Thursday, April 27, 2006

Our Trip to Norway Part III: Bergen

Fjord Clouds

Could we go to Norway and not see the fjords? Sure, we got to visit Oslofjord, but it's not one of the spectacular ones. We decided to take the "Norway in a Nutshell" trip, which includes the train fare from Oslo to Bergen (6 hours), plus a scenic train route to Flam, a ferry in the fjord, and a bus ride to Voss. We woke up early in the morning and arrived at the Askar train station with 7 minutes to spare. My mother was really nervous, but the rest of us were pretty calm. I kept having flashbacks to last year, when I would leave my apartment and tear through the streets of Montpellier on my bicycle to catch the train to Lunel, where I worked. Once or twice I had to board the train without buying a ticket, and on one memorable occasion I had to take the bus to Lunel and run to the high school! So I wasn't worried. After 4 hours on the train, we arrived at a small Norwegian town and switched to a smaller, older train. It was beautiful inside, made of wood and upholstered with pretty fabric. We only spent about 45 minutes on the train when we arrived in the next town on the itinerary, where we switched from the train onto the ferry. For the next two hours we were treated to gorgeous fjord views, although the weather turned a bit rainy. Luckily it made our photos more spectacular.

Fjord Sunlight

Then we took a bus to Voss, the ugliest town I saw in Norway. Jube, my mom, and I stayed at the train station while my brother the Rooster hit the mean streets. He got to see a building be demolished ("that was the coolest part"). Then we got back on a train to go to Bergen. We arrived around 8 o'clock in the evening, and we walked to the hotel. I asked for directions to a restaurant mentioned in my guide where the serving staff dressed up in traditional Norwegian outfits and served Norwegian food. Unfortunately, after walking the streets of Bergen for about an hour and a half and asking at least 5 people, we couldn't find the restaurant! Instead, we ate at a Chinese restaurant.


The next day we woke up early to explore the city. We visited the fish market and the harbour before walking to the aquarium. We got to see the training of the seals and the feeding of the penguins! Jube and I both thought of the force-feeding of fois gras geese, because the tiny penguins swallowed huge fish whole. Afterwards, we took a cable car up the hill behind Bergen. The view from the top was incredible, but we were all really hungry so we didn't stay for long! After coming down, we ate at a small Norwegian restaurant where we ate traditional dishes like potato dumplings, reindeer steak, and pork chops with sweet cabbage. And before we knew it, it was time to catch the train back to Askar!

We only had one day left in Norway, so Jube and I made my uncle's family a tartiflette. Unfortunately none of his kids ate it, because the appearance turned them off. Everyone else loved it. And the next day it was time to leave! My mother and the Rooster left early in the morning for their trans-Atlantic flight. Jube and I had more time, so we went outside to play soccer with Ligne--and then, tragedy struck! Jube picked up the ball to throw it in, and I stupidly tried for a header. My glasses snapped! Ligne didn't think it was a big deal, but Jube and I were both pretty upset. (We fixed them with superglue the next day.) Then we went to the airport and said goodbye to Norway!

Or so we thought. Actually our plane was delayed by about two hours for "mechanical reasons" (the worst reasons of all!) and we arrived in Nice too late to catch the last municipal (read, inexpensive!) bus into the city. We opted for a taxi right to our doorstep, instead. We chose a BMW--oh la classe! And that was the true end to our Scandinavian adventure.

1 comment:

helene said...

Hi Gem,
I've enjoyed reliving our trip through your posts!