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offwego Oct 25th, 2004 12:04 PM

Critique Agenda for Sweden/Norway/Bavaria
 
This is a tentative agenda for a trip to Scandanavia/Germany in end of May/early June 2005.

Any Fodorites who have done parts of this and see a problem, please be so kind as to advise.

Sig Other and I will have mother and father in tow. They are first time travelers but are fit and energetic.

I don't count the day of arrival.

Days 1-3 in Stockholm-one day of this will be spent going to Vadstena (to see family home) We'll go to Skansen, Nordic & Vasa Museum. Probably stay in Gamla Stan--Dad would like to do archipelago boat tour. Can't seem to find any that run until 1 June; still looking.

Day 4 Fly to Oslo--1 night and one day in Oslo. Want to see Kon Tiki museum and Viking Ship Museum. Can they be done in one long afternoon?

Day 5-Norway in a Nutshell train/bus/boat from Oslo-Bergen. Has anyone been on the express boat that goes from Flam to Bergen? Is that more scenic than continuing the Nutsell tour from Gudvangen to Voss to Bergen?

Days 6-7: 2 nights in Bergen. Can't decide if it would be better to sspend the night somewhere along the Nutshell route, like Gutvangen or Stalheim maybe and then only one night in Bergen or if we should plow ahead and stay two nights in Bergen. Is the 12 hour Nutshell Tour from Oslo to Bergen grueling?

Day 8-Fly from Bergen to Oslo (Norwegian Air) then Oslo to Munich (Lufthansa--thanks Bjorn!) then train to Nuremburg where SigOther and I will split from the folks to visit friends for 3 nights

Days 9-10-11: 3 nights in Nuremberg. Folks will base in Nuremberg and day trip to nearby locations (any recommendations besides Rotenburg?)

Day 12 late in the day- Train Nuremberg to Munich. Overnight there.

Day 13-14 Rent a car and go to Dachau. Is the morning enough time there? Would like to get on the road and be in Fussen by late afternoon. Can spend 2 nights in Fussen area-want to tour Neuschwanstein and maybe see other things in the area. Suggestions? Anyone ascended the Zugspitze?

Day 15 Return to Munich late in the day & stay overnight for early flight out next morning. Is anyone taken the train that goes from Munich Hbf to Munich Airport? Easier than keeping the car another day and driving there?

Will appreciate any input about possible flaws and/or suggestions. Thanks!




Boots Oct 25th, 2004 01:51 PM

You can easily do Kon-Tiki and Viking Ship Museum in an afternoon. Both are on the same island and fairly close to one another.
Staying on Gamla Stan in Stockholm is a good idea, but costly. Some wonderful restaurants are located on Gamla Stan.
Boots

Marija Oct 25th, 2004 02:10 PM

The express boat from Flam to Bergen is most definitely not as scenic as the incredible ferry ride from Flam to Gudvangen. The ferry goes down the Naeroyfjord (sp) which is one of the most beautiful stretches of the Nutshell trip. The fast boat trips are not particularly pleasant. You have to stay inside and there's a lot of noise. We spent the night at the Stalheim hotel and enjoyed it very much. (We were there just when it opened for the season and we were the only guests.)

offwego Oct 25th, 2004 05:39 PM

Marija

Thanks for the input. That is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to find out.

Did you find the Norway in a Nutshell trip needed to be broken up or did you do the whole thing in one day?

Marija Oct 26th, 2004 05:15 AM

We broke the Nutshell trip into several components. We took the train from Oslo to Bergen (beautiful ride as the train progresses further from Oslo). We spent the night in Bergen, stored our luggage in the train station and set out with a small bag. We took a bus/ferry to the Hardangenfjord, spent the night. The next morning we took the bus to Voss and the train to Flam and then the ferry to Gudvangen. We spent the night at the Stalheim. From there we took buses/ferries to Balestrand on the Sognefjord where we spent the night. The last morning we took the fast boat from Balestrand back to Bergen. Transportation in Norway is beautifully coordinated: buses, trains and ferries are synchronized. We're looking forward to taking the Hurtigruten trip someday.Enjoy Norway!

ira Oct 26th, 2004 05:33 AM

Hi off,

Have you shown this expedition to mother and father?

You are spending far too much time on the road.

Day 4 is only a 1/2 day

>Is the 12 hour Nutshell Tour from Oslo to Bergen grueling?

Yes.

Day 8 is a monster

Day 13 is a monster

offwego Oct 26th, 2004 05:47 AM

Hi Ira

You're right on all counts.

I have already shaved 2 other bad days off Mom & Dad's agenda. They think more can be done than is possible.

We really need 3 more days to make it truly relaxing but I can't decide how to come up with them.

Remove the car trip to Southern Germany or remove Norway? Pull a day out of Stockholm?

nankar Oct 26th, 2004 05:50 AM

Regarding Oslo, it would be a shame to be there and not visit Vigeland Park. It is an incredible outdoor sculpture park and was the highlight of Oslo to us. We did the Nutshell tour and stayed overnight in Flam which is a beautiful place. However, you may want to just spend a few hours there to rest and then pick up the boat to go on to Bergen so you can spend 2 days there and enjoy your stay. Bergen is a beautiful town. Have a great trip!

helen Oct 27th, 2004 01:58 AM

Vadstena is a great town to visit. Lots to do. Spent the night there a few years ago. The guide at the castle was very enjoying telling stories about the history. Also visited The Abbey of Vadstena with medieval art and were told the story of St. Birgitta. We walked the cosy streets, did some shopping and had a very nice dinner at Vadstena Valven in the middle of town.

ira Oct 27th, 2004 02:51 AM

Hi off,

So, it's Mom and Dad who think they have to see everything. You shall have to have a talk with them. :)

>Remove the car trip to Southern Germany..?<

Yup.

You have a very nice Scandinavian visit. You can even add Denmark.

OR

You can visit Germany.

Hope you can work it out.

offwego Oct 27th, 2004 06:38 AM

Ira

We have to be in Nuremberg June 5-7 for a family event so we can't stay in Scandanavia any longer. I'm afraid the monster day 8 has to stay but I can fix monster 13

Having fun working out logistics with the folks.

Can't wait to see dad's face when he sees the cost of Scandanavian everything.

Helen--thanks so much for the info about Valstena. Dad wants to go look for family records there at the church and it's nice to know there's something there to look at.

Boots Oct 27th, 2004 11:32 AM

offwego:
If your father is looking for records older than 100 years, I think he will have to search the Vadstena Archives rather than churches. I think one now has to have an appointment. You might Google "Vadstena Archives" to see what the rules are. My immigrant grandmother did not know when her own mother died. I found quite a bit of info about that and other relatives at the Archives.
If you are descendants of Swedes, you would probably be interested in the Emigrant Institute at Växjö. You might also Google "Emigrantinstitute Växjö
Good luck to all of you. Boots

offwego Oct 27th, 2004 12:48 PM

Boots

Thanks for your informative post. I will forward this info to my dad who may/may not know it. He's a Swede, you know so he doesn't divulge the details!

Funny, my grandfather's nickname for my dad (whose name is Bruce) was "Boots".....

Bjorn Oct 31st, 2004 01:25 AM

1: Yes, the Bygdoy museums can be done in one evening. I recommend you to take the ferry from Aker Brygge, just in front of the City Hall. Leave at first stop and follow the signs to the Viking ship museum. From there some 1km walk to the Kon-Tiki and Polar Ship Museums. There also is a shuttle bus.
The ferry you left also stops at Kon-Tiki. Make your return to Oslo from there.
Good advice: Buy a "day-card" (dags-kort) for the public transport.
Another even better advice:
If nice weather, make a detour to the very, very charming tiny island Lille Herber'n (Little Herber'n). You reach it by a slim road down to the sea if you continue straight forward instead of making the last left curve down to Kon-Tiki. Only 150m to walk. A tiny ferry takes you to the 50 metres to the island. It is owned by the Oslo Sailing Association, and the restaurant with the outside terrace is a perfect place for refreshments and sea-foods. 20NKR for the ferry roundtrip, though.

2: Yes!! 1 night in Bergen is enough, and a stay, preferably at Stalheim, will give you a "life-time" experience.
A must, so to speak.

Bjorn, Oslo

Russ Oct 31st, 2004 06:22 AM

"Days 9-10-11: 3 nights in Nuremberg. Folks will base in Nuremberg and day trip to nearby locations (any recommendations besides Rotenburg?)"

There's an interesting open-air museum museum in Bad Windsheim. Bamberg is a terrific little old-world city that escaped WWII ravages (much of Nuremberg was flattened.) Go to the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica north of Bamberg near Lichtenfels if you can (eye-popping!!) Wurzburg's Residenz palace is amazing too, and W'burg itself is a pleasant city with an attractive setting on the Main River.

Day 12 late in the day- Train Nuremberg to Munich. Overnight there.

Day 13-14 Rent a car and go to Dachau. Is the morning enough time there? Would like to get on the road and be in Fussen by late afternoon. Can spend 2 nights in Fussen area-want to tour Neuschwanstein and maybe see other things in the area. Suggestions? Anyone ascended the Zugspitze?"

You won't have much time. I'd suggest overnighting in Dachau instead on day 12, seeing the museum first thing on Day 13, then just taking the train to Fussen that afternoon; you will save time not picking up/dropping off the car and driving it out of and into busy Munich, a car which you probably don't have time to use to explore the area thoroughly anyway. A Bayern Ticket (daypass for local trains) will get all 4 of you all the way to Fussen for 22 Euros. You can spend day 14 and 15 touring N'stein, and maybe Hohenschwangau too; Fussen is a beautiful spot to stay put for a few hours anyway. If you miraculously find time for something else, say, on day 15, it is possible to take a short bus ride into the Austrian town of Reutte. From there, there is a wonderful train ride that runs behind the Zugspitze and then back into Garmisch-Partenkirchen and provides some great Tyrolean scenery. A single Bayern ticket will get the 4 of you from Reutte to Garmisch and then into Munich from Garmisch that night. If you end up in Garmisch as late as 7 pm, have a meal at the Fraudorfer Inn, which provides traditional German food, music, and costumed dancers at an amazingly affordable price - great fun.)

offwego Oct 31st, 2004 01:21 PM

Bjorn and Russ

Thanks so much for the exquisite recommendations. These are going in my notes.

It's so great to put these questions out there and get such great responses.

RufusTFirefly Oct 31st, 2004 05:52 PM

I second the Bamberg recommendation. It has an absolute gem of a well-preserved Altstadt. Plus there are both a Pope and Emporer buried there. A nice old castle just outside of town as well.

I don't think Rothenburg is all that great as a day trip. Way too many tour bus groups flood the place from mid-morning to afternoon. But there is no doubt that they have maintained a very attractive old town.


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