Scandinavia: On to Norway

It’s 2020 now… and this vacation happened in 2018. But since we’re currently in the midst of a pandemic and stay home order, this seems like a perfect time to finally sit down and find the joy of writing again and relive some of the adventures I’ve had between then and now.

On to Norway!

(Continuing on with our Scandinavian adventure – me, C, my mom, dad, and younger sister.) We flew from Iceland to Bergen. Initially we thought to do a tour of the coast (which I still hope to do some day) but instead decided to stay longer in a couple of areas – Bergen and Oslo and do day trips from there… which you will find had some misadventures along the way.

Our first lazy half-day in Bergen was filled with rain. But the following day, the clouds started to lift and wanting to explore a little more of the coast, C and I hoped on a boat out to the island of Fedje. We didn’t have much planned for the day, so we spent out time walking the roads of the island enjoying the sunshine, scenery, and looking at houses (one of our favorite hobbies). I love seeing how other people live, how they build their houses, what flowers they plant, and how they spend their free time.

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Iconic view of Bergen leaving the harbor.

As we walked the roads, I could tell not only do people really enjoy their summers and time away from the hectic mainland, but why the Scandinavians who immigrated to Minnesota love the lakes and water so much!

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On the island of Fedje off the coast of Norway.

Imagine having this as your boat dock out to sea.

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Fedje inlet.

After grabbing some food at the local restaurant and BnB, we caught our boat back off the island and headed back to the mainland.

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Leaving Fedje.

The following day we were supposed to take a self-guided tour to Flam and the Naeroyfjord (tickets purchased in advance, but you have to make all the stops/times yourself). We woke up bright and early and walked to the train station to catch the first train of the morning to our first location. We had barely made two stops when it came over the loud speaker that due to rain, the tracks ahead were closed and we would need to catch a bus between the next two stations.

As 300 people piled out of the train, we rushed to get in line for the buses. Two buses filled with people and luggage (some passengers opting for the overnight tour option) and then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. It would take the buses nearly an hour to get back to us and then another 45 minutes to the stop drop off. It became clear very quickly that there was no way we were making this once in a lifetime tour.

Now on the outskirts of Bergen, we had to make the decision of trying to get a taxi and rushing to catch the boat 1.5 hours away or catch the train back into Bergen that was due to arrive in 5 minutes. With extreme reluctance we hopped the train back into Bergen to try and salvage what we had left of the day.

As luck would have it, there were a few tickets left on a tour of the Osterfjord, just a three hour round trip from Bergen. We were able to do at least one fjord tour while in Norway!

From Bergen, we made our way to Oslo by train.

While in Oslo, we spent the days walking through town seeing the sculptures in Frogner Park, royal grounds, Viking ship museums, and rented a car one day to drive out to the see the old Jorud homestead.

Frogner Park is home to sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.

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As we drove into the countryside, we stopped by a church in Ostfold, Norway that was said to be the final resting place of a few long lost relatives. Although family members had photographed the graves on previous trips, it appeared that the older graves had been replaced by more recent graves from the community. Unfortunately, the last Jorud who owned the old family farm sold it only two years previously, so we didn’t stop to chat with any relatives when we drove out to see it.

From Olso, we were off to Stockholm, Sweden and in for hot few days…

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