It is difficult to put into words how beautiful the Norwegian fjords are. It was close to a religious experience. That said, instead of using my words, I am going to try to explain through these pictures. If you are traveling to Norway, you MUST do something along the lines of “Norway in a Nutshell” and see the fjords by ferry. I spent a week total in Norway, but only the last two days were spent going outside of Oslo. If you are planning a trip to Norway, I would say Oslo is completely unremarkable compared to the other things Norway has to offer. So, don’t stay there more than one night.
Things to know about Norway
The most interesting things I learned about Norway:
1) Norway has incredible public transportation.
So few people travel in cars, though they do still have a rush hour. You can get pretty much anywhere by bus or train within the city, and most people do. They have a dedicated train from the airport into multiple places in Oslo. You can purchase your tickets from flytoget. Then they have separate loops that can take you from Oslo to other parts of Oslo, or Oslo to other parts of Norway. It is quite robust. The main hub for the train in Oslo will be at Oslo Central. You can also get around to different towns by ferry, and it’s a beautiful way to travel. This area is also incredibly walkable and bike-able if you prefer that route in town. There are dedicated bike lanes everywhere, cars always stop at cross walks, and there are plenty of places to store your bike outside.
2. Healthcare is very inexpensive
I know this because I happened to have an allergic reaction the very first day I was in Norway. Yay for me. I called an ambulance to the restaurant (where a very attractive Nordic EMT made sure I was okay), and they brought me to the hospital where I experienced excellent medical care. When it was time to leave, there was minimal paperwork, no hours to wait to check out. Rather, the doctor checked on me one last time, and told me to find the “metal kiosk.” It asked for my birthday, and charged me $35. Yep, $35 for an ambulance ride, steroids, and 5 hours at the hospital. Absolutely wild. I also bought another Epi Pen, which was $100 for me since obviously I’m not a Norwegian citizen, but would have been free if I were.
3. White nights in the summer
This trip was in June, so I experience what they call “white nights.” Basically, the sun never really goes down. At least, not for more than about an hour. Officially, the sun set at 11:30pm and went up around 3am. That said, the twilight lasted so long it was really only about an hour of darkness each night. This is because of how far North that Norway is located. In the winter, they don’t see the sun for about two months. I wouldn’t recommend going in the winter unless that is something you would like to experience.
As someone who will get depressed in the winter, I was really looking forward to the extraordinarily long days. In actuality, it was extremely confusing for my body, and I stayed up way later than I ever would, and didn’t sleep very well. What was interesting is as I walked the town of Bergen past midnight, I would look up at all the homes on the hill. Their lights were still on, too. Everyone was still awake!
In the mornings, I had to be very careful that my curtains were fully closed. There is nothing like having bright light stream into your room at 3:30 AM to wake you up. It is quite confusing. But, when you get out of bed at 6am, open the curtains, and it looks like midday outside, you don’t spend very long feeling tired. It is an interesting experience.
4. Rain in the fjords
Do you own a Barbour jacket? Bean boots? Great. Bring them with you if you are seeing the fjords or starting in Bergen. The clouds get stuck between the mountains and you get a lot of rain. Maybe just for a few hours, maybe all day. The sun and rain are very intermittent. It is equally if not more beautiful in the rain. Even in June, it is quite chilly. Bring layers!
Traveling to Norway
Those are my little fun facts. These are the images I took after I left Oslo. There are a few images of Oslo at the end, but it doesn’t hold a flame to the beauty outside the city. Of note, if you get near the bottom of these pictures, you will see how the seasons change on the train ride. With the increase in elevation, we actually rode the train through a blizzard! It’s breathtaking. I can’t put into words how beautiful Norway is. Thank you, Norway!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me! If you would like to see more of my adventures, you can visit my blog here!
Here are a few of the picture I took in Oslo! Oslo downtown is pretty small and you can walk around most of it. I walked through City Central and saw the Opera House, enjoyed some gelato, and dinner on the town.
June 20, 2022