Take a scenic train ride to see the majestic norwegian fjords
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We came across this account of one persons trip – “Norway in a Nutshell”
“My ancestors came from Norway, so I'm partial to that corner of Europe. But even if you're not from Viking stock, don't miss the fjords. From Oslo, northern Europe's most scenic train takes you up and over the country's mountainous spine and into the land of shiplap dreams. The tourist board calls it "Norway in a Nutshell" and that's just what it gives you.
Frankly, if you go to Oslo and don't get out to the fjords, you should have your passport revoked. Norway's greatest claim to scenic fame is its deep and lush saltwater inlets. Sognefjord, Norway's longest (120 miles) and deepest (more than a mile), is tops. Sognefjord offers Norway's best combination of scenic wonder and accessibility.
For the best one-day look at fjords, follow the Nutshell's series of well-organized train, ferry and bus connections that puts this beautiful fjord country spread-eagle on a scenic platter. Ambitious and energetic travelers can see the whole shebang in a day; with more time or less energy, consider an overnight along the fjord or in Bergen.
Allow about $200 to take the Nutshell route from Oslo to Bergen on your own (cheaper if you have a railpass). Book your reservations for the train at least a week in advance. Or you can take a package tour with Fjord Tours (www.fjordtours.no) for about the same price and less hassle. Sunny July and August are the best months to go.
The Nutshell route starts with a spectacular train ride, leaving Oslo at about 8 a.m. for Bergen. Your camera button will click like a castanet as the train roars over Norway's mountainous spine. The barren, windswept heaths, glaciers, deep forests, countless lakes, and a few rugged ski resorts create a harsh beauty. The railroad is an amazing engineering feat. Completed in 1909, it's 300 miles long and peaks at 4,266 feet, which, at this Alaskan latitude, is far above the tree line. You'll go under 18 miles of snow sheds, over 300 bridges, and through 200 tunnels in just less than seven hours.
At Myrdal, a 12-mile spur line drops you 2,800 breathtaking feet in 55 minutes to the village of Flaam on Sognefjord. This is a party train. The engineer even stops the train for photographs at a particularly picturesque waterfall.