My Norway Trip in 30 Photos
…might not sound like a typical summer vacation destination, but with if you are someone who loves nature and want to do a bit of detox from the city life, Norway is a great choice.
On 11 August 2014 Monday morning, I landed in Oslo from Stockholm via Norwegian airlines. Not sure if it’s a common thing but flying within Scandinavian capitals is way more economical and time saving than taking the train. Beware: the Oslo airport express train is incredibly pricey – a one way 20 minute trip at 170 Norwegian Krone. That’s around SGD$33, can you imagine what a cab ride will be like? But it’s Oslo, famous for being expensive thanks to their strong currency.
In Oslo, the hotel that every tourist will want to stay in is The Thief. Probably one of the most well-designed and stylish hotels in Scandinavia. However, it was fully booked so I retreated to Rica G20 (first photo), with a rare floor to ceiling hotel room window, showing quite a breath taking view of the streets. They also offer a pretty decent breakfast buffet.
My favourite thing about Oslo, the public transport, one of the most convenient ticketing system I have ever experienced. All you need to do is download an app called Ruter (see website here), then plan your route and buy your ticket. No physical cards needed. In the rare case when someone comes to check on your mobile ticket, just flash it from your phone.
Three places I strongly recommend a visit even if the weather is bad (Norway is pretty much like the UK with its rainfalls), the Oslo Opera House, the Sculpture Park and the Mathallen Food Hall. The Opera House is a good example of how a great piece of architecture will never have a bad angle, you can see it from anywhere and it just looks majestic. Try climbing to the top of the opera house, you will love the view.
The one single trip that’s important to take within Norway, is the Bergen railway which brings you across the country from Oslo to Bergen (the second largest city) via a high speed train. The journey takes around 6 hours but trust me, you will wish it’s longer than that. The train ride takes you across some of the most stunning moutains and lakes in Norway, and you will even climb to as high as 1,000 metres above sea level, watching the glaciers up close. One tip: sit on the left side of the train for better scenery.
I was aware of the beauty of Fjords before embarking on my day trip across Norway, but well let’s just say that no photos will ever do it justice.
Bergen is the gateway to Norway’s famous Fjords. The city is also known for The Bergen Wave, a term used by the Norwegian press for the emergence of successful bands from Bergen in the late 1990s and the early 2000s such as Röyksopp and Kings of Convenience.
Besides taking a boat ride to see the Fjords, one of the must-visit landmarks is the top of Mount Fløyen, which offers a breath taking view of the city of Bergen. Although you can take a round trip up and down the mountain via a tram, it is also a good experience to hike down the mountain which will bring you through the real Norwegian woods. Don’t worry it’s not dangerous, there’s a real route with road signs and a lot of joggers. You will also get to pass by the actual Bergen residents’ houses on top of the mountains.