Two summers ago I was lucky enough to visit Bergen in Norway. I had a grand idea that I was going to travel around the world in stages. Mostly I intended to travel by train or bus. The first leg would be from York in the north of England to Helsinki, Finland. So far this is the only leg of the journey that I have made.
The trip started with a run to the railway station as the taxi booked for 6.00am didn’t arrive. A train from York to Aberdeen with an overnight stay in the city. Next morning we took the short flight over the North Sea with Wideroe airlines.
Then three days in Bergen with a lot to see, among other things painting on walls seems to be a thing. This was to be the second time I had visited. The first time had been forty years previously on a Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society trip. On that occasion we had travelled from Newcastle by Ferry and were heading north to spend a month on the Svartisen ice cap.
This time I took a short flight from Aberdeen. Sadly these days there is not one single ferry to Scandanavia from the UK. This time I had 3 days in Bergen before travelling by train to Oslo and then Stockholm. It is a lovely place and it is true what people say, it rains a lot!
My hotel was right next to the railway station and was fabulous. It was like something out of an Agatha Christie novel. There was trendy room lighting with art on the walls. The public rooms though were straight from Edwardian times.
Roald Amundsen stayed at hotel before he set off on a rescue mission in the arctic in 1928. The plane he was on disappeared and everyone on it was lost. I even managed get myself in a photo with the great man himself, a bit weird I know. There are great country walks to be had very close to the centre of Bergen and some great museum’s and galleries.
The Bryggen area near the harbour was interesting area to visit as long as it was early. Before the hoardes of visitors arrived from the cruise ships. Their main aim seemed to be to secure a toilet or buy a coffee using the GBP that seemed to be the only currency that they had brought with them to Norway!
I was sad to leave Bergen after three days but excited to visit Oslo a mere six hour train ride away. This time a completely new destination was waiting. The only thing I knew about the city up to this point was what I had read in Jo Nesbo novels so who knew what adventures awaited there!
The inspiration for this trip came from a movie I had watched. It was a Norwegian film comedy called ‘O’Horten’. The movie was about a driver on the Bergen to Oslo train who was approaching retirement. I enjoyed the movie but it got me thinking about making the same journey. The scenery looked amazing. I wasn’t disappointed.
The journey over the mountains in July was fab. Winter was still the the predominant season high up. At one point our train stopped on a single track section to let the train coming in the opposite direction to pass. A long haul up, a longer coast down. Six hours over, arrived in Oslo.