Friday, July 4, 2014


Readers:  another post in our activity.  To read the adventure in the order of the events click HERE for the Day by Day Trip Report. To see all the photos go HERE


You Should Say........Yes

Another hotel with a towel each, shampoo in a giant bottle, no floor mat AND to top it off, the ice bucket was folded cardboard........OMG! Bergen Admiral Hotel. A lovely room and a great location but PLEASE!

Bergen is the sister city of Seattle as I was reminded by our Washington Consular Association leader, HConsul Kim Nesselquist (Norway). Bergen itself is a jewel of Norway, and makes a wonderful base for exploring the nearby Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord. Bergen’s famous Hanseatic wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is great for walks along the picturesque city harbour before taking lunch at the Bergen Fish Market. This is really a lovely lovely town. Each street produces more and more precious views of such great homes.

This year Bergen will host the Tall Ships Race in late July, an event that is expected to draw nearly half a million visitors, along with ships and crews from over 30 countries.

We were up and attem' by noon today...Becky for a great haircut! When Nina the stylist asked whether she wanted bangs, Becky asked, "What should I say?"  Nina: You should say....Yes!  She changed her mind as you can see below.

We had our almost daily hot dog. The best yet! 
And found out how to make perfect hot dogs!!!

hot dog shop -- at least 9 varieties, including chorizo; we chose bratwurst

 Just under $200.00

We found the self-annointed "Best Norwegian Fast Food" shop -- Sostrerie Hagelin.  There we bot a 9 nok fish cake, about $1.50 US.  It looked like a dollar-size pancake, maybe a bit bigger.  it was gelatinous and chewy and very hot.  And white!  We shared it and continued our stroll.

We wandered through the Fish market planning our purchases for tomorrow (the ship), purchased a smoked salmon roll for tonight's dinner! Yummy!

crab shells stuffed with crab salad

AND we even had the chance to see a marching band parade by.....

these are the soldiers that followed the band

Tomorrow we do our Ferry shopping, our repacking, and board in late afternoon. Don't forget we will not have easy access to wifi so we will post when we can! Hope you had a great celebration and the fireworks were terrific!

This photo does true justice to the beauty of the Northwest....great holiday...great weather....paradise...we could be homesick but the gray skies and light rain we are having in Bergen is so normal....

Mt Rainier from KOMO news.

FACTOID: Bananas were first introduced to Norway in 1905.


Readers:  another post in our activity.  To read the adventure in the order of the events click HERE for the Day by Day Trip Report. To see all the photos go HERE

"This is Norway"

We hear this from hotel clerks, gift shop clerks, Norwegians we meet:  "This is Norway."  Translation:  It's expensive here.  We've paid too much for hot dogs and too much for a diet coke and too much for a bottle of water.  But "this is Norway."

Dinner on 7/2 was 'en suite.'  Room service was not an option due to expense and we'd walked ourselves silly on the city tour, so we spread out the goodies we had carried from home. We added some items left over from the lunch we'd made from the breakfast buffet and had ourselves a nice little picnic.  

Trains and Boats and Busses and Trains and Automobiles

Consistently hailed as one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys, Norway’s Bergensbanen (Bergen Railway) certainly doesn’t disappoint. Over the roughly seven hour trip, we have experienced some of Norway’s most majestic landscapes. From the awe-inspiring fjords to the mountainous terrain blanketed in snow, the train journey from Oslo to Bergen is one that everyone should experience in their lifetime. Do you see that we said SEVEN HOURS well....after almost 12 HOURS we stumbled into Bergen.

"Norway in a Nutshell" is full of nuts, and trains and boats and busses and more trains!!!

At 8:00am this morning, we hit Oslo Sentral Station to follow the trail across Norway to the mighty fjords.......through long dark tunnels and bridges and past loads of places that we were sure the trolls lived.

Thanks to Consul Wendleborg we knew which track and coach to pop on. We were well prepared. AND please take note...this is the very first time Beth has EVER EVER EVER put a back pack on her back! She whined and complained all the while!

We were on our way in a flash, loaded with wifi, great lunch prepared by us from the hotel. Ready for the great adventure.

The scenery was spectacular and became more and more outstanding as we headed into the fjords. At Myrdal, we changed trains and headed to Flam. Up, up, up, up, up we went with the topography changing becoming more and more barren and beautiful as the snow covered mountains got closer. 

It became colder and colder. The fjord water became floating ice. The cloud cover went from fluffy to gray and leaden and heavy.  From 20 degrees Celsius it dropped to 8 degrees C. Everyone was digging out their jackets, gloves and hats. 
By the time we climbed up to Flam, it was sleeting, bleak, gray and dreary and stunningly beautiful.

Once in Flam, we hopped another train and headed down the mountains, passing beautiful waterfalls, deep fiords, small villages and breathtaking scenery.  We saw many hikers, and found these bikes obviously used on sunny days as the weather warms.

                      We were happy to be safe and sound and warm on board the train.

Fortunately Becky found a porter service that was able to take our bags from Olso to Bergen so we did not have to lug the suitcases as well as a back pak. We were sure we would have a total collapse. Much better to sit back and enjoy the ride...

The steep decent from Flan allowed us to view amazing scenery with waterfalls and rivers  exploding with the winter snow melt.

Once down into the fjords, we boarded a small car ferry and had a two hour ride down a UNESCO fjord. Breathtaking in its beauty.

When the ferry docked us after the wonderful viewing, we boarded a bus to Voss. We drove down winding little roads to the bottom of the valley and back up again. Again, more and more beautiful views.

Once in Voss we boarded another train heading two hours toward Bergen. As you can imagine, we were totally exhausted by this time and took naps as we left the fjords and headed toward the city. A taxi to the hotel....showers, en suite eating and hopping into bed. TIRED TIRED TIRED and overwhelmed by the beauty we enjoyed all day!

Ski jumps! If you recall we visited the famous Olso ski jump on the city view. On the trains today we saw many ski jumps in the forests as we went by. It could be that Norwegians were not only born on ski's but were meant to fly. this short story below is from my friend Gene (a Swede, but trustworthy). 

story re Norway: two ski jumpers stole a small fishing boat during the Nazi occupation and rowed across the North Sea to Great Briton. From there they were transported to the US where they ended up in St. Paul, Minn. to make a public appearance at the annual Winter Carnival ski jump. My dad, a carnival official was assigned to see to their care while in town. They both made several jumps, two each in competition..They were true hero's of the war and traveled through much of the US promoting War Bond sales.

Tomorrow, Fourth of July!!!!! Have the best of celebrations of our country's expression of Freedom and Independence. We brought our shirts and celebratory accoutrements which we will wear proudly.