Sounds familiar? I guess some of you have already seen this title somewhere else. Indeed, Norway in a Nutshell is the most popular tour in Norway which allows you to have a brief look at Mother Nature’s finest masterpiece in a very limited time. Last summer, Master and I took part in this journey and we would like to share our experience about this trip with you.
Provided by Fjord Tours, Norway in a Nutshell is a year-round tour which can be started at either Bergen or Oslo. The tour can be done within one day (or two days if you start from Oslo like us), but it can be extended based on your needs. For us, I can shortly summarize the whole trip as follow:
- Day 1: Oslo – Bergen (train, it takes around 6 to 7 hours)
- Day 2: Bergen – Voss (train), Voss – Gudvangen (bus), Gudvangen – Flåm (ferry), Flåm – Myrdal (Flåmsbana Railway), Myrdal – Oslo (train)
The tour is pricey (like everything else in Norway) but I could say it worths every cent. If you prefer to buy individual tickets, you can take a look at the NSB – the Norwegian State Railways, but the total price for individual tickets will be more or less the same. For more details about the tour or the NSB, take a look at their official website.
There are four highlights in this tour:
1. The Oslo-Bergen Railway
Often cited as one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world, the Oslo-Bergen railway is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of Norway’s best scenery. It is a symphony of elements, in which earth, water, air and fire (represented by the sun) are harmoniously combined. After passing through the forests of southern Norway, the train climbs up onto the snow-capped Hardangervidda Plateau and then continue down through the pretty woodlands around Voss and on into Bergen. At first, master and I did not believe their advertising, but we were wrong because the scenery is truly breathtaking.
2. Bryggen, Bergen
Set amid a picturesque coastal landscape of seven fjords and seven mountains, Bergen is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The beautiful Unesco World Heritage-listed waterfront of Brygge, an archaic tangled of wooden buildings, is its centrepiece.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List, Nærøyfjord is one of Norway’s narrowest and prettiest fjords. It is merely 17km long, and only around 250m at its narrowest point. Besides the deep blue fjord, there are towering high cliffs and waterfalls plummeting from the height.
4. Flåm & Flåmsbana Railway
Flåm is a remote, charming village at the head of Aurlandsfjorden. It is connected to Gudvangen via ferry, or to Myrdal via the Flåmsbana Railway – the world’s steepest railway tracks that run without cable or rack wheels. For extra reading, you can take a look at Misagjone‘s article.
- The most photogenic part of the Oslo-Bergen Railway is between Lake Finse and Myrdal Station, where the train goes upward to the Plateau (or downward, it depends on which direction you came from).
- Making photo through the window is a bit tricky because of the reflection. But it is doable, just keep in mind two things: 1) Covering all the bright surface around you with a cloth or anything in dark colour, 2) Pressing the lens flatly on the glass.
- The scenery switches sides constantly, so if you want to have a good photo, you should be a bit active. Standing in the vestibule is also a good option (huge window, and easy to switch sides).
- The Premium Cruise is more expensive than the ordinary one (around 300 Nkr more) but you will have more time to explore Gudvangen and Flåm.
- Always bring a wind jacket because the trip from Finse to Myrdal and Gudvangen to Flåm is quite cold, even in summer.
- Turn up early at the Flambana Station so you can have a window seat on the Flambana Railway.
It is difficult to capture Norway’s beauty in just a few pictures, so we decided to make a video for this journey ourselves. Enjoy!