Norway in a Nutshell questions

Old Jan 27th, 2014, 02:22 PM
  #1  
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Norway in a Nutshell questions

I have some friends who are going to the UK in May and have asked me to plan some things for them. Two of them would like to add on 2 to 4 days in Norway. I've read some threads on here about Norway in a Nutshell but still can'l get my head around the various options. I've looked at the website but can probably get more info here

This will probably be in mid-May. Is the one day tour OK or is staying over along the way a LOT better? Which base/starting point is best - Oslo or Bergen? Any other useful info??

I might end up going with them but for the time being I'm just giving them advice/info . . .
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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You do realize that these aren't formal tours. They are kind of on your own - they tell you which trains, bus, boat etc to take.

We used their driving instruction to get from Oslo to Vass and did a one day out of there on the Flam Railroad and taking a fjord tour.

I don't think it matters if they go Bergen to Oslo or vice versa. Is it easier to fly back from one over the other?

I have looked at the one day Bergen-Oslo tour and it is a very long day. I would do it over a couple of days.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 09:05 PM
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As DebitNM said, NIN is just a ticketing agent. It's possible to do the same by purchasing the needed tickets yourself. It can actually be cheaper if you are willing to do Advanced Purchase tickets on Norway rail. The usual trip from either Bergen or Oslo. If departing from Bergen one takes the train to Voss, then bus to Gudvangen ferry to Flam and Flam rail up to Myrdal to connect with train to Olso. Or one can do the reverse Olso to Bergen. It does make for a very long day. I'd suggest an overnight enroute. Stalheim would be a good option as it is along the Voss/Gudvangen bus route.

Here are some websites. I did a four day trip Bergen to Oslo in 2012, late May making all my own bookings. Would be happy to try and answer any other questions regarding your trip.

www.nsb.no. Norway Rail

www.fjord1.no Ferry information/bookings/ timetables etc.
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Old Jan 28th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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Thanks - yes, I knew it isn't a 'formal tour'. If they (we? - I'm still not sure I'm going) do this, does it make sense/is there enough to see to make it a 3 day/2 night trip? Round trip Oslo to Oslo? If so, which two stopovers?

I'd normally book the trains myself, especially if it would save money . . . but three of the ladies are survivors of the infamous '6 ladies' book club trip and the less I have to do myself the better . . . just sayin'

And no, the 'evil one' isn't going
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Old Jan 28th, 2014, 07:47 PM
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If looking mostly for ease and convenience then NiN is probably the way to go.
As to round trip from Oslo to Oslo i assume you're departure point is Oslo. I would recommend a 3 day/2 night trip. Just the rail trip from Oslo to Bergen is about 7 hours ( if all goes well). Then you'll need to add another 4 hours or more to include the Flamsbana and then the 2 hour cruise along the Aurlandsfjiord and Naeroyfjiord to Gudvangen where a parking lot full of buses are there to take NiN passengers and the occasional oddity like myself up to Stalheim, then on to Voss and Bergen. A very, very long day. I suggest you break it by staying either in Flam or Stalheim for the first night. Flam will be about 6 hours from Oslo and Stalheim about a 8 hours trip from Oslo.

I'd also spend a night in Bergen. I only had a day there but there is much to keep one busy and it really is a pretty spot. I suggest you fly back to Oslo as the route you take from Oslo to Bergen is the same on the return. Repetition and a long one at that.

For Flam I stayed at the Fretheim and loved it. Flam itself is touristy and usually has one of those massive, ugly cruise ships which obliterates any views docked at their small harbor. However the Fretheim sets well enough back that you really are not aware the monstrosity is even there. And, thankfully they dock for only a couple of hours then depart leaving the place relatively quiet.

Another option is staying at Stalheim. I also stayed there as well and the views are spectacular. I believe David Hockney has painted it ( view). The hotel which is all that's there except for a small museum is a mixture of beautiful antiques and some things that I found extremely strange. The place IMO is a bit quirky. Not to say I didn't like it. A good restaurant with excellent staff. When booking my dinner they suggested I might want to come a bit early as there was a tour group dining at the time I had suggested. Even after I was seated, the waitress inquired if I might like to change to a table that wasn't so near the tour group. I was fine, but she seemed so eager to see that I wasn't bothered by the larger group that I moved anyway. BTW, the group was not noisy. I was impressed with the attention and care of the staff. My room had a large window with the noted view and was fine if a bit plain.The bathroom had recently been modernized and was v. nice.

www.stalheim.com

www.fretheim-hotel.no


These hotels can be booked along with the NiN tickets as part of the package.
Also, the Flamsbana is the famous railway from Myrdal to Flam. An hours trip with stunning views. At Flam you catch the ferry to Gudvangen.
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Old Jan 28th, 2014, 10:04 PM
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We took it from Oslo. One day will do it. I think it is possible to get back to Oslo on the same day when rejoining the main train line, but it will make for a very long day.
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Old Jan 29th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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Certainly you can do it in one day but it is as already stated a long day. You can take an 8:00 train from Oslo S station, arriving in Myrdal about 41/2 hours later, take the Flamsbana to Flam which is another hour, ferry from Flam to Gudvangen is approximately 2hours, bus from Gudvangen to Voss another hour. If you are able to connect with an east bound train back to Oslo at Voss, it'll be another 51/2 hours. Or continue on to Bergen about another two hours. If trying to do a round trip in one day, you'll need to book sleeper from Bergen arriving Bergen at 9:00 departing Bergen at 11:00 arriving next morning in Oslo at about half past 6:00. And, no you can't get back to Oslo on the same day unless you can connect at Voss. It'll still not get into Oslo until very late that night. Not a trip I'd recommend.

It's a very long day just going from Oslo to Bergen without an overnight and trying to make it a round trip is overwhelming IMO. I
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 03:10 PM
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Don't forget the possibility of the sleeper train - saves a hotel night and a day wasted backtracking on rail or flight. Arrives in Bergen before 07:00 giving you enough time for a decent breakfast in the hotel opposite the station. Stopping in Voss, Stålheim or Flåm would then make sense.
http://www.fleischers.no/en/
http://english.stalheim.dnn.gasta.no
http://fretheimhotel.no/en/
In my opinion best to do the NiN Bergen-Oslo as the last bit is a long train journey where you could snooze when the best of the scenery is past.
If 17th May is in your period then try and spend the day in Bergen (or Oslo) - it's Constitution day and the parades etc. will be an experience - but note otherwise much will be closed on that day.
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 04:14 PM
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We stayed at Fleischers in Voss. It was quite an experience - a very old hotel with a grand dining room. The rooms and bathrooms were small and nothing special. The breakfasts were excellent and we had dinner one night, also very good.

We bought a Norway pass and it saved us a bit of money on hotel.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 05:08 AM
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Since people are always saying how expensive Norway is, I thought I'd add my budget option.

We stayed in Aurland when visiting the Sognefjord, in a wooden cabin which was just a few quid a night back in the late 1990s.

http://www.booking.com/hotel/no/skahjem-gard.html

It's not right on the fjord, though still in a really pretty area.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 05:12 AM
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Hi Janis,

Please check out my page on our trip to Norway. It includes a whole section about "Norway in a nutshell" in a nutshell.

The trip was in 2014, so somethings may have changed, but I think it is still relevent.

http://www.travel.stv77.com/norway/norway.htm
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 06:12 AM
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Janisj,

I was considering doing it as well but after I read some of the rather negative comments about it on TripAdvisor I changed my mind. I don't believe anyone has criticized the scenery but rather the conveyances, the crowding on some trains, etc.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 07:21 AM
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Folks -- thanks but the thread is 8 months old . . . ain't relevant any longer

(Apparently was topped so new member AussieJon could flog his blog)

The ladies in question decided no to go to Norway after all . . .
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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It had me reminiscing over Norway pics on Flickr over lunch so maybe not such a bad thing.
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