Beautiful Norway, Bergen, Oslo and Flam Review.
Apologies for the delayed email! We've been busy getting back into our routine and work, but we had such an amazing experience and can't thank you enough for planning the trip of our dreams! I apologize for the lengthy email, but we just wanted to relay how much we enjoyed our trip and how perfectly you planned everything!
I studied abroad for a semester in Copenhagen, Denmark and visited Stockholm, Sweden so I've always had a fondness for Scandinavia, but had never been to Norway before (John hasn't either) and it just blew us away with its natural beauty, kind people, food, and overall culture. Oslo was a really cool city - after arriving at our hotel (and a quick 1 hour nap), we walked along Karl Johans Gate to the Royal Palace, visited the Opera House, and got an authentic Norwegian dinner at Rorbua in Aker Brygge. The following morning we went to Frogner park before the food tour, which was fantastic - we loved sampling the different cuisines (I am obsessed with brunost now and wish I could find it in the US) and seeing parts of the city we hadn't seen the day before. We ended our evening on a shrimp/crab buffet cruise through Batservice Sightseeing, which was a lot of fun and a beautiful night for it.
We really enjoyed the train to Lillehammer and getting to see the beautiful countryside on our journey. When we got there, we realized quickly that most places are closed on Sundays, but we grabbed a bite to eat at a Greek place that was open and it was really good (Oliven Bistro and Delikatesse) and then we walked to Maihaugen. The exhibits weren't open, but it was a beautiful day to walk around and there were some great views of Lillehammer.
The next day we enjoyed the beautiful drive to Lom and then spent the afternoon walking around the town and had the most delicious pastries at the Lom Bakery (John said it was the best cinnamon roll he's ever had!). We loved staying at the Fossheim Hotel - the food was incredible and there were lots of nice places to sit outside and have a beer (tea for me) before dinner. We also really enjoyed the Geirangerfjord cruise the following day - it was very cold on the boat but the scenery was just amazing! The next day was a very rainy day, so it was good for traveling to Aurland while seeing the beautiful scenery of the Breheimen and Jostedalsheimen national parks.
292 Aurland was such a special place! We immediately felt welcomed by Bjorn and Tone and their staff and enjoyed our stay, even though it was rainy most of the time. The food was so good and we loved eating with the other guests each night in the converted smokehouse! The room you booked for us was amazing and I loved that it was in the main lodge, which was a cozy atmosphere. The next day, our guide took us to Stegastein...unfortunately it was so cloudy we didn't have much of a view, but when we went to Skaldegard we had a gorgeous view! We loved our visit there and learning about the traditions of farming along the fjords while having a delicious lunch. We also stopped by the penny loafer shop and glass shop, and it was a lot of fun to see the local products being made. While John was flyfishing that afternoon, I enjoyed reading and having tea with the company of Thor, the resident dog. John had a great time flyfishing - he caught a sea trout! Unfortunately it escaped before he could get a photo.
We really enjoyed the Flam railway and especially the ferry to Bergen along the Sognefjord - we never tired of seeing the grand fjords and the small towns we passed along our journey. Bergen was amazing! We LOVED the room you booked for us - the view was just unbeatable! We got a late dinner at the fish market upon arrival and had a great city tour the following day. She was very knowledgable and gave us a great overview of Bergen's history. Afterwards we took the funicular up to Mount Floyen, which was very impressive! The views were incredible and the whole park itself was lovely. We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking around and shopping in Bryggen before having one last traditional meal at Bryggen Tracteursted before our flight back to Oslo.
I'm already eager to plan another trip back to Norway to explore the northern part of the country, including the Lofoten Islands and perhaps Sweden! It might be a few years before we're comfortable traveling with a child, but we certainly will come back. :)
Susanne and John travelled on the superior version of our 'Beautiful Norway' tour.