Monday, September 9, 2013

Sognefjord Tour with Norway in a Nutshell

Going to Norway, we wanted to see some fjords. But when you get down to planning your Norway trip, you realize that's easier said than done. First off, there are so many fjords to choose from! Then, a lot of them require hours of hiking to get to. We were short on time, wanted to see some fjords without packing a backpack full of hiking gear, and didn't want to rent a car to do it all.

Enter Norway in a Nutshell! It's a famous tour that coordinates trains, buses, and boats to allow you to explore some of Norway's most beautiful areas in one day (or multiple days if you like). Sure, it's kinda touristy. It's also not cheap, but nothing in Norway is. Still, we really enjoyed getting a glimpse of the Sognefjord, Norway's largest fjord, and surrounding region. And wow, was it gorgeous.

Our day started early with an 8:30 train from Bergen to Myrdal. Even though it was rainy and overcast, the view was stunning. If it was this beautiful 30 minutes into the trip, what else were we in for?





In Myrdal we switched to the Flamsbana, or the Flam Railway to, where else? The town of Flam! The Flamsbana seemed like it was only for tourists, but it was a very cute, old fashioned train and the scenery was incredible.




We made a stop along the way to see this beautiful waterfall and got surprised by an impromptu musical number and dancer...can you spot her?


Then we were off for another hour of riding the Flamsbana!




Once we arrived in Flam, we spent an hour eating our picnic lunch (I would definitely suggest packing food for the day since the options along the way are expensive...what a surprise...) and picking up some souvenirs. I even made a friend!


These were all over Norway. Apparently Norwegians love these ugly, creepy little things. Me...not so much.


Typical Norwegian souvenirs-trolls and brown cheese

After an hour in Flam, we started the next leg of our journey with the fjord cruise to Gudvangen. I had a cold, so Fionn set me up in the warm dining area of the boat (with big windows!) and stood out on the deck taking pictures for me. Awwww :)



But seriously, as beautiful as Norway had been so far, I was not prepared for how gorgeous it was cruising along those fjords. Wow wow wow. I'm sorry in advance for the photo assault I'm about to inflict!





Along the way we saw a lot of small towns nestled in the mountains. I can't imagine growing up in a place like that and having such an incredible view for your backyard!






After 2 hours on the boat, we arrived in Gudvangen and boarded the bus to Voss. En route we took this crazy switchback road that's closed during the colder months of the year. It was pretty scary going down that mountain on our squeaky brakes bus!






Once in Voss, we grabbed some dinner and caught the train back to Bergen, mission complete.

I wish we'd had more time to explore the fjords, but this was a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. And wow, was it gorgeous. :)

So, wanna visit some fjords now?

15 comments :

  1. I definitely want to visit the Fjords! They are on the top of my "Natural Wonders" list!

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    1. I hope you get to see them! They are breathtaking, especially on a misty, mysterious day like we had :)

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  2. First i love your hat! How cute. I would love to get back to Norway soon, I have fond memories in Oslo. That train ride looks so amazing through all those picturesque mountain views. Thank you for linking up for Travel Tuesday, hope to see you next week!

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose - an expat lifestyle blog

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    1. Thanks! That hat is so old but I love it and can't bear to give it up. :) I would've loved to is it Oslo if we'd had more time!

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  3. Beautiful! I'd love to go visit some fjords!!

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  4. Um, GORGEOUS!!! And it totally looks like you are boarding the Polar Express :) I can't believe how mythic those fjords look, especially with all that rolling fog. What an amazing experience!

    Amy | Club Narwhal

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    1. Ah, that's what it reminded me of!! I kept telling my husband the railroad reminded me of a movie but I couldn't figure out which one. Mystery solved :) It did feel sort of surreal there, I kept waiting for a Viking or Norse mythology character to walk out of the mist...

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  5. Yay, Norway! :D My Travel Tuesday post was about Norway as well, but a different part of the country. My boyfriend and me actually went on this tour here as well a couple of weeks ago, though we didn't book it through the Tourism Information, but bough all the tickets ourselves which saved us a lot of money because we were eligible for Student Discounts that the Tourism Information didn't offer. My favorite part was probably the Flambanen (but only because I'd cruised the Naeroyfjord to Gudvangen before) - I wasn't prepared for it being such a gorgeous route! I definitely hope to hike in this area some time next year.

    xx
    Melanie

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    1. I loved the Flamsbana too! It was so cute and picturesque. Which tour did you two do? I wish we could've gotten the student price...I graduated two years ago but I still have my student ID ;)

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    2. Hi Shannon, we didn't actually go on a tour, we just purchased the tickets for the routes individually! So got our train tickets at the train station, our bus tickets from the bus driver etc. :)

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  6. These photos are stunning, Norway is so on my list to explore very soon! Interestingly though, I have been to a town in Switzerland called Flem. I love that there is a Flam and a Flem in the world. Perhaps someone will track down a Flim?

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    1. I'll keep an eye out for Flims and Flums and Floms! :)

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  7. How gorgeous! Sometimes you've gotta bite the bullet and do an organized tour to see things, especially if you're strapped for time. I've just found you through travel tuesday so am now catching up on some of your other posts :)

    Dannielle | Chic-a-DeeDee

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    1. We were lucky that it wasn't crazy crowded the day we went. I read some horror stories online about being crammed in like sardines. Yikes! We had a great time though!

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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