Thursday, 29 September 2016

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

I bought my plane tickets nine months before the trip itself. First, because I was able to save some money, and second, because I am a student and my schedule allows to plan my vacations well in advance. I had to transfer in Tallinn. On my way to Norway, I had to spend a night in the airport, as I had nine hours between the flights. I found a comfortable library corner in the Tallinn airport, with armchairs, a floor lamp and books in different languages. When at 4 am first cafes opened their doors, I drank a cup of strong coffee.

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

On my way back home, the transfer time was just 35 minutes, and I was really worried. Fortunately, all went smoothly, I even had to wait for a bit. 

I took an airport express train from Gardermoen. As a student, I got a discount. As I planned to fly back from the same airport, I bought a return ticket, as it was valid for a month. 

WHERE TO SLEEP 

I booked all hostels through booking.com. Hostel Montana Bergen was 15 minutes from the center by bus. The buses went each 30 minutes on weekdays and once in an hour on weekends. The staff was friendly, the view was amazing as the hostel was situated on a mountain. I stopped in a room for four women, which was very neat and cozy. 

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

Rønningen Hostel was situated half an hour from Oslo by t-bana or by bus from the center. The view was also beautiful. For a reasonable sum, I could order a buffet dinner. The room seemed huge after a compact Bergen accommodation; it had two mirror walls and black curtains. But soon I got used to and liked it! 

TRAIN OSLO-BERGEN 

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

One night I spent in a train between Oslo and Bergen. Comfortable seats and a road kit for each passenger! I went back in the afternoon and could enjoy mountainous landscapes. This railroad is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. 

MONEY EXCHANGE 

I had no problems with local currency at all. I had a Mastercard and 400 crones I bought in advance just in case. You may pay with a credit card everywhere, even at a market. 

WHAT TO SEE IN OSLO 

In Oslo, I visited the museums of the Bygdøy peninsula – Museum of polar ship Fram, the Kon-Tiki Museum dedicated to travels of Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian Folk Museum with various ancient buildings. And the most important – Viking Ship Museum where huge black drakkars sleep, dreaming about the times when they left sea only in winter. 

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

I walked in the old Akershus Fortress, and saw changing of the guard. I took a two-hour cruise along the Oslofjord. I walked in Vigeland’s Sculpture Park. I visited Historical and Zoological Museums, Munch Museum, Botanical Garden. The evening I spend “hunting” to small sculptures that are abundant in Oslo. 

WHAT TO SEE IN BERGEN 

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

In Bergen, I walked around the ancient merchant area of Bryggen, climbed by the cable road up to the mountain view point and the forest where trolls still wander. I visited Aquarium, Rosenkrantz Tower and Haakon's Hall – the royal residence of the 12th century. I ate for dinner the freshest shrimps and fish at the fish market. 

TOURIST CARDS 

I used Oslo Pass and Bergen Kart for 48 hours. If you have an ISIC card (for students, professors and travelers younger than 30 years), you will get a discount. 

LESSONS LEARNT 

If possible, avoid overnights in airports. You will be too tired to fully enjoy the first impression of new places. 

As I went to a northern country, I expected cold weather. The forecasts promised 14-20 Celsius above zero. However, I came back home with a tan, I did not open my umbrella at all, although Bergen is considered the capital of rains. Thus, I took too much warm clothes. 

My Trip to Norway: Oslo and Bergen

Booking railway tickets was an issue as well. I did not manage to book them at once and started to worry, as otherwise I would have to reconsider the whole planned journey. However, it was a glitch on the website, when I accidentally missed the point “select seats”, I booked my tickets without any problems. 


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