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Where to stay overnight on Norway In Nutshell Fjord?

Where to stay overnight on Norway In Nutshell Fjord?

Old Sep 15th, 2009, 12:34 PM
  #1  
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Where to stay overnight on Norway In Nutshell Fjord?

We will have 6 days in Norway next summer following a Baltic cruise. We will disembark the cruise 1 day early in Oslo. Here are my thoughts. PLEASE ADVISE.
2 nights Oslo - TBA
1 night Flam - Heimley
1 night Baiestrand - Balestrand Hotel
2 nights Bergen - TBA
Fly home from Bergen

After the night in Flam (Heimley Pension) would take the bus to Gudvangen then Ferry on the Naeroyfjord back to Flam to pick up luggage, then continue via ferry to Balestrand - (Balestrand Hotel) for overnight
Next day.. ferry to Vik and back to Balestrand where we catch the 5:00 fast ferry to Bergen.

BUT NOW...
I am considering staying overnight in Stalheim instead of Flam.
1) Is this a good idea? Why? or Why not?
2) Do you like the Balestrand - Vik - Balestrand - Bergen part?
3) Would it be better to skip Balestrand altogether and just go from Stalheim to Bergen via bus and train?
4) Is it easy to get from Stalheim to Balestrand by bus then boat?

Thanks Vikings!
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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I did NIN this summer without any overnight stay. But I was not impressed by Flåm. Stalheim would be a better choice from a scenic point of view (the NIN bus went by it). I do not see why you would take a bus to Gudvangen when there is a ferry which is much more scenic, and might be the one that goes on to Balestrand, avoiding a return to Flåm to pick up luggage. Taking the bus from Flåm to Gudvangen is only for those who like tunnels (after our NIN trip we drove from Bergen to Flåm and beyond). You might want to take a look at my trip report.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Here's what we did: Norway in a Nutshell until the Stalheim, overnight at the Stalheim (www.stalheim.com), take a bus/ferry to Balestrand (very easy scenic ride since the first bus stops at the Stalheim, the second bus is timed to the first and then the ferry to Balestrand waits for the bus), spend the night in Balestrand and then take the fast ferry to Bergen.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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I just got back from a similar trip, during which we kayaked and camped (1 night) in the Naeroyfjord with Nordic Ventures. It was an amazing way to experience the fjord - inspite of the rainy weather. The guides and equipment were high quality - they run trips from their base in Voss, but I think you can catch up with them in Gudvangen for day trips as well. Judging from your screen name - seems like something you should consider!

http://tinyurl.com/n3uect
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 05:06 PM
  #5  
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So you thought Stalheim was a scenic setting? That is what other posts have said.
IF WE STAY IN FLAM then we would take the 20 minute bus from Flam to Gudvangen. Catch the ferry at Gudvangen, sail the Naeroyfjord and the Aurland fjord back to Flam. Then we would collect our luggage and take the ferry to Balestrand. This would give us a good bit of "water" travel for the day.

Any suggestions from anyone of the routing if we stay the first fjord night in Stalheimm and the second night in Balestrand?
Will there be a ferry directly from Gudvangen to Balestrand??
Thanks
Annie
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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RumRita... You make me laugh! Annpaddles is my daughters screen name. I am using her computer while I babysit my grandchildren. Kayaking sounds like loads of fun IF WE WERE 30 YEARS YOUNGER!
MARIJA .. I LIKE YOUR THINKING.
We will be coming on the nutshell from Oslo.
Should we continue on the NIN to Flam , then the ferry to Gudvangen, then bus to Stalheim??
OR
should we just go directly by train from Oslo to Voss, then bus to Stalheim??
Is there enough time to do the first choice?
Thanks.
annpaddles is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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Definitely take the ferry to Gudvangen and then the bus to the Stalheim. Look at their website to see how gorgeous the setting is. To get from the Stalheim to Balestrand you take two buses (one leaves from the Stalheim) and a ferry. It took us a couple of hours and it was a scenic trip from the Stalheim to our hotel in Balestrand.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Thank you Marija. Am a bit confused though on the route from Stalheim to Balestrand. Does it take 2 busses toget from the Stalheim hotel to Gudvangen where we then catch the ferry to Balestrand? I am liking this because it allows us to sail the Naeroyfjord in both directions on consecutive days. Better chance of one day not having rain.
Nannibray (Annpaddles)
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 03:50 AM
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do not skip balestrand
it is a magical spot
i wish we had stayed there longer

the balestrand is great - ask for a room with a view and you will be awestruck!

now about flam -the heimly is ok but really try to get their best room on the 2nd floor with the fjord view - it isnt flash though - everything will get wet in the shower
they own the marina apartments - see if you can get an apartment - it is a bit more but worth it - the apartments are right on the water - unbelievably good
theyre new too!
we discovered them after we had just unpacked and asked if theyd mind swapping us over
we ended up staying three heavenly nights in flam

we drove to stalheim
and the view is nothing on the views around geiranger or even naeroyfjord
we were so glad we didnt stay there
the gardens are quite unkempt and it just doesnt deserve the wow reputation
nothing much to do there

you will love balestrand! the hotel is owned by a family and they will give so much valuable information if you email them

prepare yourself for what will hopefully will be a most memorable trip!
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 03:53 AM
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oh and like Tower here always recommends - in oslo try to get the gablehus
we got the room with the solid toilet door lol in a lovely attic style part of the hotel
dinner is included in the rate- that is unheard of in places we usually travel to
great breakfast great dinner
you cant go wrong and the district is excellent

thanks again Tower in case you didnt read my other messages of gratitude!

and thanks to Marija here too and Viajero - if theyre around!
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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(annpaddles) alias (nannibray)
thanks lanejohn for your imput. the Stalheim has the view .. but very pricy by our standards.
Marija j- if we do the Stalheim, we would only want their CHEAPEST room which is still $250+.
Just won't pay $400. for a room even if the view is spectacular!. So, Marija and others - do you still recommend the Stalheim if one has a room without the view (which still comes out to $266 USA)? Their prices are CRAZY! Price for Heimly in Flam is about 900 (about US 150.
lanejohann - Am planning on getting a view room at the Balestrand for 1160 which is at the top of the price range for us.

Will look again at the Oslo Gablehaus. Does the evening meal make it a deal?
Nannibray
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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From what I heard of Balestrand, I would stay there two nights. The train from Oslo leaves early in the morning, so you should be able to get a ferry from either Flam or Gudvangen that takes you to Balestrand by late afternoon.

BTW, NIN is a package, and if you go from Balestrand to Bergen by boat, I do not think that it is included in the package. You would then have to purchase a reserved seat ticket to Myrdal; in Myrdal purchase the train ticket to Flam, and in Flam the ferry ticket to Gudvangen or Balestrand--whichever you choose. At least that is my impression.
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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We booked our tickets separately--Oslo to Myrdal, ticket from conductor Myrdal to Flam, stayed a couple of nights in Flam Marina Apts(we were doing some walking), ferry over to Gudvagen, train back to Oslo. No problems except needed to book certain Oslo-Myrdal trains well in advance.

I struggled with many of the same choices as you when deciding in our short time whether to go to Stalheim for the view and hiking and/or Balestrand for the view. We knew we were returning to Oslo, not on to Bergen.

Our final decisions were based on:
Stalheim so expensive, both hotel room and restaurant for dinner. Food is so expensive, even from grocery, which we could access in Flam.
Only two? ferries a day to Balestrand, so not much choice or flexibility. We didn't just want to ride over and then straight back. We would want time on the ground to do some walks.

We enjoyed the train trip both down and up from Flam and would have enjoyed some wandering down the valley parallel to the train. Flam was tiny and quiet--odd to look out our apartment window in the morning (directly facing the water) and see a huge cruise ship had appeared at the dock.

I suggested we take the ferry to Gudvagen and the bus back, but my husband did not want to ride the bus, so we took the boat roundtrip. A little long on a boat for us plus the sun disappeared and rain began so not so nice. One way would have been better. The bus we took later in the opposite direction was very comfortable and the trip would only have taken 15-30 minutes.

I like seeing the view down over the water, so I think Stalheim would have been a scenic stop for us, but we just weren't willing to pay the price and it would have taken an entire day to get there and back from Flam. Same thing for Balestrand.

If we make it back to Norway (we thought it was gorgeous), I will want to visit those spots we missed, head on to another fjord, and also spend some time up on top of the mountains/highlands.
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Old Sep 18th, 2009, 03:38 AM
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dont know about stalheim being a whole day from flam

we went to voss and vik as well as stalheim and then back to flam all in one day

i just wasnt so impressed with the view having seen the geiranger fjord and even places along the road to lom and later oye when we were on the way to balestrand

we had a hire car so enjoyed the flexibility that Viajero here encouraged us to have!

about the gabelhus in oslo
it is such a relief that you can actually enjoy a meal and not worry what it was going to cost
and coffee is available all day from the dining area - tea of course too
yep the dinner was an unexpected feather in our cap
but even without dinner - my my it was a real classy place lol
real gentlemans hangout
with
freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee internet! whoooooo hoooo

ok you had to wait but at least you could get it for nothing!
go the gablehus and go to the older section ( i think the newer section is called the ritz but do check )
if youre worried about modesty ask fora room that actually has a real door for the bathroom!
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Old Sep 18th, 2009, 03:40 AM
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(im talking about the view in stalheim that wasnt all that worth our drive because we had seen so much beauty in norway already further north)
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Thank you all for your imput - very valuable! Will check out the Gablehus in Oslo and am thimking of the Marina apartments in Flam.
Wish we would have a car! Going to Geiranger fjord would be a real treat. Just don't have the time.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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great! let us know how it all went! Oslo is fun - wasnt expecting too much but they really love their city and use it to full capacity in the warmer weather
some of us in more moderate climates take our cities for granted...
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 08:02 PM
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oh in oslo make sure you get to bydgoy ( easy) and visit the norwegian war resistance museum
my my it really filled me on a part of history i knew nothing about - really stirring experience
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Yes, LaneJohann, you had a car and drove from Flam to Voss, Vik, and Stalheim in one day. If NanniBray is traveling via ferry and bus, the departures are very limited. The segments are timed so one can take the ferry then bus to Stalheim, spend 2-4 hours in Stalheim and take a bus back. Most of a day round trip.
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Nannibray/Annpaddles -

You must have read my post from last month, you are doing our EXACT itinerary with the exact same hotels. I would highly recc you stick to just what we did for these reasons:

1. Bus Flam to Gudvangen is short (15-20 min) so not a big deal. The ferry Gudvangen to Flam had about 50 people on it. We passed the ferry going from Flam to Gudvangen and it looked like at LEAST 150 people. So much nicer having a boat without so many people on it.

2. I agree that you should try for the apartments across from the Heimly Pension. Our room at HP on the 1st floor had a nice view, but was a little chincy with 2 double beds and the shower had a terrible smell. The hotel is a 10 or so minute walk from the train stop which is fine but make sure you pack relatively lightly since you'll have to take your bags on a slightly windy slightly uphill road to get there. But i think it has the best view in town.

I'm with you in thinking the Stalheim is steep in price but i have heard its really amazing. I never was able to find a direct ferry Gudvangen to Balestand.

3. We LOVED Balestrand. you can't miss it. Vik was fine - actually visiting the Stave church was one of the highlights of our trip but it was a little annoying having so much time there (8:30am - 11:30am). I did buy a cute santa in a shop there that is half Xmas shop/half fishing tackle. : ) Def stay at the Balestrand Hotel with a water view - one of the most beautiful hotel views I've ever seen. We also splurged for the smorgesbod at the Kvikne's hotel and it was yummy.

Julie
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