Richard F. Powell
trip to Norway started with a nonstop flight from Denver to Oslo. After
baggage claim and checking through customs, we were off to our hotel
near the center of the city.
a beautiful, clean and vibrant city. It is the capital of Norway and
it is the country's largest city - with population of over 500,000 people.
Situated at the end of the picturesque Oslo Fjord, the city has a beautiful
harbor lined with shops, cafes and restaurants.
two days in Oslo enjoying the sights and the food - especially the seafood.
We admired the vitality of the people.
traveled by train to Bergen in West Norway. The scenic train trip started
in the low, lush rolling hills west of Oslo and gradually ascended to
the wind- blown mountain tops, then finally descended through narrow
canyons to Bergen, which is the gateway to some of the most picturesque
fjords in Norway. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a
population of 225,000 people. It looks over the sea to the West and
is beautifully situated around the Vagen harbor, which is the heart
and soul of the city. It was once the center of the Hanseatic League,
whose merchant buildings and warehouses still line the waterfront. These
buildings have been kept as they were, but converted into boutiques,
cafes, bars and restaurants.
at a bed and breakfast located near the university and found the rates
both in hotels/motels and B&B'S fairly steep, especially in the
larger cities. We had a few days before our boat departure, so we rented
a car to explore the surrounding areas and the fjords we had read about.
The weather was chilly on this tour. Heavy overcast skies often gave
way to drizzle and occasional heavy cold rain. Nevertheless, we did
see some beautiful fjords and country which are enjoyable even when
the weather is bad.
we were off by mail boat to travel the West coast through the many fjords.
The mail boats stop in most of the ports along the way to drop off and
pick up cargo and passengers. These are small ships which carry about
100 passengers. They are much more informal and personal than the tourist
ships that carry a thousand or more passengers.
in many ports along the
way, sometimes for several hours. The major stops were Alesund,
Trondheim, Bodo, Svolvaer on the Lofoten Islands, Tromso, and Kirkenes,
which is about 20 miles from the Russian border. We found this to be
a good way to see much of Norway, especially if your time is limited,
but this represented only half of our trip.
we flew back to Oslo, rented a car and were off on a driving tour of
Norway. From Oslo we traveled south along the East coast through Larvik,
beautiful Kristiansand, through the artist community of Egersund, and
Stavanger, the north sea oil center.
north bypassing Bergen and traveling inland through glacier parks, most
notable the Jostedalsbreen glacier.
continued to Trondheim which we wanted to see again, then up the West
coast through Bodo and finally to our most northern point, Tromso. This
area is above the Artic Circle, the so called land of the midnight sun,
and it is also where the sun never rises in December.
we traveled south to the Lofoten Islands, which are an incredible treasure
to an artist.
These are a group of islands stretching south from the mainland and
joined together by bridges. A magical combination of steep, wild mountains
plunging straight into the sea, idyllic villages and panoramas made
this my favorite location in Norway, a place I would love to return
southern tip of the Lofotens we ferried across to Bodo, traveled inland
to Lillehammer, the home of the 1994 Winter Olympics, and finally back
is a fantastic country not much larger than the state of California
and it offers tremendous visual variety and very friendly, helpful people.