Once we decided on the second stop of our seventeen day honeymoon, I started really diving in and doing some major research on the overwhelmingly beautiful country of Norway. (You can read about Iceland, our first stop, here.) Although my mother’s side of the family is Norwegian, I still wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when visiting here. It didn’t take long for me to realize how jaw droppingly gorgeous the enire country is. The photos I saw while researching had me more excited to visit Norway than any other stop on our trip and it’s safe to say that we definitely did not leave disappointed.
We flew from Iceland into the city of Bergen, which is located on the southwestern part of the country. After getting settled into our hotel, we started exploring the streets of Bergen and Jordan and I both instantly fell in love with the city. It has without a doubt become one of our favorite cities ever. As we turned corners and discovered different streets and neighborhoods, the history and charm of Bergen kept us guessing what we would stumble upon next. From the fish market restaurants lining the water to the colorful storefronts swarmed with people to the jam packed outdoor bars (in 52 degree weather), we couldn’t stop obsessing over the vibe of this city. It wasn’t too large, but definitely big enough to have plenty to see and do.
One of the highlights of our time in Bergen was taking a cable car to the top of Mount Ulriken, which is the highest of the seven mountains that surround the city. We ate lunch up there and hiked around finding unbelievable backdrops for photos. There was snow everywhere, but the air was a pleasant sixty degrees.
We spent two nights in Bergen and then started our incredible journey across the country where we took train, bus and boat to finally end on the southeast side of the country in the city of Oslo. To get there, we booked a tour called Norway In A Nutshell and if there’s one thing you absolutely must do in life, this is it. It’s expensive, but it was completely worth every dollar and I am SO glad this was something we splurged on.
When we left Bergen the temperature was in the mid-fifties and sunny. About halfway through our journey we had already traveled by both train and bus and we came across more snow than I had ever seen in my entire life. We navigated along the fjords on small winding roads and the houses that lined the water were so snow covered that you could hardly see the roof. Between the change of seasons, the mountains in the near distance and all of the unbelievable scenery, this journey was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
When we stopped to get off a bus and onto a boat, we had about 30 minutes to take in the sights before boarding the ship. Looking around, I couldn’t believe it was actually real. The water was as crystal clear as looking into a mirror and the reflection of the snow covered mountains literally looked like it had been Photoshopped in!
I think I was most excited for the boat ride because during my Norway research everyone raved about visiting the Norwegian fjords and that’s what we got to experience for two whole hours. The view from the boat was so unimaginable that it’s pointless for me to even try and put into words how in awe we were. But I will say, you haven’t really experienced the true beauty of God’s creation until you take this boat ride. Add it to your bucket list immediately.
We had a little hiccup in our plans because a boulder fell onto some train tracks so we got stuck in Flam a little longer than we were supposed to once we got off the boat. Since no trains could leave out of there, they sent buses to pick us up and take us to a train station about an hour away, past the boulder. But the bus had to make it to the train station in time for us to catch the train to Oslo or else we would have had to spend 2 more hours on a bus (with no bathroom) instead of on the train. I had slight anxiety because I honestly thought the bus was going to tip over, slide down the mountain and sink into the water every time our driver went around a curve on the tiny mountain road we were driving on. We eventually made it to the train station with literally two minutes to spare and we hopped on the train to Oslo. Our entire journey across the country ended up being close to fourteen hours and it was honestly one of the best days of my entire life.
Once we made it to Oslo, it didn’t take us long to realize how different it was than Bergen, but we were excited to explore the largest city in Norway. As expected, we stayed in the “hip” area of Oslo and we definitely chose correctly. Our Airbnb was a tiny studio in a super trendy building. We fit right in with the funky bars, eclectic clothing stores and graffiti covered buildings. Eventually we ventured out of our little neighborhood and ended up getting like 25,000 FitBit steps from wandering around the city. That’s honestly the best way to visit somewhere new. Don’t have every day planned out with an itinerary. Just go explore and see what you find!
We had one of the best meals ever at a restaurant called Champagneria (how perfect for me, right?!) and we easily relied on public transportation to get around. The Ubers and cabs were both sooo expensive there, so we used the city bus and train. Thankfully my husband is good at figuring that stuff out.
I personally liked Bergen better than Oslo, but I’m so glad we got to experience both. The fact that I got to visit the land of my ancestors made our time in Norway a little extra special for me. I remember my grandmother teaching me how to say “sett deg ned” which means “sit yourself down” in English. Since that’s the only Norwegian I knew, I’m pretty sure I said it to Jordan a few times just so I sounded like I fit in. HA!
I said it once and I’ll say it again… you have to go to Norway at least once in your life. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about this incredible country. I promise you will love your time there as much as we did!
Special thanks to my incredibly talented husband, Jordan Heid for all of the photos from our trip! I don’t know how I ever traveled without him before.