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Norway in a nutshell- Has anyone done it by Car or Eurail

Norway in a nutshell- Has anyone done it by Car or Eurail

Nov 25th, 2006, 10:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 517
Norway in a nutshell- Has anyone done it by Car or Eurail

We are 40 yrs old couple with 2 daughters of 11 and 13, travelling to Norway and other Scandinavian countries in May 07. Norway in a Nutshell is supposed to be the highlight of this tour. So much has been written about it in this forum. Has anyone done this part with a Scanrail pass. Want to know if I buy a 10 days Scanrail pass, will it cover the bus and ferry part of the journey or do I have to pay extra for that part OR if I hire a car from Oslo to Bergen and back, will I see the same scenery. Please help.
Paragkash is offline  
Nov 25th, 2006, 11:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987
I have no idea whether you can do it with a Scanrail pass, but you certainly can do it all by booking the individual segments yourself. How this compares price wise I couldn't say. We did our version of it ahout 10 years ago. I don't think the Norway in a Nutshell even existed then.

I certainly wouldn't recommend hiring a car. First, I there is a lot of difficult driving in terms of steep and twisty roads and the driver will be far too busy looking at the road to appreciate the view. Second I don't think you appreciate just how much driving is involved and the ferry part of the trip is lovely. I wouldn't lightly dismiss dropping the ferry out of hand. Also, I have done the rail trip between Flam and Bergen on another occasion, as compared to the ferry/bus portion, and once you are above the vegetation level it can be rather boring. I would assume the road takes you through this area as well.
shandy is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 12:54 AM
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Thanks Shandy. After reading your reply I have decided to go by rail. Would like to know from someone if the flam railway, the ship and bus part is included or discounted on Scanrail pass.
Paragkash is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 01:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I have just received the BETS European Planning and and Rail Guide and to quote "The Bergen Line on its seven hour run between Oslo and Bergen is free with rail passes and the Flam Line is 30% off". But it doesn't say which passes.

Also see www.ricksteves.com/rail/scandinavia.htm

Don't know if this helps at all.
Maudie is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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We drove from Oslo to Bergen and I would not have done it any other way. First off, it was the first week of July and the weather was perfect. I never saw the "steep and twisty roads" the previous poster referred to, so I have no clue what route he/she is referring to. What we saw was spectacular scenery, stopped for pictures anytime we wanted, and relaxed by the side of the road at leisure. The first night we spend in Veggli at a wonderful B&B. We just stopped and booked a room for the night. The B&B had a waterfall in the backyard across from the most beautiful lake. We toured the Handargervida National Park and the Hardangerfjorden area before staying in Bergen for a couple of days. We rented a hybrid car, which was a good idea given the fact that Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, including fuel cost.

I hear wonderful things about rail travel in Norway and I am sure it is. For us, the car travel was perfect and the roads nowhere near difficult. We took about 3-4 ferry ride across the fjords to get to some towns. The ferry ride at Undredal was particularly gorgeous. We met an American lady (about in her 50's) driving around Norway on her own and she was having a blast. The only drive I recalled been a bit of a challenge was on our way up to Vik, and it was due to fog, which cleared out by the way we drove back. Again, Norway is far more spectacular than any picture you have seen, and by driving and getting into the country roads you'll experiencing the beauty of Norway at a truly different, enhanced level.
Viajero2 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 148
With a Scanrail pass you will have to arrange and pay for both the Flam Rail, the Flam-Gudvangen Ferry and the Gudvangen-Voss bus by yourselves. Maybe you may gain a 30% reduction on the Flam Rail.
Hence I would not care for the Scanrail if the Nutshell is the only raildependent tour on your agenda.
If Oslo is a must, I would consider plane (one way or roundtrip) to Bergen Airport. Then a one night stay in Bergen before commencing the Nutshell, which either will take you back to Bergen or to Oslo. Do not forget an overnight stay in the fjord area! Stalheim is my favorite. Flam/Aurland may also work.

My very best recommendation, however, is a hired car!!!! Lots of good reasons: Price. Flexibility. Sights and scenaries. Of course you will have to do a little more planning on forehand, but I feel confident that it will be worthwhile.

Bjorn, Oslo

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Bjorn is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,652
When i took the Nutshell tour some years ago we got 25% reduction off fjord boat with a Eurailpass even though we were not expecting it. Maybe still the rule. Eurailpasses do cover in full the Oslo-Bergen mainline, which to me is definitely in the Top Five Scenic rail lines in Europe, and i think i've ridden all the candidates, - Flam trip does get 30% off only with a pass (as usual with a discount you don't use a day of travel with a flexipass - only using a day of travel if the thing is covered 100% - thus a discount could be better than full coverage at times.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 10:33 PM
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Posts: 517
Dear all,
Thanks for all the great info.
That's the reason I feel Fodorites give me the best, most authentic and first hand info. about the place, experience and has a human touch; which no tourist guide can give.
Am still undecided.
The rail route that is the best amongst the five best rail routes in the world.

The road journey also must be equally scenic. Doing a travel research for that is my hobby ( like all of you) and would be interesting. ( Actually the planning stage and anticipation is more or atleast equally interesting than the actual travel)
Vaijero and Bjorn, can you give me a little more info. about the car models and rental, hotels, the costs involved, where did you get the route from.

I would just love to wander. Just dying to be there. Don't wanna miss Stalheim. Has any one stayed in a small village inn or hotel in the flam area in a not so touristy but scenic village?
Thanks again.
Paragkash is offline  
Dec 17th, 2006, 02:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 148
I'll come back early January -07.
In the meanwhile I wish you and all Fodorites a Marry X-mas and a Happy New Year....
Bjorn, Oslo
Bjorn is offline  
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