fly

Oslo to Bergen, Norway by Train through the mountains and Boat through the fjords

we're heading to the far western shores

of Norway to visit the charming seaside

town of Bergen which is located on a

picturesque harbour lined with historic

buildings and surrounded by seven

mountains we're showing you a quick

preview of the city here with the

historic waterfront and lively outdoor

market scenes including a trip up the

mountain top by funicular for a

spectacular view over the city to get

there we're going to take a boat ride

and scenic train journey from Oslo

across the country over the mountains to

Bergen there are several different ways

to travel to Bergen of course there's an

International Airport so you can fly

here in just a few hours from anywhere

in Europe but the train and boat ride

from Oslo is an excellent option that

many savvy travelers choose because

taking that ride can be just as

enjoyable as being at the destination

coming right up will show you fine

details of that trip across Norway by

train and boat the map shows the route

will be taking starting out in Oslo the

capital of Norway and then across the

mountains on a beautiful ride to flam

where we catch the boat and travel

through the song of yard to Bergen on

the west coast most travelers to Bergen

are also visiting Oslo the capital of

Norway as we've been doing in that case

you can take one of the most spectacular

train rides in all of Europe it's easy

to board the train you just get on with

your carry-on luggage in this case and

find your seat

settle in kick back and let the journey

begin heading cross-country through some

fascinating mountain terrain passing

lakes and rivers and waterfalls this

special trip is called Norway in a

nutshell because it shows you a big

cross-section of the country in just one

day it's always a pleasure to travel by

train especially with this kind of

scenery gliding by you don't have to

worry about driving or getting stuck in

traffic

you're not crammed in like on a tour bus

you can walk around in the tree

mean kick back and read a book or take a

nap have a conversation visit the snack

bar

the scenery keeps getting more

spectacular as you climb through the

central regions of Norway seeming a

little bit like Switzerland with tall

mountains in the distance and glaciers

with lakes where the water is clear blue

color this visual feast is like a

natural painting with trees and bushes

along the edge of the water

lovely grasses and shrubs and just

wonderful colorful elements of nature

outside our windows you'll see a few

mountain cabins lots of snow and people

riding their bicycles on the mountain

road most of the other travelers on

board the train are tourists from all

different parts of the world so it's

kind of a nice opportunity to have a

little conversation or at least attempt

some conversation

despite language barriers you can always

communicate I've taken about 500 train

trips in my travels through Europe

including quite a bit in the Swiss Alps

which are really spectacular but nothing

somehow quite compares with this scenery

out the window these alpine meadows with

glaciers and raging rivers what a

combination the entire route from Oslo

to Bergen covers a distance of about 300

miles

it's the highest standard gauge railway

in northern Europe crossing the plateau

at 4,000 feet above sea level

we are travelling in July and there's

still plenty of snow the first short

section of rail opened on the bergen end

in 1883 as narrow gauge and by 1909 the

route extended all the way to Oslo

typical of the European long-distance

trains there's a dining car on board so

you can just queue up wait your turn get

a coffee have a drink or a complete meal

it's like a coffee shop on wheels the

train can be a friendly setting for

meeting Scandinavians and you'll find

that most of them speak some English

nobody's in a rush at this point so it's

an opportune place to

meet the locals and have a chat you'll

change trains Midway at the junction of

with Myrtle and board the flam railway

which is one of the most scenic rides in

Europe the mere doll Junction is a busy

place but there's no real town here to

see you're just on the platform to wait

for your next train there is also local

trains from here down into Bergen but

we're going down down down down the

mountain down to flam that's a

waterfront village where we catch our

boat it's a busy train so you do need to

make reservations during the high season

from May through September and everybody

gets a good view the flam railway

fortunately stops now and then to let

passengers get off the train to enjoy

the view the most spectacular sight is a

rolling gushing waterfall a terrific

photo opportunity but wipe the water off

your lens it's like being out in the

Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls or in

a heavy rainstorm with a big spray

coming at you you've got about ten

minutes to take in the sight snap your

pictures the only reason the train stops

here is to show you the view so take

advantage

some people just sit in the train but

it's a lot better to get out and

experience it yes you might get a little

wet but no harm it's all part of the fun

and you'll soon dry off no doubt there's

something special about waterfalls and

this one is very convenient because

we're halfway through the journey 30

minutes down hop out take a break jump

back on 30 more minutes to the bottom at

this point we've reached 2,000 foot

elevation and it's very comfortable

platform you could walk around on it

very safe with the railing and then you

try and figure out what car you were on

and get back in your seat and then we

continue the second half of the journey

down which gets even more spectacular

with beautiful mountain scenery many

hairpin turns flam railway is the

steepest standard gauge train in Europe

where almost 80% of the journey has a

gradient of over five percent because of

the sharp angle and picturesque nature

the flam line is now almost exclusively

tourist service and has become the third

most visited tourist attraction in

Norway carrying about 600,000 passengers

annually the train journey runs through

fantastic nature pass deep mountains

breathtaking waterfalls with twenty

tunnels in one bridge and offers so many

of you points that many people feel like

traveling at multiple times National

Geographic Traveler magazine has named

the flam railway as one of the top ten

train journeys in Europe and Lonely

Planet named it as the best train

journey in the world in 2014

toward the bottom the line passes a

spectacular waterfall with a 460 foot

drop one of the most exciting

attractions of the trip maximum speed

downhill is the leisurely 19 miles an

hour and uphill it's 25 miles an hour

this train ride downhill takes one hour

but the sights are so spellbinding it

seems like ten minutes it's the only

branch line heading out from that main

Oslo Bergen route towards the bottom of

the journey the valley widens and

changes character becoming flatter and

with more vegetation and some houses the

little hamlet of flam is located on the

Arlen's fjord a branch of the Sanya

fjord with 400 permanent residents it's

almost entirely a tourist area featuring

among other things a little hotel and a

cruise ship port and you can have lunch

while waiting for the boat it's a very

pleasant little village it's been called

heaven on earth

and of course there's a gift shop

there's an information counter and

there's a ticket office where you can

buy train tickets or boat tickets after

about one hour the boat starts boarding

to begin the ride to Bergen you'll see

lots of great scenery during the boat

ride with the mountains towering high

above on both sides of this chasm the

best views are during the first two

hours when the mountains are steepest

and the few

it is narrows so be sure to spend time

by a window or even better out on a deck

initially the Sonia fjord is the largest

and best-known fjord in Norway and one

of the longest in the world it stretches

127 miles inland from the ocean to the

small village of scull Djem in the

municipality of lynnster sonia fjord is

more than 3000 feet deep for about half

of its length reaching a maximum depth

of 4,300 feet the captain pulls right up

to the big waterfall so we all get a

good look cliffs surrounding the fjord

rise almost cheer from the water up to

heights of over 3,000 feet making this

most dramatic landscape the average

width is nearly three miles there's more

than a dozen side fjords that branch off

from the main body and we see several of

them while cruising along beyond the

inner end of Sanja fjord liza mountain

range that rises over six thousand feet

high and is covered by europe's largest

glacier we also get a nice view of

several picturesque villages along the

shore always with the dramatic mountain

backdrop there is a casual snack bar on

the ship for a light meal like a

hamburger and soda but not much else

the viewers were dug out by giant

glaciers that shaped the landscape

through several ice ages this created a

deep narrow and elongated body of water

with steep land on three sides and all

along Norway's west coast these inlets

are often surrounded by dramatic

mountain scenery as we see here frankly

at five and a half hours this ride is

pretty long so you might want to

consider alternatives such as a shorter

boat ride then take a bus to the main

train line and continue on to Bergen by

rail more quickly there is a very nice

reward towards the end of the boat ride

as you approach the city of Bergen

travel through a vast archipelago of

islands and channels linked together by

bridges you'll see a lot of colorful

houses of law

the shore some boats tied up at docks

probably some second homes that are

vacation places for the locals as well

as very large mansions up on the cliffs

it's really quite a sight after several

hours in the boat you'll get the first

breathtaking glimpse of the town of

Bergen located in the head of a long

natural inlet enhanced by a picturesque

harbour lined with historic buildings

and many boats and surrounded by seven

mountains you surely want to be out on

deck in these closing dramatic moments

of the long boat ride soaking up the

view and getting your pictures the city

wraps around the harbor with the

especially exciting Bergen the old

historic district on the north end in

buildings that have been warehouses for

fish but are now shops and restaurants

it's a very easy exit from the boat

because it's a pretty small vehicle and

it docks right in the heart of downtown

that gives us real easy access to walk

to our hotel it's just a few blocks away

be sure to look for the other movies

we've made about Bergen and the rest of

Scandinavia in our collection