Norway 2014

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Sep 1st, 2014, 03:00 PM
  #1
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Norway 2014

I wanted to do a trip report for Norway, just so there is more information out there for those, looking for tips as I was. I want to thank the people who had posted trip reports for me to see and learn from. We were two couples and a 17yr old traveling for a two week trip to Norway, and 3 days in Denmark. We try not to visit too many countries in our Europe trips, so we feel like we really got to see and know the places we visit. So I decided that we would do just Norway and Denmark early on. We got extraordinarily lucky when we caught a blurb on our radio that Delta had "lost its mind" and was giving a great deal to Oslo. We immediately got on the computer and booked. So I will post the rest of this report as replys.
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Sep 1st, 2014, 03:08 PM
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I decided that I didn't want to spend a lot of time in Oslo. My family loves the outdoors. Also I decided to fly from city to city as the internal fares are pretty low. So I broke up our trip as follows:
1. Arrive Oslo, one night here.
2. Depart for Denmark next morning, stayed here 3 nights.
3. Fly to Bergen, stayed here 2 nights.
4. Rented a car in Bergen, and the next two nights were in the Fjords.
5. One night in Balestrand.
6. Next night in Stalheim.
7. Drive back to Bergen, and fly that evening to Bodo. Stay one night.
8. Rented a car at arrival, next morning take car ferry to
9. Lofoten Islands for 4 nights.
10. Ferry back to Bodo, fly straight out to Oslo.
11. One night Oslo, then fly home the next morning.
I will expand on this a bit later.
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Sep 4th, 2014, 02:10 PM
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Really looking to hearing more! We leave a week from today for 18 days in Norway! It was a bit tough to plan, and would love to hear more of your experience!
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Sep 4th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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Okay to start, we stayed at the Comfort Express Hotel in Oslo. We chose it for the price and location. It was about a 10 minute walk to the hotel, perfectly safe, a little bit of a hill but easy enough to get there. It's a very basic hotel. Two problems, it was very hot in Oslo 7/26. And there are no air conditioners in the room. We slept with the window open, but there is a club below and it was very noisy all night long. Other problem, there is this weird thing about bathrooms in Oslo, found this in all hotel stays, there is only a short glass door on the tub or shower, it does nothing for blocking the water and it ends up all over the floor. If anyone needs more info for hotel, let me know.
So we arrived at hotel about 4:00pm, we washed quickly cleaned up and left to see the Oslo Opera House, walked there. After we caught the bus in front of the Main train station to Vigeland Park. It was getting to be dusk, but we sort of raced thru and saw all the statues. Look for the bus going to Faulkner Park, not Vigeland. I' m sorry don't remember the bus. It is a bit confusing but ask the bus driver before getting on. Also bought tickets at the 7/11.
Getting back we took a bus from the front entrance of park, then connected to a bus going to the Main station. From here we walked to our restaurant, Mehfil Indian Restaurant. Food was excellent! Better than the states anyday. Walked back to hotel, left in morning to train station, local train back to airport to fly to Copenhagen next day. I want to say we took the local train to/from airport and it was fine, I don't think it made much difference time wise to matter. And definitely less expensive.
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Sep 4th, 2014, 05:24 PM
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Arrived in Copenhagen, stayed in the Crowned Plaza Hotel, it has a shuttle service from airport since it is not that far from it. Hotel was very nice, it is a train ride away from the city center though. Every morning we set out took the tram to town. First day we had a half day, so set out to see the Rosenborg Castle and the Rundtaarn "round tower". Both were nice. A lot of walking, and I think we were still jet lagged so tiring. Can't remember where we ate will get that later. Next day we took a biking tour with Mike. Chose him from Rick Steve's recommendation. It was fun and educational. Getting late, will write more later.
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Sep 4th, 2014, 05:25 PM
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Jen if you have specific questions, I can try to answer them, if it related to our trip.
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Sep 4th, 2014, 05:54 PM
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Well, you were lucky you even got a short glass door which is the usual set up if there is a tub. I've been in hotels, B&B's in Scandinavia where the showers had no glass, no curtain, nothing. Water, water everywhere.

Look forward to hearing about your stay in Balestrand and Stalheim.
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Sep 5th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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Great report - thanks - keep them coming
But note to others reading this:
Bathroom floors have drains - they are meant to get wet! - Norwegians don't wear shoes inside homes.
There is no Faulkner Park in Oslo - I guess you mean Frogner Park (Vigelands park is part of Frogner park), but there is also no bus that goes directly there from the main station, though possibly tram 12 was replaced by bus when you were there - the stop is called Vigelandsparken, but Frogner stadion and Frogner plass would be near enough.
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Sep 5th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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Thanks dyoll, I need to verify names before I type them. We took a bus that took us close to the park, but not right in front. We walked about 4 blocks through some nice residential area.
The bicycle trip was thru bikecopenhagenwithmike.dk. After the bike tour, we went to Tivoli Garden. I would have liked to go later in the day, but since our hotel was not close by, we just decided to go. We were just strolling thru and stopped for some ice cream. We did do one ride, the Hans Christian Anderson ride, but it was just okay. If you don't know much about him it was pretty boring. After we just kind of sat and people watched. I don't think it was really worth the money, unless you have young ones and we did't. Had dinner, went back to hotel. One thing, after the bike ride, we had lunch in this square that Mike had suggested. We wanted to try Denmark's famous open faced sandwiches. I have to say it was expensive and very disappointing. It consisted of a slice of bread (size was a tiny bit bigger than a Melba toast square) and whatever topping you chose. It was like a little tasting, not what I would consider lunch. So decided to stick to more familiar food after that.
Next day was breakfast at this cafe that my son said was supposed to be very famous, with the best coffee. It was okay, more of a continental breakfast with jam and bread. Took the bus to to go Rosenborg Castle to catch the guards march to the Queens palace. This was the highlight of Denmark for me. It was exciting to march with the guards to the palace. I felt like a child in a parade. Afterward, we decided to go the the Carlsburg Brewery. Had to race after the bus that took us there from the palace, ran like mad, the bus driver was nice and waited for us. Walked to the brewery, we just missed the walking tour, so just did it on our own. It was interesting and they have a hugh collection of beer bottles from around the world. Had a light lunch there and then left. Afterward my son really wanted to see Noma, voted best restaurant in the world. So we took a bus that would get us close and walked to see this famous place. It was closed, they were setting up for the new menu. Funny to see other people were just as nuts as us, walk all the way to see this restaurant. Next we went to Nyhaven and did a boat tour. Had dinner at a very nice Thai place, food was very good. I' m sorry I don't remember all the places we ate, my son was in charge of picking the restaurants. Next day was departure to Bergen on SAS. I had never flown with them before, we found that we had to do all the work, print not only boarding passes, but luggage tags and scan in our own bags too. I guess they don't have to hire too many people this way.
I will continue with Bergen next. Thanks for reading this if you are and hope it is somewhat helpful.
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Sep 5th, 2014, 08:48 PM
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ANJUN:

Check out my web page on our trip to Norway in 2010.

http://www.travel.stv77.com/norway/norway.htm

Hope it can help you in your planning.
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Sep 5th, 2014, 09:47 PM
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I meant that last post for Dyoll and Jen who may be planning a trip to Norway.

I didn't mean to hijack Anjun's trip report.
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Sep 21st, 2014, 05:40 PM
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So we arrived in Bergen airport, took the Flybussen bus to town, took about 30 minutes. You can purchase tickets on the bus. We tried the machine, but could not figure it out and the bus was already there. We stayed in the Radisson Blu Norge Hotel, so there is a bus stop right near it. To the left was a round pavilion and on the other side was a pretty pond and walking area. The hotel was nice, free breakfast and about 10 minute walk to the Fish Market straight past the main shopping street. Very safe, lots of people out and about. We checked in and then left to walk to the Fish Market. We looked around, had lunch and decided to take the little train tour. It was nice got to see the town and gain a little history. Afterward we checked out the Bryggen Hanseatic Museum. I think it was interesting to see how they lived. The houses are really neat. Had dinner at a Chinese restaurant that took us forever to find, though it looked so easy on the map. It was close to the Museum. Food was okay. Went back to the hotel. Next day was rainy, but since we were only there for that full day, we went up the cable car to the top of Floyen
Mountain. Beautiful views despite the rain. We went for a hike, but a word of warning, there are many trails and the map we obtained from the gift shop did not show them all. My son decided to try one of a more difficult trail that we thought would meet ours, and we ended up in a different place. Anxious minutes later, I had to send my husband after him. They both came back, again from an unexpected direction. So stay together! That's it for today. Will write again soon.
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Sep 21st, 2014, 06:30 PM
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The day I took the cable car up the Floyen, it was warm and sunny. I had expected rain. Mobs of people since it was such a glorious day and a holiday too. In some ways I think I might have preferred the rain and fewer people. I just walked around the lake. It is beautiful spot.

Looking forward to hearing more.
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Oct 21st, 2014, 10:08 AM
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Bergen is a fun city. I just returned from a 10 day trip (staying with family). Note to anyone reading this and thinking of a trip to Norway - be prepared to spend a lot of money. All of Norway is expensive, one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Also the food is not that great, so eating out in restaurants is not that exciting - but it will be expensive.

I love the scenery, the people are friendly, and it seems very safe. I was there this month (October) and the weather was cool but sunny (we had light showers 2 days I think it was). There were few tourists which meant hardly any lines for the tourists activities - but also many tourists sites are closed or limited. For example the fish market is closed up and I wanted to take the Jump On and Off bus but they are closed after Sept for the fall and winter.
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Oct 21st, 2014, 03:14 PM
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I liked Bergen and Olso and yep Norway is expensive.

One of the most expensive places in the world.

In fact in 2007-2009 it was listed as the most expensive.

That is what happens when you have lot of oil in the Norwegian Sea. !
The several years back when Britain got into financial trouble, Norway bought out their share in the Oil development .

Good for the people of Norway, not so good for us tourist.
I enjoyed my time there and did not mind paying !

( Hi nanabee )
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Oct 25th, 2014, 03:38 AM
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Sorry, took so long to write further. We didn't do too much after our hike, just walked about and shopped a little. The next day we took the bus back to the airport, we ran about looking for the tickets, got them at the 7/ 11, but saw later there was a shop, next to our Radison Blu hotel selling tickets. Arrived at the airport and went to Hertz to pick up our rental car. Very good service, we upgraded to a station wagon and got navigation, which I am very grateful for. It made life so easy. It took us a bit of confused driving around before we figured out how to get away from the airport. Take a left out of the parking lot, not right. Then we were on our way to the Fjords. From Bergen to Voss (stopped for lunch) then on to Vangsnes, took the ferry across to Dragsvik and drove to Balestrand. No need to purchase tickets ahead of time for the ferry, it runs very often and plenty of room. We stayed in the Balestrand Hotel. It was a beautiful spot. Paid extra for the fjord view which was excellent. A very peaceful place. We were only there for one night. So we set out and walked to explore the town. Nice small stave church which was open, then walked along the street to eat dinner at the Cider House. Food was very good, not very large portions though. The next day we were going to do a hike in the morning. It took us into the forest above the town, and took about 2 hours. After we wished we had kept one of the rooms to shower in before leaving town. I was anxious about ferry tickets from Kaupanger to Gudvangen. But our hotel owner told us we could purchase the tickets at the ferry office there in Balestrand. We did find the office and were able to purchase tickets. So then we drove to Dragsvik took the ferry across to Helles and drove to Kaupanger. Once there we walked around the stave church, had lunch at the cafe across the street from the church. This ferry ride was longer and very pretty. The Naerofjord was very narrow. After disembarking in Gudvangen (wish we had stayed a bit to check out the town), we drove off to Stalheim to stay at the Stalheim Hotel. The views along the way were spectacular. I will continue soon. Gotta go.
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