Posted by: ilanasmith | August 14, 2007


Figuring that summer is the only acceptable time to head north from here, I lined myself up a trip to Oslo.

I arrived Friday night, and Oslo did not blow my mind.  I hear there’s some interesting museums and such, but it just seemed clean and pleasant and quietly pretty.  So basically, Copenhagen.  With trams.

On Saturday, I set out on The Mother Of All Daytrips.  First, I caught the train from Oslo to Myrdal on the Bergen railway.  It passes through a range of different scenery, from Cascade-like, to alpine.  In the distance at one point, I could see the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier.  Or I would have, if it hadn’t been pissing down the entire time I was in Norway.

From Myrdal, I caught the Flåm Railway down to….yep, Flåm.  This is a 20km trip that takes about an hour as it slows down to let everyone gawp at waterfalls and mountains and stuff.  Very pretty.  I sat next to a cool older German couple and we spent most of the trip giggling immoderately about the snoring Russians next to us.  That’s the way to see Norway.

From Flåm, I caught a boat for some fjordy-goodness to Gudvangen.  These fjords (Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord) are big and/or narrow and/or something notable.  Anyway, they’re World Heritage listed and fairly impressive, but perhaps would have been more pleasant if it hadn’t been pissing down the entire time I was in Norway.

From Gudvangen, I caught a bus up "the steepest stretch of road in Northern Europe".  Steep, and close to the edge.  The bus slid backwards at one point.  That was fun.

The bus went to Voss, home of just about the poshest water in the world.  The one LiLo poses with to prove she’s off the sauce.  From Voss, I jumped back on the railway and hit Bergen a bit after 8pm.

I overnighted in Bergen.  I’d carefully booked ahead, ’cause it was high season in western Norway.  Of course, they had a competence failing and lost my booking.  From there, it was a bit of a Bethlehem situation.  I ended up sleeping on the couch of a bald guy with a leopard print eye-patch.  We talked about yoga and community consciousness.

The next day, before flying home again, I did Bergen.  The absolute highlight (possibly of this entire European adventure) was the Leprosy Museum.  The rest of Bergen was pretty and quaint, but it would have been nicer if it hadn’t been, you know, pissing down the entire fucking time I was in Norway.

And yes, I did cut and paste every Norwegian word in this post.


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