Wow, sorry it’s been a few days since posting. George and I took a few days to just explore, relax and unwind in Scandinavia. Well, I’m going to start where we left off.
George and I arrived in Oslo at the airport that is about an hour away from the city. We were a little late getting in and didn’t end up in the city until about noon, 12:30pm. We booked reservations and George’s train ticket on an overnight train for that evening so we could arrive in Bergen bright and early in the morning. After taking care of a bit of business, we put our big backpacks in the lockers at the train station for only 50 NOK which is about $9 for both of us to walk around the city without being miserable. My favorite thing to do when I get to a city is to go to the tourist office to find out what some of the highlights of the city are. They recommended a few places and on our way to see them, we stopped at a hamburger joint where we split a meal that was 75 NOK or about $13(!). Man, I miss In n Out and their delicious prices.
Not wanting to spend too much money on our 10 hour adventure, we wound up walking up and down the main shopping area, going to this incredible sculpture park and walking around the old fortress before ending at a grocery store, Rema 1000, to make our own sandwiches. In our lack of knowing Norwegian, we thought we were buying a small thing of butter or soft cheese, but we ended up buying a small thing of yeast. I opened it up and it smelled funkkkkkay. Oh the joys of new languages. For the record, gjær is the Norwegian word for yeast. Don’t make our same mistake. We made the sandwiches in the train station and waited for our train to come, holding our pee the entire time because they want to charge you 10 NOK or almost $2 to use the public restroom. Please, I would rather squat in the middle of the station than pay those prices.
Now, you may ask why the title includes the word sweating? Well, Oslo was very warm. So warm in fact, that I took off my jacket and cardigan and was rocking the tank top. It was really nice to have some sun and warmth after a cold Dublin. But our hopes of more sun were about to be dashed.
We boarded our night train and had reserved seats, but luckily the train was mostly empty, so we were able to stretch out over a couple of seats. The train company hands out little packs for the night trains complete with ear plugs, eye mask,blow up pillow and blanket. It’s the little things like that that make me happy. Nevertheless, neither of us got too much sleep since it wasn’t the most comfortable ride, but we awoke in Bergen…to rain. And the tourist info center didn’t open until 9am. So we sat in the train station decked out in full winter gear for 2 hours trying to wait out the storm. Didn’t work, but at least when we ventured out, we found some food and the info center was open with free wi-fi. We booked one night at an inn about a 15 minute walk outside city center. The hosts were very gracious and kind allowing us to check-in at 10 in the morning. We stayed in most of the day, hand washed some laundry and only went outside to check out the city when the rain reduced down to a drizzle. We checked out the domkirk, daily fish market, where I tried reindeer sausage and George tried whale sausage (he said it started off good and just left a bad aftertaste), an old part of Bergen, the harbor and grabbed some food for dinner.
Now this is still up in the air for debate, but I may or may not have thrown a small temper tantrum. The ONE thing I wanted to see in Bergen were the fjords and it was being destroyed by the rain and fog. We spent about an hour trying to figure out how to leave Bergen and go to anywhere with sun. In the end, we stayed the night and when we woke up to rain the next morning, we left on the first train back to Oslo. The train ride back to Oslo is the gorgeous Bergen Railway. I was so excited that I was still able to see my fjords and some amazing scenery. We stayed the night in Oslo before deciding to head to Copenhagen the next day.