After we visited Mom, we headed off to Scandinavia to visit some friends and see a few new cities. Miraculously, the flight from DC to Munich to Copenhagen to Bergen went flawlessly and our luggage even showed up at the end in Bergen, Norway, second largest city in the country. Bergen is a nice city right on the water and on every Scandinavian Cruise itinerary, we think.
We made Bergen the starting point for an all-day excursion “Norway in a Nutshell” – gorgeous scenery on a rail, bus, boat, and the steepest railway in the world trip. Yes, Dave, we rode the Flam Railroad and found a Norwegian brewery along the way.
The next few pictures are taken when we rode a boat for 2 hours on the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord between Gudvangen and Flamm. No pictures can do the scenery justice. Spectacular doesn’t come close to doing it justice.
After 4 days in Bergen, we headed via train to Tonsberg, Norway (Oldest city in Norway) for a weekend with Per and Lise. We met them on the Pacific cruise earlier in the year and they were kind enough to show us Tonsberg , feed us EXTREMELY well, and take us on a daylong boat ride along the Norwegian coast. Yes, the sun was out for the entire weekend. If you’ve heard rumors about Norway being expensive, you heard right! Just bring your CC and vow not to drink much (or any) beer or wine.
Per and Lise swear they’ll come to FC next Fall so we’re taking suggestions for uniquely Colorado things to do – Bruce’s Bar???
Stockholm was our next destination, this time via plane. Another 4 days of sunshine and a visit to the Vasa Museum was the highlight of the week. We enjoyed finding out about life in the 1600’s aboard a boat but the story of how the ship was raised and preserved was even more fascinating. Stockholm looked affordable after Norway. We stayed in an AirBnb and bought food at the little Thai food cart down the street. It was yummy and only cost about $8.50 per meal.
When we visited the Seychelles last November, we met Noora and Juhis from Helsinki, Finland, on a trek from hell across an island. They invited us to come for the weekend in Helsinki. As one friend said, “Never invite Susan and Mark unless you mean it because they WILL show up!” We did show up and had a marvelous weekend with them and Lilly, the poodle.
Observations about Scandinavia …
- Norway is expensive!
- Norway, Sweden and Finland have a monopoly of wine, spirits and strong beer. You can only buy them at state monopoly shops. The name of the shops has what looks like “monopoly” in it.
- Finland is WAY less expensive than Norway.
- Many (most?) people in Norway, Sweden, and Finland speak English as well as, if not better than, our fellow Americans. We had a lovely discussion with a 14-year-old Norwegian girl in English and she wasn’t at all shy about speaking to us.
- I cannot pronounce Norwegian, Swedish, nor Finnish language correctly… but I make people laugh when I try!