Dec 14, 2016

Norway in a Nutshell On Your Own

Little coloured houses at Myrdal station

Wow, time flies! And it's already end of the year. Personally many things had happened this year and I had gone through major changes within a year. Not going to dwell much on my personal front in a public space but let's just say I grew up a lot from the experience and learn to love myself more and hence more shopping and travelling guilt.

Been meant to share about my experience of doing the Norway in the Nutshell on my own but after my laptop crashed, the idea had been shelved for months. Well, better late than never. Basically, Norway in a Nutshell is a combination of bus, train and ferry from Oslo to Bergen or vice versa which is something like this:

Oslo → Myrdal → Flam→Gundvagen→Voss→Bergen

You can actually booked Norway in a Nutshell via a tour but basically the tour requires you to take the train, bus and ferry as well.  So I guess I tried to save some money and did the whole thing on my own using the Norwegian train timetable and this website as a guide. The tour can be done in a day but I decided to break the journey into two days and spend a night in Flam.
Check out all the snow

Never been so excited to see snow in May

The red lady which I thought is a ghost

My plan was to start from Oslo and took the train to Flam but along the way, we need to change train at Myrdal to a smaller train, Flamsbana. What I did not expect was in May, I can still see snow along the way. In fact, it was still snow in Myrdal which makes the weather pretty cold and pretty, haha. The Flamsbana will stop along some pretty stops for tourists to take photos. Do spot the lady in red singing at the waterfall. For a second I thought I heard and saw a ghost!! The whole journey through the Flamsbana is very interesting and very very scenic. And once it gets into Flam, the town is very pretty although it was raining by the time I reached there and there went all my plans to do some hiking around the town. I ended up just walking around the town to get some food and went to bed early. I stayed in Flam hostel which was not too far away from the train station and the ferry port. Basically the port and the train station is just next to each other. I had booked for the earliest ferry to Gundvagen at 8am. Glad that I took such an early ferry as I managed to snap some really good photos although the sky seemed quite cloudy along the whole cruise. There were only me and this other Korean family in the ferry.
As the Flamsbana going into Flam town

View on the cruise 

Love the reflection. Early morning before the ferry ride to Gundvagen

It's gloomy yet it's so mysterious

When I reached Gundvagen, I got a bit confused as I was not aware of the bus schedule to Voss and waited almost an hour for the bus. Take bus number 950 from the bus stop just right in front of the souvenir shop.  The bus timetable is slightly different during summer and winter. I read that there's actually an express bus to Bergen from Gundvagen but one of the perks of getting the bus to Voss and then train to Bergen was the view. As the bus to Voss will take you up to the Stalheim hotel which will goes through Stalheimskleiva hairpin road which cost around NOK 110. That was one of the highlight of the trip! Once in Voss, it's just a direct affair to Bergen using the train.

Total rough estimate for my diy Norway in a Nutshell trip (as prices may change depending when you reserved for the train from Oslo to Flam)

Train from Oslo to Flam     NOK 800
Ferry to Gundvagen            NOK  260
Bus to Voss                         NOK 110
Train to Bergen                   NOK 94
Accommodation in Flam    NOK 300
Total                                    NOK  1564
which is still cheaper than the tour quoted at NOK 1770

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