A Travellerspoint blog

Norway

Norway.

Summer 2007.

Scenery on train journey Oslo to Bergen - Norway

Scenery on train journey Oslo to Bergen - Norway

Beautiful Norway.

We are very fond of all the Scandinavian countries despite the fact they are so expensive. We finally made it to Norway in the summer of 2007. It is an extremely beautiful country and we had a great time. We got there on a cheap Ryan Air Flight which supposedly went to Oslo, but actually landed in Sandefjord. We stayed for a few nights in Oslo in a reduced price, though still expensive, Comfort Hotel. The price was reduced due to ongoing renovations. We then travelled by train from Oslo to Bergen a wonderful journey with some of the loveliest scenery I've ever experienced. We spent a few days in Bergen before taking a boat to Stavanger. After a couple of nights in Stavanger, we took a train to Sandefjord and had a look at the town before heading back to the airport.

When I lived with a Finnish family in Espoo for a year, I set off to visit Stockholm. My employer told me I would enjoy Norway more because it had wonderful scenery. However, she told me not to go to Oslo claiming it was an ugly city with nothing to see. I remembered her words years later when I finally visited but they could not have been further from the truth. I really liked Oslo. We visited the harbour, the town hall, The Nobel Peace Centre, Askershus Fortress, Oslo Cathedral, the parliament, the national theatre and Ibsen statue, the royal palace, Vigeland Sculpture Park, the ski jump in Hollmenkollen, the Bygdøy Peninsula with its many museums and Gressholmen, one of the islands in the Oslo Fjord. I also wanted to see the Edvard Munch Museum but ran out of time.

In Bergen we explored the harbour area and picturesque old town. We went up the Fløibanen funicular for spectacular views, we saw the Edvard Greig statue and the Ole Bull statue. My favourite statue was of a down and out sitting in the gutter.

In Stavanger we stayed quite a way from the centre and had to walk through a park on the lakeside to get into town. When we reached the centre of town there was a vintage boat festival and food festival going on. As well as visiting these events, we also wandered around the old town. While staying in Stavanger, we did a cruise to the Lyse Fjord and saw the famous Pulpit Rock. In Sandefjord we were impressed by the whaling monument.

Akershus Fortress.

Oslo has a very pretty harbour and a good place to start your sightseeing is the lovely Akershus Fortress. The fortress is situated at the harbour not far from the town hall and looks out onto the Oslo Fjord. Akershus Fortress dates originally from the 1300s. It was built during the reign of King Håkon V. Later King Christian IV modernised it and used it as his residence. During the 17th and 18th centuries the fortress was neglected and began to fall apart. Restoration work began in 1899. Akershus Fortress is an interesting place to explore.

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress

Around The Harbour, Oslo.

Oslo Town Hall is located near the harbour. I had seen pictures of this building prior to visiting and thought it looked quite unattractive, but in situ it is much nicer than in the photos because of its pretty harbour setting and because of the many statues around it. The Town Hall was designed by Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson and dates from the 1950s. Near the Town Hall is the Nobel Peace Centre. This opened in 2005. Here you can learn about the Nobel Peace Prize Winners and about the history of Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Peace Centre occupies an old train station building which dates from 1872.

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Around The Harbour - Oslo

Karl Johansgate, Oslo.

This is the main historical and shopping street in Oslo. It starts from Oslo Central Train Station and passes Oslo Cathedral, the National Theatre, a park with lovely statues of children, the parliament, the old university and ends at the royal palace.

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

Karl Johansgate -Oslo

The Ski Jump, Oslo.

We took a train up to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. We decided to visit it simply because we could see it from all over Oslo. The train trip up was quite interesting. I liked the buildings we passed which had turf roofs. When we arrived we did not pay to go in, but just wandered around. From Oslo city centre, it takes around 20 to 30 minutes to get to Holmenkollen. To get there take the westbound underground marked Frognerseteren.

The Ski Jump - Oslo

The Ski Jump - Oslo

The Ski Jump - Oslo

The Ski Jump - Oslo

The Museum Peninsula, Oslo.

We took a boat from near the Askerhus Fortress to the Bygdøy Peninsula. This is where many of Oslo's museums are located including: the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum a skansen with old wooden buildings from all over Norway, The KonTiki Museum displaying the raft used by scientist and explorer, Thor Heyerdahl, the Holocaust museum, The Norwegian Maritime Museum, the Fram Museum displaying the ship used on expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, The Royal Manor at Bygdøy a fully operational organic farm and Oscarhall Art Gallery. This area also has two beaches. We did not visit the museums instead we went swimming and were very surprised that the sea was actually not too cold.

The Museum Peninsula - Oslo

The Museum Peninsula - Oslo

Islands In The Oslo Fjord.

We decided to take a boat trip to one of the islands in the Oslo Fjord. The boat left from near the Askerhus Fortress. There are several islands and each has its own characteristics. The islands include: Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Gressholmen, and Langøyene. Hovedøya is famous for its monastery ruins, Gressholmen for its rabbits, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Lindøya for their cosy cabins at the water’s edge, and Langøyene for its camp site and beach. We went to Gressholmen, not because we are obsessed with rabbits, but because the next boat was heading there when we arrived. It was lovely; we had a swim, walked round the island and, yes, saw lots of rabbits.

Islands In The Oslo Fjord

Islands In The Oslo Fjord

Islands In The Oslo Fjord

Islands In The Oslo Fjord

Islands In The Oslo Fjord

Islands In The Oslo Fjord

Vigeland Park, Oslo.

Our hotel was not far from Vigeland Park. This was one of our favourite places in Oslo and we visited twice. This park is also known as Frogn Park. The park displays 212 bronze and granite sculptures. These were all created by sculptor, Gustav Vigeland who also designed the gardens. One of the most famous sculptures is the Monolith. This is a column that is over 14 metres tall. It is carved from one single piece of stone and depicts 121 human figures. I loved the statues with huge amounts of expression on their faces like the little girl giving dirty, angry looks to her younger brother or the baby throwing a tantrum.

Vigeland Park - Oslo

Vigeland Park - Oslo

Vigeland Park - Oslo

Vigeland Park - Oslo

Vigeland Park - Oslo

Vigeland Park - Oslo

Vigeland Park.

Vigeland Park.

Vigeland Park.

Vigeland Park.

Vigeland Park.

Vigeland Park.

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen.

We travelled overland from Oslo to Bergen. The scenery was absolutely spectacular and the train was very comfortable. My photos through the windows of the train were not very good, but at one point we stopped and they announced we would be stationery for around 20 minutes so we could get off and take wonderful pictures.

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

The Train Journey From Oslo To Bergen

Bergen Old Town.

Bergen is a beautiful city. It is situated on a fjord. On one side of its harbour there is a beautiful, colourful old town with lovely old wooden buildings with pointed sloping roofs. This area is known as the Bryggen and it dates back around 900 years. This is a touristy area. Beyond it I discovered another old wooden area where all the houses are painted white with flowers around their doorways and not a tourist in sight. At the top end of the fjord there is a fish market. We bought fish and chips from here for a small fortune. They were tasty. Further afield we visited the Edvard Greig statue and the Ole Bull statue. I loved the statue of a down and out sitting in the gutter. How many cities commemorate their anonymous and unfortunate homeless population? It was unexpected and moving.

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Bergen - Old Town

Folk dancing in Bergen. - Norway

Folk dancing in Bergen. - Norway

Russian musicians in Bergen. - Norway

Russian musicians in Bergen. - Norway

Down and Out.

Down and Out.

The Funicular, Bergen.

While we were in Bergen we decided to take a trip up Mount Floyen usingthe Funicular Floybanen. The views from the top of the funicular out over the old town and harbour were spectacular. This is well worth doing.

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Funicular - Bergen

The Sail From Bergen To Stavanger.

We left Bergen by boat sailing out of the Bergen Fjord and along the coast past some lovely scenery to Stavanger. This was an extremely pleasant cruise and an interesting way to move around the country.

The Sail From Bergen To Stavanger.

The Sail From Bergen To Stavanger.

The Sail From Bergen To Stavanger.

The Sail From Bergen To Stavanger.

Stavanger.

Stavanger is quite a pleasant town. We lived quite a way from the centre and walked into the centre through a park on the edge of a lake. The park was filled with ducks and swans and sculptures. At the time of our visit there were many featureless people statues dispersed around town.

Stavanger

Stavanger

Stavanger

Stavanger

Stavanger Harbour.

We walked from our hotel into the centre of Stavanger twice. The first time when we reached the harbour, it was swarming with people. There were two festivals going on : one was a festival of vintage boats and the other was a food festival. The next day when we walked to the harbour, it was almost totally deserted and it felt like the crowds and activities must have been a figment of our imagination.

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger - Harbour

Stavanger Old Town.

Stavanger has a lovely old town filled with cobbled streets and pretty wooden houses, all of which are painted white and many of which have flowers clustering around the doorways. Excellent for a stroll. Stavanger old town is the largest surviving wooden house settlement in northern Europe. It is located along the west side of Stavanger Harbour. Some of the houses here are around 300 years old; others are less than 100 years old.

Stavanger Old Town

Stavanger Old Town

Stavanger Old Town

Stavanger Old Town

Stavanger Old Town

Stavanger Old Town

Cruise To The Lysefjord.

The Lysefjord is close to Stavanger. We wanted to sail down one of Norway's famous fjords so booked a cruise there. The Lysefjord is famous for the mountain formations of Kjerag and Preikestolen The Pulpit Rock. Kjeragbolten is a boulder in the Kjerag mountain. This massive boulder is suspended above a 984 meter deep drop. If you are brave, you might even stand on it. Not for the fainthearted. The Pulpit Rock is a world famous tourist attraction. It is a steep cliff jutting out 604 metres above the Lyse Fjord. The cliff has a flat top approximately 25 by 25 metres. You can stand on this rock and enjoy the view or if you are fearless, sit dangling your feet over the edge. We also saw a huge waterfall on this cruise and at one point our boat stopped so crew members could feed some tame goats who came hopefully down the mountainside.

Cruise To The Lysefjord

Cruise To The Lysefjord

Cruise To The Lysefjord

Cruise To The Lysefjord

Sandefjord.

We arrived and left Norway from an airport near Sandefjord. On our way back we took some time to wander around the town. We started by finding a great cafe for breakfast. Sandefjord is famous for its colourful Viking history and for the whaling industry. This highly unpopular industry made Sandefjord one of the richest cities in Norway. Although I am not in favour of whaling, I was impressed by the town's spectacular whaling monument. This monument was created by sculptor Knut Steen in the 1950s. It depicts whalers in an open boat. The one at the front is standing up and clutching a harpoon. Behind him several whalers are holding oars desperately trying to row their boat across stormy seas next to an enormous whale. This monument rotates slowly on its own axis. The monument with its spraying water and frozen activity gives an impression of how dangerous and terrifying whaling was.

Sandefjord

Sandefjord

Sandefjord

Sandefjord

Posted by irenevt 23:36 Archived in Norway Comments (2)

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