Two weeks in Norway (Part 1)

pdk42

One of the "Eh?" team
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
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Location
Leamington Spa, UK
I've always wanted to visit Norway and this year we decided to do it as a family holiday (me, wife and two teenage kids). I had a chunk of air-miles with British Airways to use so the flight was cheap and we found some nice AirBnB places to stay too so I thought it might not be too expensive overall... How wrong could I be! As much as I enjoyed Norway (and it really is a fantastic country), it has to be said that prices for most things are pretty unbelievable. However, let me not start this little photo essay by focusing too much on the negative - in truth the experience justified the expense, even if my credit card bill next month will be painful!

The plan was fairly simple and deliberately kept flexible - first-off we'd spend a few days in Oslo to take in the capital city and some of its galleries and museums, and then move on to Bergen for the rest of the time where a car rental and fjord trips were on the menu. Travel from Oslo to Bergen would be via rail - a glorious 7 hour trip that passes through some spectacular scenery.

Overall the plan turned out well, but Norway is such a big country with so much to see that I sometimes regretted not signing up for some sort of organised tour. Normally I hate that sort of thing, but two weeks is barely enough to even scratch the surface of what the country has to offer. I do plan to go back though - probably just my wife and me and we'll take our own car, and somehow find 4-6 weeks to do it in. That way we can find our way up to Loffoten which I'm told is even more amazing than the areas we got to see this time.

For photo gear I took the E-M1ii plus the 12-100, PL8-18, 8mm FE and the 25mm f1.8. This all fitted into a Billingham Hadley Small and is my go-to "landscape and general" kit. I can do pretty much anything I need with this kit and the results are always top quality. No complaints. My son also took my Pen-F plus a couple of small primes - but he never used it! I did however take the Pen-F along as a second body when I escaped the family for a sunset trip (at 11pm!).

Anyhow, enough of the chat - to the pics!

Oslo
Oslo is a modern city that is a very clean, safe and pleasant place to be. We got lucky with the weather - Oslo was experiencing a heatwave (like pretty much the whole of the northern hemisphere this summer) which made it a bit sticky at times, but nonetheless definitely better than rain! There is a mix of architecture, including some very nice modern architecture around a development called the "Barcode Project":

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Triangular Apartments by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

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Architectural Patterns by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

At the other end of the extreme there are a lot of old buildings to be found, both in the city and in the large Norwegian Folk museum on the Bygdøy peninsula:

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The Gol Stave Church, Oslo by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Or, if Stalinesque is more your taste there's the Oslo City Hall:

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Oslo City Hall by Paul Kaye, on Flickr


The folk museum has a wide range of exhibits showing Norwegian life from early times right up to the present. I particularly liked this room showing a mid 20th century decorator's studio:

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The Painter's Studio by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Also on Bygdøy there is the Viking Ship Musuem which houses a couple of very well preserved longships:

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Viking Longship by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

Oslo is located in a sheltered harbour within a small fjord called the Oslo Fjord. We did an evening cruise on it which was a great way to escape the heat of the city. I found this interesting building (which I think is a chapel) in the middle of it (no doubt a native Oslonian will correct me if not):

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Floating Chapel by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

The fjord is also surrounded by some stunningly-located houses. I can only assume you have to be pretty rich to afford one of these properties:

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Summer House on the Oslo Fjord by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

I could post many more images of Oslo - but truth be known, as nice as Olso is, it's the West of Norway which is best!

Oslo-Bergen Railway
The line from Oslo-Bergen is surely one of the great railway journeys of the world. This isn't the sort of view I get from the Coventry to London line:

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Views from the Oslo-Bergen Railway by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

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Views from the Oslo-Bergen Railway by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

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Scenes from the Oslo-Bergen Railway by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

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Bergen Station by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

I can imagine in Autumn or Winter that it's even more spectacular.


To be continued... part 2
 
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