Recently I returned from a unique holiday experience in beautiful Scandinavia. The highly recommended ‘Norway in a nutshell’ package was one of the major highlights of our three-country 14-day tour and hence I thought I would share this beautiful experience. Who knows, this might help you choose the right destination for your next holiday ;).
I traveled with my close family during this trip and we usually prefer customizing and planning our own travel itinerary for our holidays. However, this does entail hours and hours of background research and discussions to plan our travel route and making the necessary bookings for stay and transport. A note of warning though, as all this pre-planning could not be everyone’s cup of tea. While it could be highly engaging for a proficient and methodical person, others might deeply dislike organizing things such as the logistics of a trip. A pre-packaged itinerary offered by a tour company might be more comforting for such easy-going individuals.
While we planned the routes, we made an executive decision as a group to purchase entrance and domestic travel tickets once we arrive at the respective country. On the other hand, this may open you up to moments of panic, as one is more vulnerable to situational hurdles.
Luck favors the brave
This is exactly what we faced when we tried to book tickets for Norway in a Nutshell, the day we landed in Oslo, the capital of Norway. Upon enquiry, one lovely lady at the counter of the tourist information informed us that there were no seats available on the train for the first leg of our journey. Disappointment and shock seeped into our faces as soon as we heard this news. More confusion as we realized that we had made back to back reservations at hotels in places following Oslo.
However, our eagerness towards taking the Nutshell tour meant that we were not willing to give up too easily. We therefore went back to the same staff at the center and insisted she kindly recheck her system for any possibility. Voila, luck was on our side! Tickets were available and we jumped on the bandwagon without another thought.
Fairytale Train Ride
The journey begins with a train ride from Oslo to a small mountain town called Mydral. The rail’s scenic route is sure to captivate you with beautiful seasonal landscapes. My personal favorite was watching the gradual transition of coniferous green trees to a snow filed winter wonderland, out the train window as we climbed uphill to arrive at the snow filed train tracks of Mydral.
This journey by Fjords tour is planned with such precision that passengers only had to disembark a walk a few meters to the adjacent platform for the next leg of the journey on the Flam railway. The package works is flawlessly with the country’s public transport and offering sightseeing in the most efficient manner that makes it so effortlessly sustainable.
The Flam rail is a unique mountain railway experience through age old tunnels of Flamsdalen.
This is the third most visited tourist attraction in Norway and rightly so with regular announcements of notable waterways and halts for photo opportunities of stunning frozen waterfalls.
Upon arrival to the valley of Flam, visitors are provided with opportunity to stay back to experience the laid-back village life or hike the alpines surrounding the village.
On the contrary, others can choose to complete their journey to the end destination by hopping on the cruise. We chose to do the former.
The valley of Flam
Places to see in Flam:
- Flam Museum
- Mall of Norway
- Nature Walk – Sculptures
- Walk through the town
- Hike (for the adventurous)
- Flam Brewery
- Our stay was booked in Brekke Apartments FlamBrekke Apartments Flam
Last leg to Bergen via the Fjords
After a relaxing day at Flam, we embarked the majestic cruise ship with multinational visitors, all keen to get a glance of the infamous Fjords. The Fjords, I learnt are actually pronounced ‘Fiords’, geographically meaning a narrow inlet of water between steep cliffs created by glacial erosion.
A few minutes into the cruise, we were in the open ocean and the views were breathtaking. Fjords ahead, still water and streaming falls on the side of the mountains, the 360 degree sights of nature were so splendid, we braved the ice biting ocean winds and below zero temperatures to be on the deck. The views from that cruise would be etched on my mind forever.
Option to warm up in the heated indoor cabin was a blissful escape from the cold, with the on-board café offering steaming cup of coffees with mind blowing views.
All the stops were at lovely little mountain side towns and the cruise stop was no different. From the stop at Gudavagen, a comfortable coach awaited us to take us smoothly through the windy mountain roads.
Accompanied by gushing rivers and waterways, we made our journey to Voss and ended the journey on a train. You can catch quick glimpses of towns and boat docks by the glistening sea before entering several long-winded tunnels as you head to the final stop of the tour at Bergen.
I am sure you would agree that every penny spent on the trip is worth it, for these picturesque views.
The cities of Bergen and Tromso hold their own authenticity and are tales saved for another blog post.
Signing off on a holiday high xx
Information on Norway in a Nutshell
Questions and comments most welcome 🙂