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Sixteen days in Norway July 2012

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Norway was chosen as a new destination for Bebe & Howie this year. We arrived in Oslo on Wednesday, July 11th, left our bags at the Thon Astoria and bussed to the 80 acre Frogner Park which was created in “Versailles style” to display 212 bronze and granite sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. The park includes a fountain with sculptures on all sides and a monolith with 121 human figures. The park photos occupy 7 album pages.

The following day we took a ferry across the harbor to the Bygdoy peninsula where the Museum of Cultural History is located (sort of a Sturbridge Village collection of early structures) including these  from a 1797 village. Next stop was the Viking Museum which included a salvaged Viking ship.  Last stop was at the Kon-Tiki museum.

On Friday morning we took a train from Oslo past lakes and snowfields to Myrdal where we connected with the amazing Flambahn train that winds its way down the mountainside to Flam on the Sognefjord. Dinner and a night at the Fretheim Hotel readied us for a ferry to Gudvangen the next morning.

The ferry ride gave us our first taste of narrow fjords,   waterfalls and farms clinging to the hillsides.  At Gudvangen we boarded a bus, then a train to Bergen (202) where we spent two nights at the Augustin Hotel and explored the fish market and the Hanseatic Wharf.

On Monday morning we picked up our Toyota Yaris rental and drove west toward our destination in Lofthus stopping first to visit a hydroelectric power station.  We spent the night at the Hotel Ullensvang  where an early dinner was followed by coffee and dessert in the lounge.

On Tuesday we drove north taking a ferry to Kinsarvik then stopping along the way at the Tvindefossen.  We climbed up switchbacks past snowfields and frozen lakes to reach Vik.  Located nearby is a stave church.

Following the narrow road around the edge of the Sognefjord brought us to Balestrand  where we spent two nights. Wednesday we boarded a ship for a day trip  to the Glacier Museum at Fjaerland. Instead of bussing and hiking to the glacier we watched a trek across the glacier on film at the museum.

Thursday’s drive took us near a glacier  on the way to Lom. After an overnight at the Fossheim we began the trek to Geiringer on route 63, the Trollstigen.  As we descended Geiranger came into view.

On Saturday we took a round trip on a ferry  to Hellesylt passing by the Seven Sisters  and the Suitor.  We passed the cruise ship Ariana  on the return to Geiranger. Our hotel, the Grande Fjord,  is visible here.

On Sunday morning after breakfast buffet  we continued our drive on the Trollstigen climbing out of Geiranger to the north. A viewing platform along the Trollstigen provided a spectacular view of the Stigfossen waterfall  and the road as it descends toward Andalsnes. From Andalsnes we drove west to Alesund and the Scandic Alesund hotel.

Monday after dropping our rental car was spent touring  Alesund which can be seen here from a hilltop.  At 6:45 PM we boarded the Hurtigruten boat  for an overnight trip to Trondheim arriving early at the Hotel Bakereit.  Along the river Nidelva are these converted wharfs.  The Nidaros Cathedral  is a principal attraction. The west facade is an impressive wall of sculpture-filled niches. ) Part of each day was spent in the town center. 

Our accomodations at the Bakereit made our two and a half days in Trondheim extra special as breakfast, an afternoon snack and a simple dinner were included.  Our 5th floor room looked like this.

On Thursday afternoon, July 26 we flew from Trondheim to Reykjavik then Boston, bussed to Concord, NH arrived home by car about 1 AM after a VERY LONG DAY.