On December, I travelled northern Europe during my Christmas holiday and went to Norway for just four days. In this blog, I am going to tell you about this and give you some tips on how to make a Norway-in-a-nutshell trip.
Although the DIY tour was not cheap, I have to say that it was worth every penny to visit this magnificent country.
Since we flew from Copenhagen, we planned our route from there to Oslo, via Bergen, Voss, Gudvangen and Flam.
We stayed in Bergen a day, I remembered the rain was pouring on that day and we arrived almost at noon but the daylight was already fading. Few people walked on the street; my partner and I carried our luggage and walked to our hostel (we booked it online in advance) in the rain and gale.
Unfortunately, we could not get through to our house owner’s number and we tried to email him. It was hailing and we were cold, starving and wondering what to do next. We tried to find somebody nearby to help us. People next door were vey nice and they helped us to phone the house owner and invited us to stay in their company to wait.
Finally, we contacted the man, but he said that he was busy and wouldn’t give us the key until 4pm, which meaned we had to wait about 4 hours. So we planned to look around and have some food at first, while the dilemma was that it was troublesome for us to carry our luggage with us all the time. Fortunately, a member of staff who worked in a hotel across the road agreed to store our luggage for free, we were moved by her kindness.
The sightseeing is really gorgeous. We visited Gamle Bergen, there are several colourful houses opposite to Bryggen. If you like seafood, it recommends to have meal in Fisketorget alongside Bryggen, where you could find fresh salmon, shrimp and various fish, visiting the beautiful scenery and treating yourself.
Then we took Floibanen funicular to he Floyen sightseeing stand, from where we looked down at the overall view of Bergen. Going downhill we found a Chinese restaurant to have dinner, in where I ate the most expensive fried egg rice and it is NOK198 (about 18pounds), which is 10 times more expensive than the one in China.
The next morning, we took the train to Voss. On arrival in Voss, we planned to store our luggage in the train station and spent half a day to visit Voss. We had not booked all tickets online in advance but if you would like to copy our plan, I suggest that you check bus timetable as there was some adjustments during Christmas.
Since we were only going one way from Bergen to Oslo, we had our luggage with us and this was a bit of a problem. It would have been better if we had brought some loose change for the storage compartment because there were no ATMs on the way. You can pay by credit card for bus, train and ferry tickets, even book in advance through the websites if you want (I will share the links below) but I recommend that you bring some cash just in case.
It was raining outside and the souvenir store in the train station had not opened yet at 9am, so our hope to ask help for them was shattered. As we did not have cash we had to carry our luggage to find other help. We planned to find the bus station first, because the road was repaired and we could not find the position of bus station as what led on website.
The rain was bigger, we asked a man the location of temporary bus station, he was so kind to lead us. After knowing the location of the station, we tried to ask help of a a lamps store nearby to store our luggage, and they answer our enquiry for free. Unfortunately, when we was about to look around, the driver told us that there was just one bus to Gudvangen because of the Christmas holiday, so we went on to Gudvangen immediately. The the rest of visiting was ferry trip to Flam, train trip to Myrdal and finally to Oslo.
During travelling, we met two Chinese students studying in French and their travelling route was starting from Oslo directly taking train to Voss, and then did a return trip to Oslo. The benefit for this route was that they do not have to worry about the storage of their luggage and they said it seems as the cheapest route.
It is very cold in northern Europe, and I recommend people who want to travel there in winter should carry down coat and snow boots. Umbrella is the necessity, because the snow and rain are heavy. The other tip is to bring snacks as it is a full day excursion and food on the boat or in the town along the route are quite expensive.