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Trip Report Gorgeous Norway - Oslo/Central Norway

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Just back from Norway/northern England, where we had pleasant temperatures and sunny weather (Norway) and rain and humidity (UK). Surprising that.

Photos and full details are on my blog, quick overview:

Day 1 - Arrival in "Oslo" Torp with Ryan Air from Liverpool, a 1 3/4 hour bus ride to Oslo and a trip to the beautiful Oslo opera house
http://gwannelsandiego.blogspot.fr/2012/08/three-countries-in-two-days.html

Day 2 - A ferry ride to Bygdoy to educate ourselves on Norwegian history at the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, a fun open-air museum featuring buildings from different periods of Norwegian history. Pro tip: we saved money without killing ourselves rushing around to a million places in one day by getting the 24-hour Oslo Card and activating it at lunchtime, thus using it for two museums in one afternoon, and two the following morning. Anything more and I think I would have keeled over, let alone my 60-something parents.
http://gwannelsandiego.blogspot.fr/2012/08/a-little-bit-of-nordic-history.html

Day 3 - Seeing The Scream and discovering a surprising range of other colourful yet sometimes emotionally dark paintings at the Munch Museum (a bijou gem which took us about 45 minutes to see), followed by the Historical Museum, the highlight of which (for me) was an amazing medieval painted church ceiling. In the afternoon, we headed up to Akershus fortress and castle for some great views over the harbour. It's free to walk around the grounds, we didn't pay to go in any of the buildings.
http://gwannelsandiego.blogspot.fr/2012/08/angst-and-art-in-oslo.html

Day 4 - An all-day drive from Oslo to Sunndalsora, which is sort of just before the country starts to narrow in - not too far from Trondheim. This post is mostly photos I took on the way - most of the route follows lakes or rivers, so there are some beautiful views, although not as beautiful as...
http://gwannelsandiego.blogspot.fr/2012/08/sunndalsra-or-bust.html

Day 5 - A trip to Trollstigen and Marsdalfossen. Trollstigen is an incredible road with 11 hairpin bends, rising up 850 metres. There are some amazing views from the top, although IMO not as good as the views we had on the drive from Sunndalsora to Trollstigen via Andalsnes or on the way to Marsdalfossen, a 650m high waterfall. This is mostly photos too
http://gwannelsandiego.blogspot.fr/2012/08/a-sunday-drive-in-troll-country.html

Still to come - my final post on Norway (will be up tomorrow), in which we drive back to Oslo and visit the Museum of Decorative Arts. My favourite thing here was a pre-12th century tapestry which still had the most incredible vibrant colours. If you're interested in Norwegian design especially, or just decorative arts in general, you'll like this place, otherwise probably not a must-see.

I also mean to post some videos of Trollstigen etc. when I can be bothered sorting through.

I had never really thought one way or another of visiting Norway - it was all my dad's idea (fond memory of a trip in the 1970s), but I'm really glad I did! The rumours are true, it's phenomenally expensive (we had an apartment in Oslo, which cut down a bit on food costs), but so pretty! You really don't know where to look driving through the fjords, it's just spectacular. We probably could have done without that last day in Oslo (not that I regret it, just FYI), but we enjoyed our time there too. The three days driving up to and around Sunndalsora were quite tiring, but very much worth it. I would love to go back and visit Bergen, I've heard great things.

PS If anyone is interested, I also just visited Amsterdam, bookended by couple of days in Paris (seeing the Basilica Saint-Denis, the Marais and the Musée Carnavalet). You can find the posts in my blog menu under August.

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