Norway - itinerary suggestions?

Jan 20th, 2002, 04:54 PM
  #1  
Karen Butler
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Norway - itinerary suggestions?

My sister and I are going to Norway (with a stop in Stockholm) in early June and are taking the coastal voyage, northbound leg only. Here's our tentative itinerary:
- Day 1 - Arrive Stockholm
- Day 2 - Stockholm
- Day 3 - Stockholm, train to Oslo
- Day 4 - Oslo
- Day 5 - Oslo
- Day 6 - Norway in Nutshell to Bergen
- Day 7 - Bergen
- Day 8 - Bergen, board coastal steamer
- Days 9-14 - Coastal steamer
- Day 15 - Fly from Kirkenes back to Oslo (or Stockholm?) and the next day fly home

Does this sound like a good itinerary?
Suggestions for improvement?
Thanks,
Karen
 
Jan 20th, 2002, 07:05 PM
  #2  
Susan
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My husband and I took this trip a few years ago. It was fabulous! Email any questions you may have. I'm sure you'll love it.
 
Jan 20th, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #3  
Chuck
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Took my family to Oslo and Bergen several years ago. In Oslo it was fun to visit Holmkollen, or however it's spelled for the ski jump from the Olympics. Then there's the village of reclaimed historical buildings, including the Stave Church. You cannot afford to miss Vigeland Sculpture Park. Take a ride on the funicular railway to the top of Oslo. Visit the park in the center of town.

There are museums with the Kon-Tiki raft, and others with ancient Norse sail boats. Old castles and churches in the city with spiralled spires.

In Bergen take a ride on a boat tour of the fjords- beauty almost too much to behold. Try to get a trip to the land of the midnight sun. Walk along the harbor and eat at one of the restaurants. Don't forget to buy the troll dolls there.
 
Jan 20th, 2002, 09:59 PM
  #4  
Don
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I'd take one day out of Oslo and add it to either Stockholm or Bergen. Looks good otherwise
 
Jan 20th, 2002, 10:16 PM
  #5  
Dayle
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Hi Karen! My folks did the coastal steamer several years ago. If it's the same ship, the only problem they had was that the night time mail delivery stops woke them up. Other than that they loved it and said the ship was very nice - it was new then.
 
Jan 21st, 2002, 12:51 AM
  #6  
Bjorn Alvik
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Hi, Karen
My overall imperssion - a very fine itinerary.
But:
1)I think you'll have to dig deeper in your flight options and the Stockholm/Oslo combination.

2)Chuck's comments are ok, but in Bergen you should not care about boat sightseeings. The Nutshell and your Bergen-Kirkenes voyage will cover that. Instead, use the time in Bergen for strolls in the old town, and do not (NOT!!!) miss the fenicular ride to Mt Floien and the magnificent Bergen views.

3) Make an overnight stay at Stalheim instead of taking the Oslo-Bergen Nutshell in one leg. Next day you'll arrive refreshed in Bergen in early afternoon, with good time for a nice time even if only one Bergen overnight. (in early june I suppose sun will set in Bergen around 10-10:30)

4) Observe that Bergen will house an annual highly estimated classical music festival in early June.

5) Consider one or more of the excursion offerings in combination with your coastal voyage See www.hurtigruten.com for details. Even if it seems a little pricey at first glance, I think the Geiranger-Trollstigen-Molde with dinner included will be a highlight!!

6) Other fodorites have claimed that arranging with the Nutshell might be troublesome thru foreign agents. I've helped a lot of them with direct reservation here. Just a matter of a phonecall and then mailing back to you the refnumber. Also check on prices: Last June I think the Oslo-Bergen one-way Nutshell should be some less than USD100, seat reservations included.

7) Any questions? Feel free to email me

Bjorn, Oslo
 
Jan 21st, 2002, 03:32 AM
  #7  
Paige
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I second Bjorn's recommendation to spend the night at Stalheim. What a cool hotel in a beautiful location! We were there last summer and loved it! The dinner buffet was divine (lots of salmon!).
 
Jan 21st, 2002, 03:34 AM
  #8  
Paige
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I also second his recommendation to let him book your Nutshell trip for you. He did it for us and it was a huge help. (thanks again, Bjorn!)
 
Jan 23rd, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #9  
Karen
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Thanks so much for the suggestions so far. Bjorn, I'm thinking about the overnight at Stalheim. Is the cost of tne Nutshell the same regardless of whether we stop overnight or not? Also, I want to make sure we have enough time in Bergen. If we spend the night at Stalheim and arrive in Bergen early the next afternoon, we'll have the rest of that day and the next day until probably around 4 before we need to head for the ship. Is that plenty of time? And if we stop at Stalheim, are there hiking trails in the area so we could get out for a day hike? Bjorn, I may take you up on your offer to get reservations for the Nutshell tour. First need to decide on Stalheim - will let you know. Thanks for the offer! I'll be in touch. (And yes, we were already planning on doing the Geiranger tour - I was salivating just looking at the pictures!)
Karen
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 03:17 AM
  #10  
bjorn
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Hi again

The Nutshell comes in different options, and you are free to jump off and on anywhere along the route as it pleases you, and with no extra cost. Depending on your option, though, you must have seat reservations on some stretches.
Your option is Oslo-Bergen one-way, and with the detour Myrdal-Flam (Flam rail) - Gudvangen (ferry) - Voss (bus) - Bergen (rail). Stalheim is close to Gudvangen, uphill the famous 'Stalheimskleivene'
You'll have to depart Oslo either around 8:15 or 10:20. Both trains need seat reservation, and at Myrdal youll change to the Flam rail, app 50min ride down to Sogne Fjord. Taking the early train will give you spare time in Flam. At about 15:00 the boat will take you to Gudvangen, where the bus waits for you at app 17:00. About one and a half hour later the bus arrives at Voss station from where there is a local train to Bergen (app 1 hour, no seat reservation)

In order to save the strains, NSB (the rail company) can take care of parts of your luggage, a socalled express luggage service. For a reasonable price you can leave up to 40kilograms in Oslo and pick it up in Bergen. NSB even can deliver at your Bergen Hotel, maybe also on the Hurtigruten.

Hiking around Stalheim is possible, but I never did it myself. I would believe, however, that tracks maybe very wet doe to the snow melting also in early June, and hence difficult to attack. But ask Paige. She tried some hiking there, she told me.
If you would like a whole day's hike, I'd consider the area's around Oslo, an maybe also Bergen. Oslo surroundings are beautiful at that time of the year, and with fair weather.
Plenty enough time in Bergen? All depends, but I will say that you will be able to get a fair view and nice experience without rushing. But some planning should be done to get most out of it. Like staying in a hotel in the Bryggen area, by example. That's where the coastal ship departs, and it also is the far most central and pittoresque area of Bergen. The mt Floien fenicular starts there as well (walk down!).
The coastal ship check-in at 4?? I think it is later, and that departure is something like 8 or 10.

Ok?

Have you tried these links:

http://www.stalheim.com to get to the hotel
http://www.norway.com Click on any town to get rather good info
http://www.nsb.no the railway company

See you
Bjorn
 
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