What it’s like to do “Norway in a Nutshell”

I’ve always wanted to visit the fjords of Norway.

Maybe not always, but ever since I heard Monty Python’s album “Live at Drury Lane” with the infamous “Dead parrot” sketch – about a bird called the “Norwegian Blue” being “not dead” but – “just pining for the fjords” – the idea of the “fjords” imprinted itself into my memory. 

Later there was Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, with Slartibartfast, the architect of Earth, expressing a special fondness for his work in creating the fjords.

So that’s why Norway’s fjords became a place I wanted to see, even though I grew up half a world away in Australia.

There are lots of ways to see the fjords. Cruise ships are probably the easiest, but if you check the prices, they can be eye-poppingly expensive.

I opted for an alternative – the Norway in a Nutshell tour – which uses public transport – trains, ferries and busses. It’s a much more flexible way to experience the country, and you can do it at your own pace.

You can travel either east to west, or west to east, depending whether you want to start or end in Norway’s capital Oslo, or the western port city of Bergen. In either direction the key pivot is the town of Flåm, located on the Aurlandsfjord – a fjord so deep that ocean-going cruise ships can travel to it – even though it is 200 kilometres inland.

Arriving from Oslo in the the east you travel via the Flåm railway – an engineering marvel in itself – finished in the 1940’s descending on a 5.5% steep grade through 20 tunnels and past some spectacular waterfall scenery. A great ride.

Flåm itself is very small, so accommodation is limited.  If you want to stay overnight or longer, you’ll need to book well in advance, especially in the warmer months. I’d recommend you stay two nights if you want to explore the place.

Because Norway in a Nutshell  is such a well-known “thing”, you can Google any number of travel companies to help you organise it.

I loved the sensational beauty of the fjords. I was there in the month of June, and lucked into some perfect weather. 

For me, the fjords did not disappoint…

I loved every minute of my time there! 

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