Classic Norway


Day 07 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Travel from Bergen to Oslo; Majestic Scenery of Norway; Farewell Dinner

Our morning began early with a 5:45 wake up call. Breakfast was supposed to be at 6:30 but the hotel was not quite ready for us. There was a mad rush for the three groups to eat and then get on the bus. Ah, the joys of coach travel!

Amazingly, everyone made it on time so the bus could leave at 7:30. There was no traffic in Bergen and the streets were already cordoned off and tables and benches were set up for those coming to enjoy the Tall Ship Races that began today.

Traveling on E16, we left the industrial and suburban area of Bergen and drove east toward Oslo. We had a brief Kodak moment at a mirror lake just before Voss.

Our mid morning stop was in the little town of Voss, the home of Knute Rockne. Jan pulled in to the parking area by the train station so we could use the restrooms and have a snack.

Most of the buildings were 1950's modern because there was a terrible fire that leveled the wooden structures of the town. The only medieval building standing was the old stone church.

The train from Bergen was just arriving; the transportation system in Norway is excellent. Birgitte told us how easy it was to travel by train, but there is also a bus system that crisscrosses the country.

At Voss, we stayed on route E16 that turns south toward Oslo. The highway took us through many more long dark tunnels, the alternative to taking ferries to cross the fjords.

In one tunnel there were actually round-abouts where the underground highways intersect. Following Hardanger Fjord, we crossed the bridge by the same name and went through many snow sheds.

Traveling on Route 7, we passed through Eidfjord, a tiny village known for knitting. Sweaters were knitted on the tree trunks to promote their craft. A perfect village for our dear cousin, Susan!

We were able to travel through the Måbø Valley, a beautiful cut in the mountains that was one of the first tourist destinations in Norway. We stopped at the old Vøringfoss Hotel overlooking the waterfalls.

Small cottages, tiny farms, birch trees, and acres and acres of gorgeous purple-pink fireweed were in full bloom decorating the valleys and hillsides. We drove above the tree line among huge rocks worn smooth by the glacial ice.

Just below the summit of the pass, we had another Kodak moment for a panoramic view of the Hardanger Glacier. The clouds were beginning to build giving a unique perspective to this tundra-like geography.

We passed Haugstøl, on the famous bicycle route and then stopped in Geilo, the National Park town, and a famous ski resort. We went to the grocery store and bought a Fanta and ate our lunch on a shady bench. We also bought some candy; salty licorice that Vic loves!

Back on the road again at 1:15, we continued on Route 7, a very narrow but scenic highway passing farms, sod roofed homes, pine and birch forests, and sloping green pastures.

Our afternoon stop at 3:00 was in the town of Høgevarde at a cafeteria near a lovely campground and lake, perfect for swimming - it was 92 degrees. Brigitte bought us an ice cream that was greatly appreciated by all!

There were highway signs along the road telling of moose crossings, but it was so warm, they were hiding deep in the cool forests. Going through more lands of lakes and forests, we could see how the immigrants from Scandinavia would find Minnesota and Wisconsin almost like their homeland.

Birgitte reminded us that July 23rd was the anniversary of the Breivik Massacre in Norway. A deranged young man bombed buildings in Oslo and then killed 77 people and wounded hundreds more in a youth group summer camp.

Leaving the scenic road we rejoined E16, the main highway, and we could see large prosperous farms, the Breadbasket of Norway. After a long day of driving, we reached our hotel at 5:15.

We thanked Jan for driving us safely on this trip and then found our room. It was over 90 degrees in Oslo today – unheard of temperatures for July!

The farewell dinner was in the hotel at 7:00. We met with our group for the last time. Most of them will continue on to Sweden and Denmark. Tomorrow we will take the overnight ferry to Copenhagen with our friends, Ulla and Jesper Poulsen and their two daughters.

Accommodations: Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel - - - Meal: B & D

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  Comments

Beautiful country; thanks for sharing!

Dee Sloan   July 24, 2014 - 4:35pm

What beautiful country! Be interesting to see the same during winter. Probably not much to see but white country.

Norma   July 24, 2014 - 4:04pm

Enjoying your trip to Norway. Your pictures are quite beautiful. Never been to Norway....maybe someday.

Andy Conine   July 24, 2014 - 6:20am

Love that fireweed! Does it grow here in Colorado?

Lindy   July 23, 2014 - 3:41pm

Love that fireweed! Does it grow here in Colorado?

Lindy   July 23, 2014 - 3:40pm

Golly, y'all covered a lot of ground and saw lots of beautiful scenic terrains. You are such lucky & healthy people! Thanks for sharing this with me.

Pat   July 23, 2014 - 2:17pm

Do you forge a Fjord at the ford? Beautiful scenery :)

Chris L   July 23, 2014 - 2:16pm
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