View Full Version : OT - Norway!

11-29-2006, 12:46 PM
Hello! There is a very good chance (my fingers are crossed) that I will be traveling to Iceland in August of 2007. Here's the funny thing - it is cheaper for me to fly to Oslo and have a "stopover" of seven days in Iceland on my way back than it is for me to fly direct to Iceland and back! (I will never understand the airline industry.:rolleyes: )

So - I am hoping that some of you could offer some advice... I will have about a week in Norway! I have never been to Scandanavia before, and have this extraordinary opportunity to go! I was planning on spending a couple of days in Oslo, then to move along. If you were me, would you go West toward Bergen, or North toward Trondheim?

If this helps, I will be traveling on my own (DH doesn't fly!)... and on a budget (no 4-star hotels for me)!

Thanks for any help you can offer! I'm terribly excited! :D

uk elephant
11-29-2006, 01:01 PM
Lucky you!!! I'd love to go to Iceland too. I hear it's fantastic. But of course not as wonderful as Norway (but I may be slightly biased, being Norwegian myself).

Where to go in Norway depends on what you like to do (besides riding your bike). Definitely have a look around Oslo and check out Vigelandsparken, a sculpture garden in the center of town. Great sculptures and a very nice park. And if you like history stuff, check out the Vikinship musuem. It's just a short boat ride from the town centre.

As for other places to go....I'm from Trondheim, so I would opt for going home. It's a very nice little town (although big by Norwegian standards) with a beautiful Cathedral in the town centre. And if you head that way, send a PM to Duck on Wheels and I'm sure she will put you up for a few nights (I would if I was there and she's my mom...).

Along the train route from Oslo to Trondheim, another place I would recommend stopping (although that would require a few PMs/phonecalls to make sure it's ok) is a farm in a village called Kvam. The farm belongs to some friends my family, great people (although a bit on the strange side in a nice way) and a fantastic farm. And they have a sauna higher up at their summer farm. Great place to spend the day relaxing! I have taken a number of friends to visit this farm and they have all loved it.

If I was taking you on a tour of Norway and you only had a week, that's what I would do. There are a few other Norwegians on the board (including my mom) so I'm sure you'll get more recommendations too.

11-30-2006, 09:34 AM
Wow! That's great, UK. I would love to visit the farm, if it is possible without imposing (same with your mom - I love to meet people, but don't want to be disruptive!). What type of farm is it?

I looked (online) at Trondheim - the open air museum looks very interesting to me. Is there nice scenery/hiking/etc. around your hometown?

I would love to hear opinions from other TE members! I have come to appreciate (and crave) your advice. Thanks!

uk elephant
11-30-2006, 02:48 PM
There is nice scenery for hiking everywhere in Norway, and around Trondheim my dad would be an excellent guide. I grew up going hiking most week-ends.

The farm is a sheep-farm and in August all the sheep would be off on summer holidays in the mountains so the only animals at the farm would be the sheep dogs who are very cute. The neighbouring farms have dairy cows and a few horses I think, or at least they used to. And the summer farm with the sauna is a spectacular place up in the mountains. The family is used to strange people from all over the world turning up because friends of friends have recommended the place. I'm sure we could arrange a visit.

Now I'm wishing I could come too. Hmmm....wonder if I could get a few days holiday around then too....

11-30-2006, 06:39 PM
uk elephant "The family is used to strange people from all over the world turning up because friends of friends have recommended the place. I'm sure we could arrange a visit."

Hey, I resemble that remark!! I've been there :o

Trondheim is wonderful and very scenic, of course there's a fjord, and UK and others can tell you about the hike to ....uhm, UK, what's the cabin you hike to for hot chocolate and pastry? I did that in the winter, then you slide down the trail one garbage bag sleds. Watch out for the Americans who've never been in snow beforeeeeeeee SPLAT

There's a folk museum...much to see and of course....you'd have to go to H*ll and back. If you fly to Trondheim you'd be descending into H*ll (the little town where the airport is.

I don't know if you could have time to do all three but there is a mail verry service from Bergen to Trondheim that takes a leisurely trip up the Norwegian coast in and out of all the fjords.

*family joke

11-30-2006, 11:40 PM
I'm an Oslo girl myself, but being interested in rock climbing and hiking in the mountains some of my favourite spots in South Norway are:

* Nissedal in Telemark county (a tiny, sleepy place in the middle of nowhere, but with some of the most spectacular granite walls in Northern Europe),

* the Jotunheimen mountain range (excellent for short or long hikes, unique self-service hut system, many peaks that can be reached in a 1-day hike: favourite tent spot - Riingsdalen valley in West-Jotunheimen)

* the train journey from Oslo to Bergen passes over some beautiful mountain scenery, and there's a well-known bike trip that takes 1 or 2 days alongside part of it (Rallarvegen, the road that the railway builders used)

* Bergen itself is considered a very picturesque town, but rainy as all get out.

* and I guess the fjords are a must for tourists, but coming from Norway it's a bit hard to see how impressive they are :p

12-01-2006, 04:27 AM
Oh dear... I'm wishing I had more than a week for this! It looks like I could be busy for years. :D

I think that I am leaning toward going North. I like museums, being outside, and just walking around to check out cities and towns... but I'm not too excited by crowds of tourists. Bergen is the big recommendation in most guidebooks here - that may actually be a reason NOT to go there!

lph - As the expert on Oslo, maybe I could ask you for food ideas and a day trip or two from the City? If you don't mind, I'll check with you when I am a little closer to this adventure.

Trek - I guess that's the best of all - Oslo to Bergen, ferry Bergen to Trondheim, then back down to Oslo. I just wish I had time! I'm not sure I could do all of that in a week. You mentioned a flight - do you know how long the flight takes compared to the train? Maybe I could fly one way and take the train back...

UK - I bet I could be one of those "strange people!" I appreciate you offering your family and friends as guides/hosts... but how do they feel about that? ;) A sheep farm sounds like fun - I spin and weave; maybe they would have some fiber they could sell me. That's my idea of a good souvenir!

Thanks for all the information! Please, keep writing!

12-01-2006, 05:26 AM
oooh, ooh, oooh...you weave? You have to go here


and go where you want to the cities you want, no part of Norway will feel crowded to you...well maybe parts of Oslo will but if you want to go to Bergen go.

The great outdoors is only a walk or short train away from any point and the people? Wonderful. But then my sister, BIL, neice and nephew are Norwegian so I'm prejuidiced.

12-01-2006, 06:30 AM
Trek - that website looks amazing! Um... I think I'm learning Norwegian:rolleyes: ... am I guessing right on these?
Pledd is blanket... skjerf is scarf... puter is pillow... That's about all I can guess at - but the pictures are great!

"and go where you want to the cities you want, no part of Norway will feel crowded to you...well maybe parts of Oslo will but if you want to go to Bergen go."
Ah - I'm trying to narrow it down, not expand it to cover the entire kingdom!!!:D

uk elephant
12-01-2006, 08:22 AM
If all you have is a week, I suggest picking just a few places. The whole country is fantastic (in my very biased opinion) and anywhere you pick will have oportunities for wandering around un-crowded towns and hiking in beautiful scenery.

The flight from Oslo to Trondheim takes 50 minutes, but remember you also have to add in the trip to and from the airports (both airports are quite a ways outside town) and getting to the airport an hour early for check-in. And flights in Norway can be very expensive. The train from Oslo city centre to Trondheim city centre takes 6-7 hours (depending on the train you take) and takes you through great scenery over the mountains.

If you spin and weave, the sheep farm would be a great place for you to stop. They now specialize in merino wool and do sell their own yarn, all in natural shades from white to black. The wife of the old farmer (she sadly passed away a few years ago) was a keep weaver as well and several of her works are hanging up around their house.

Read up on things and look at pictures on the internet and when the time nears, let me know what you decide and I'll be happy to help sort out the details.

12-01-2006, 10:42 AM
lph - As the expert on Oslo, maybe I could ask you for food ideas and a day trip or two from the City? If you don't mind, I'll check with you when I am a little closer to this adventure.

Of course, no problem! We may be away all of July and August, but until July I should be available here.

I forgot to mention - parts of North Norway are truly spectacular. But expensive to travel to, Norway is a long thin country! The Lofoten Islands are amazingly beautiful in good weather, basically just a mountain chain set down in the middle of the ocean, with white, sandy (and freezing) beaches at their feet...

Duck on Wheels
12-02-2006, 01:52 PM
When will you be making this trip? We'll be away the first three weeks of June (watching UK Elephant and Trek420 do the California AIDS ride :D ), but then home again the rest of the summer. We have two guest bedrooms and you'd be welcome to borrow one. Also, what size bike do you use? Maybe one of ours would fit, or maybe we could rent or borrow another for you, and we could do that ride to H*ll and back together :p

If you take the train (often cheaper than flying, but there are also low summer fares) from Oslo to Trondheim, and take the slowest version up Gudbrandsdalen, Kvam is one of the stops on the way. And yes, if you're a spinner and weaver I can guarantee you'd be a welcome guest at Utistugu Leine farm there! BTW UK, doesn't Anders have a web site about their wool? [google google google] ... yep. Found it. http://www.leinemerino.no/

Norway can be very expensive to visit if you're eating in restaurants and staying in hotels (although many do offer special low summer rates), but by visiting friends you can keep the costs reasonable. We'd be happy to help out in that regard. And there are fun things to do and places to see that are free or low-cost. E.g. Vigeland Sculpture Park (free), University lecture hall with Munch mural (free when open), murals in the City Hall (also free when open), the little shuttle boat from Oslo City Hall over to Bygd÷y (costs about the same as a bus ticket), the museums at Bygd÷y (folk museum, viking ships, Kon Tiki and Fram -- museums in general are not expensive and I think there are multi-museum tickets that are extra reasonable and those three make a nice little day trip including some walking around a ritzy gardeny neighborhood). Buying handmade sweaters is also very expensive, but yarn is not. ;)

In Trondheim I'd recommend the outdoor museum, the Ringve music museum, the Cathedral, a walk through the new library (including archeological site), excursion to petroglyph sites in H*ll, hike through the woods to any of a number of cabins for hot chocolate and pastries (with berry picking along the way depending on what's ripe)

Well, 'nuff for now. I've got to get to bed here in my Berlin hotel room. Gotta get up early tomorrow and fly home. All this tourist info is making me homesick. :rolleyes:

12-04-2006, 07:51 AM
You ladies are amazing! My trip won't be until August - can you tell I like to plan ahead? :rolleyes: Thank you so much, everyone, for offering to help me! :D :D :D

Duck - I would love the opportunity to meet you and to stay with you! It's so much more fun than being in a hotel room (it sounds like you know this yourself, judging from your post!). That farm looks beautiful - thanks for posting their website... I can understand bits of the language by reading it, but I bet I would be completely confused if I heard it! Is it true that many people speak english as well?

I should know in the next month or so if I can pull it together and make this trip happen. I'll be in touch as soon as I know the dates!


Duck on Wheels
12-05-2006, 02:06 AM
Yep. Pretty much all Norwegians speak some English, at least those who were in school in the 1960's or later. And the younger they are, the more English they've had in school. Then came multi-channel tv and radio and multiplex cinemas so now they're pretty much saturated with it. No problem getting directions, info, whatever. :)

If you're here in August, maybe I could drive down to Leine and pick you up there. Depends on whether you're here before the semester starts (around Aug. 15). Just PM me when you've got your plans worked out and we'll take it from there.