One of the iconic Norwegian tours is called Norway in a Nutshell. It transports visitors from Oslo across the country to port city Bergen through some of the prettiest mountain scenery and imposing fjords anywhere.
Our journey started with a four-plus hour train ride from Oslo to Myrdal, a railway crossing in the mountains where about half the train got off (there was a high tourist percentage amongst the travellers!) and crowded across the platform to eagerly await the arrival of the historic Flam Railway.
This is one of the world’s steepest railway lines, taking you from the mountains past spectacular waterfalls and breathtaking vistas to the innermost corner of the Aurland Fjord at only two meters above sea level in the village of Flam.
You can continue straight on from there to Bergen by boat, bus and train but we opted for the more relaxed option and spent the night in peaceful, quiet Flam at Hotel Fretheim, a charming old hotel that is listed in Norway’s national historic register. We boarded a boat the following afternoon for cold – but breath-taking – two hour cruise down the fjord to Gudvanger where we pushed and shoved our way onto a local bus along with the dozens of other tourists on the same tour.
This bus took us from Gudvanger -not much more than a bus stop and a ferry dock – to Voss down one of the craziest, narrowest, and tightest hairpin curve road I’ve ever been on. The photos here don’t really do it justice. From there, the one hour train ride to Bergen was a bit anti-climatic to say the least!