Day 2 Sun 24-Aug-2003
Up at 7am to checkout, and headed down to the railway station. My,
what a contrast! the main drag was empty - not one person on it!
Found my train, and got a window seat - quite a plush train, well
up to the 'Tusume' class I caught in Japan. Not many people
on board, started chatting to an American and his mother, visiting the ancestors
homeland. The train leaves on time - the adventure begins. Trains are the only way to
There are some old buildings on the way out of Oslo, built in that
Russian style block, with elegant window surrounds. Oslo is a very green city, but not
high rise, so it spreads out a long way (kinda like Sydney). Red buildings are very
Got lunch from the buffet car - the scenery has now changed, there
are cuttings for the railway line, and shallow valleys with pine trees, lakes, and old
rural houses. The sun is shining, and the train is taking the path of least resistance.
This countryside is rather like the first day out of Toronto.
Suddenly the landscape has changed, it's opened out, and become
more undulating. There are small fields of wheat or corn, on steep slopes - you can see
far further now.
The train was delayed at Hynefoss for 15mins while we waited for a
connecting bus. Chatting to another American couple on the train we find that we live (and
work) very close to each other - small world etc.
Okay, things have changed again - we're now much higher (1000m)
and there are bare lumps of rock. A little like Lake Myvatn in Iceland. Trees are much smaller and further apart. If
I didn't know better I'd say that there was snow on the hills - but it can't be, can it?
Oh yes it can, and it's covering a LOT of the top of these hills!
There are snow barriers to stop the snow drifting on to the track, and some of them have
snow in them.
Mydral is a heck of a railway station, surrounded by hills, and
the trip down to Flam is awesome (the train stops to allow you to look at the waterfalls),
and Flam itself is very fine - like something out of a Tolkien novel. Met three very nice
Russian ladies on the train it seem that they are doing the same trip as me, but on a bus.
They left Oslo at 4am!
There's no doubt about it - this "Norway in a Nutshell"
is a well oiled machine. The boat was very crowded, but with spectacular views of the
Fjords. Lots of photos.
Off the boat, and onto the bus - spotted the American couple
again! The bus took a very twisty steep road, again more photos! The bus dropped me at
Voss, and then caught a very ordinary commuter train for the last leg into Bergen. Getting
a bit sleepy now!
Walked from the railway station to the hotel, and booked in. The
room is a bit basic, but clean and tidy with a wash basin - had a quick wander around the
town at dusk, headed back to the hotel, sent a few e-mails and then headed for bed.