Help! Norway Bus Routes?

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Jan 21st, 2001, 08:57 AM
  #1
Christine
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Help! Norway Bus Routes?

In July we will be spending one week on the Lofoten Islands and then fly to Aalesund for one week seeing the Fjords areas and eventually making our way down to Bergen.

Is there a comprehensive website for planning the bus routes we will need? Seems to be a lot of different companies.

The segments I'm having trouble with are:
Aalesund to Aandalsnes (see the troll road and troll wall)
to Geiranger
Geiranger to Jostdalsbreen
to Aurland

We plan on doing quite a bit of hiking and need to also get to more out of the way places from our bases-e.g. Jostdalsbreen region from Olden to Briksdal

We really want to avoid having to rent a car, but I've become very frustrated with trying to figure out how to get to these areas by bus!
 
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Jan 21st, 2001, 09:55 AM
  #2
Bjorn Alvik
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Hi Christine.
There certainli are different websites to guide you. I will try to give you some, but please wait until tomorrow.
Bjorn, literary Norwegian
PS.Your prelimnary routes seem fantastic. You'll get along, but I wonder why you won't rent a car, for flexibility reasons. Anyway. There are buses, and ferries. See you.
 
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Jan 21st, 2001, 09:32 PM
  #3
Bjorn Alvik
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Hi again.
Im in kind of a hurry, but at least i found this Lofoten website:
http://www.lofoten-trafikklag.no

Main problem though is the language.
But after all, you should be able to navigate in the pages, and also get to the map area where youll find bus and ferry route numbers. In the route tables I think you'll also be able to pick up the routes and hours.
If you mail me I can help you with some translation. Important words: Fra = from, Til = to, overgang / videre forbindelse = connection, buss = bus, rute = route, kl = abbreviation for klokken = clock/hour
ok so far?
The Alesund/More/Sogn area I'll deal with later.
Bjorn
 
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Jan 21st, 2001, 10:00 PM
  #4
Christine
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Bjorn, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I am really looking forward to visiting your country. We may end up renting a car from Aandalsnes. But I would greatly appreciate any bus route info for the Fjords regions anyway.
 
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Jan 23rd, 2001, 12:25 AM
  #5
Bjorn Alvik
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Hi, Christine.
I've done some internet exercises on Norwegian bus routes. Confusing is certainly a very modest description.
Anyway, one of the reasons is that the fjord area you will visit is divided between two counties, More and Romsdal in north, Sogn og Fjordane in south.
"Morebil" is a main actor in the former, "Sogn Billag" is the main operator in the latter. Inbetween youll also find "Nordfjord and Sunnmore Billag". (Bil = car or bus. Lag = company)
I suppose you've got a decent map for the area.
To me it looks like Stryn will be an important point on your tour.
The Olden-Briksdal is a detour from Stryn. Stryn also is a connectionpoint for the Bergen-Trondheim and Stryn-Alesund buses.
A fairly good site is http://www.sfr.no/
Choose the enlish version, and then "the glacier bus" to get detailed info on the Stryn-Olden-Briksdal detour.
If you click on "travel by express bus", you may locate good info, but there's also a high risk for getting confused. Anyway, the NOR-WAY bussekspress http://www.nor-way.no is a company covering all Norway, but main stretches only. For your purpose that company might be usable to get from Stryn eastbound to Lom, in order to reach Jostedalen valley, if that is on your schedule.
From Alesund there is no problem to get to Andalsnes by bus. From Andalsnes there is a summer route via Troll road and Geiranger to Langevann, where youll get down (west) to Stryn. Alternatively you can get from Geiranger to Hellesylt/Stranda by ferry thru the Geirangerfjord. Here youll also find buses south to Stryn.
If the Troll road for any reason should be closed, there is a coastal bus via Sjoholt(between Alesund and Andalsnes) to Stranda and Stryn. From Stranda or Hellesylt you then can make a roundtrip by ferry to Geiranger.
From Stryn youll reach Jostedalen valley in three ways: Either crossing the Jostedal glacier by foot, or take south-west-bound buses via Forde-Dragsvik-Sogndal, or east-southbound via Grotli-Lom-Turtagro. I never travelled west of the glacier, but I can promise that the Lom-Turtagro area is very nice. You'll pass the highest point of any Norwegian public roads when you cross Sognefjell, and you also can make several detours into the Jotunheimen mountains.
Jostedalen valley is a detour from the main road Lom-Sogndal.
To reach Aurland, I suggest you take a ferry from Sogn/kaupanger, crossing the Sognefjord. http://fylkesbaatane.no is another confusing site to help you in this area.
Aurland is in the Aurland branch of the Sognefjord, and close to Flam, where youll find the famous Flam railway taking you up to Myrdal at the main railway between Oslo and Bergen. From Myrdal 1-2 hours by train to Bergen, or you could do Flam-Myrdal as a roundtrip, then bus to Voss, or ferry to Gudvangen and bus Gudvangen-Stalheim-Voss. From Voss either bus or train to Bergen.
The Aurland/Flam/Voss alternatives in fact are what several companies offers as the "Norway in a nutshell" tour.
More info on that can be found on the Norwegian railway site http://www.nsb.no Also try http://www.fjordinfo.no

Puuhhh. Seems to be a lot of details, and much, like mailadresses and telephone numbers still are missing.

I now will call the different bus/ferry companies. Hence I may get you some good sites, or at least some useful addresses.

Talk with you later.

Bjorn

PS I also forwad this to your mailaddress. Direct mail might be easier to use than "the Fodor's detour"
 
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Jan 23rd, 2001, 02:35 AM
  #6
Bjorn Alvik
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Hi again.
Getting to the More buses was not easy.
Anyway, Alesund-Andalsnes is operated by Alesund Bilruter and the tour will be app 2 hours, and several departures.
Morebil (+47 70 07 47 00) operates the summer route Andalsnes-Troll road-Geiranger-Langevann. Summer routes are not available yet, but probably will be like last year: Dep Andalsnes app 0845, arr Geiranger 1130. There is one small ferry connection included. Transportation to Langevann is not before the next day, and at Morebil they did believe that connection from Langevann to Stryn might be timeconsuming or even impossible???!!!
Therefore I recommend you to stay in Geiranger, and take the ferry to Hellesylt to get bus to Stryn. The Hellesylt-Stryn is operated both by Morebil and Nordfjord and Sunnmore Billag. Ferry and bus corresponds at app 1355 and arrives Stryn app 1530. Departure from geiranger I did not get, but try the ferry site http://www.mrf.no There's a clickable map to aid you, and there are several depts during mornings.
Please dont take my hours literally, but rather take them as an idea to distances and travelling times. Summer routes will be available in May.
I have not gone into the Sogn Billag which will help you from Stryn. But when in Stryn you'll get good advices.
If you like to, try
http://www.ruteinfo.net/ruter/index/rutetabellar.html
When you click on any rutetabellar (route tables) youll get a series of alternatives. You better have a map beside you for guidance. Good luck.
I suppose accomodations will be of interest. Try http://www.visitnorway.com
If you get to a search page, try something like "geiranger" "┼ndalsnes" etc, and youll get a lot of tempting alternatives.
One more good idea:
When in Norway, you might purchase the current month's edition of "Rutebok for Norge" (Time tables for Norway) It covers all public transport, both sea, land and air, and also have decent lodging overviews. Price app 25 USD. As a child I loved reading this book. Guess that's one of the reasons why I work in computing.
Hope this will help you out.
Bjorn
 
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Jan 23rd, 2001, 03:06 AM
  #7
Christine
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Whew!! Thanks Bjorn. I've nearly recovered from the shock of seeing how much a one-way car rental from Aandalsnes-Bergen will be. Now to decide if we will be able to see all we want to see via bus with the info you've provided. I'd already decided to make a stop overnight in Stryn, so looks like I'm on the right track...
 
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Jan 23rd, 2001, 09:15 AM
  #8
Bjorn Alvik
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Yes, you are on the track.
Regarding car rental, a one-to-one-point may not be clever, especially in the outskirts, where Alesund, after all, belongs. Depends also on car rntal company. I believe a week rental with returnal at same location will save you MUCH money. So, if car rental is an issue, why not try a circle trip, eiher from Bergen or from Oslo? I can give you advices. Main problem will be avoiding car ferries and long tunells.
Maybe also the manual driving. Automatics tend to be more expensive, but so do the diferent car rentals. AVIS or STATOIL really should be avoided. Budget, Europcar, maybe Herz, and also another local companies will give you a far, FAR, better deal for a week with kilometers unlimited.
See you.
Bjorn
 
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Jan 23rd, 2001, 12:32 PM
  #9
pam
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Bjorn,
You should win an award for the time and effort you ahve taken in answering Christine's questions! I am saving your answers for a future trip to Norway. I spent my 21st birthday on a train from Oslo to STavanger. It was a beautiful trip and a great way to spend a birthday!

Best regards,
Pam
 
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Jan 23rd, 2001, 11:03 PM
  #10
Christine
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I agree Pam, I think Bjorn's answers will be brought up again and again for anyone traveling to Norway. Destined to be a Fodor's classic.

We already bit the bullet and decided to splurge(!!) on flights to save time. Fly into Oslo, to Leknes, to Aalesund, and fly out of Bergen, there are so many wonderful places to hike (our main objective) we didn't want to be on a train all the time during our precious two weeks there.

We'll be staying in Oslo 2 nights
Stamsund 2 nights
Reine 2 nights
Aa 2 nights
Aalesund 1 night
Aandalsnes 1 night
Geiranger 2 nights
Stryn 2 nights
Aurland 1 nights
Bergen 1 night

Of course we'll be taking all buses once on Lofoten. I've found that Avis has the best rates. Can't pick up a car in Aalesund because all the car rental companies seem to close on Saturday and Sunday (we arrive on Saturday). So we know we'll at least be taking the bus onto Aandalsnes. We would like to have a car there at least for the Troll Road and Wall.

 
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Jan 24th, 2001, 09:41 AM
  #11
Tommy
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Bjorn is the man! We are going to Norway next month and he has corresponded with me directly with tons of great information.
Bjorn, I think I can speak for everyone when I say we are all greatful for the time you've taken to provide us with wonderful advice!
 
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Jan 24th, 2001, 01:03 PM
  #12
Charlotte
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comments from a trip we took to Norway a couple of years ago:

www.braathens.no is a Norwegian airline that offers what they call "Northern Lights Pass" - which allows tourists to purchase discounted flights within Norway. (It seems like Wideroe airline also had a similar offer - although I just took a quick look at www.wideroe.no and did not see it.)

We thought that Rough Guide had the most useful guidebook for travelling in the northern areas.

The Noregian Tourist Board sent us lots of very useful material! (www.visitnorway.com)

The website for the Coastal Ferry is www.hutigruten.com (There are other ferries covering shorter routes - but this one runs all the way from Bergen to Kirkenes.)

Anyway, once you get there, tourist offices are easy to find - in case you haven't sorted out all the details beforehand. There are lots of buses and local/regional ferries - so it's not too hard to get from one town to the next.

We had a great time - and I hope you do too!!
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 03:58 AM
  #13
top
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Topping on this Fodor classic
 
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