higher up and it is free to visit. There was an outdoor play going on during my visit so be aware that certain areas may be blocked off.19105949_10156583248623849_8110186694398871741_n
  5. Opera House. How often do you get to walk on the roof of a building! I love how the buildings creeps out of the water. Of course, I wish there weren’t cranes and grey clouds in the background, but cities are always developing. 18920698_10156583248883849_2164418277962155657_n19030345_10156583266363849_1822733906589811179_n