Norway in a Nutshell

July 17, 2023

A few years back when I first was considering a trip to Norway, I thought about doing a cruise. There are many fine cruises that visit multiple fjords. Some even go above the Arctic Circle, and some cruise around Iceland. I may even do one of those some day myself. But I knew that I wanted to spend more time in Bergen than the visits in port allow. I got Rick Steves's guidebook and read about something called "Norway in a Nutshell." It includes most of the rail trip from Oslo to Bergen with a side trip on the rail line down to Flåm and a boat ride on a fjord. So I knew I wanted to do that. Now you can book the whole thing as a package and get tickets for each mode of transportation. You can see the route on the index page for this trip. The scenery was spectacular, and the misty weather made it seem all the more atmospheric. I took very few pictures, concentrating my attention on enjoying the scenery instead. I'll post several here. Just imagine a day seeing mountains and lots of waterfalls. Throughout the trip, Lee made many more pictures that I did and posted a lot on Facebook each evening. Then I would often look at them and review my day. If you want to see a lot more of the trip, look for Lee Madinger on Facebook.

We left Oslo early in the morning, leaving our luggage at the hotel desk, having booked a transfer of it to our Bergen hotel so we didn’t have to keep up with it on the trip. (And the luggage was there when we arrived.) About noon we arrived at Finse, a village about 4,000 feet above sea level. I took the following shot from the train during the stop. Just west of there is the longest tunnel on that line, 6.4 miles long. The highest point on the route is within the tunnel. Before the tunnel was built, snow would block the route during winter.

We got off the train at Myrdal and had a fairly long wait to board the train to Flåm. That gave us time to eat some lunch. Torrey and Christopher had taken a later train from Oslo and arrived at Myrdal just in time to board the next train. Myrdal is in a mountain pass at 2,833 ft. and the station at Flåm is at 6 ft., so a considerable drop during the 12.6 mile trip. The maximum gradiant is 5.5%. Almost all the rest of the line has a gradiant to 2.8% or more. The train stops at the waterfall pictured next so we could get off the train, enjoy the view, and take pictures. Here’s mine:

Flåm itself is in a beautiful location with views of mountain waterfalls. It was where we caught a boat to cruise on the fjord, as pictured on the bottom of this page.

The next one may be my favorite picture from the day. It seems to capture better the atmospheric feel of the day. I'm planning on making a 13″ x 19″ print. I haven't decided whether to print it out with the subtle color or to change it to monochrome. The printer will likely tone done the greens anyway. The wake from our boat on the fjord draws too much attention. I'll tone down the highlights in the water and crop a bit off the bottom of the picture to give a more balanced composition.


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