Southern Norway – Oslo, Bergen, Ålesund

Southern Norway – Oslo, Bergen, Ålesund

We girls had talked about going on an international trip for years, but never made it happen until now. Now that some of the kids are older, and I’m retired with no restriction in the number of vacation days, we finally made it happen. As we were trying to decide where to go, everyone was asked to submit their “wish list”, and at the end of the day we decided on Norway to see the Northern lights. The majority of the trip planning was ultimately left up to me as everyone deferred to my judgment. Instead of spending our entire 2 weeks in the Arctic, I decided to allocate some days in the southern part of the country. This may or may not end up being a big mistake, as we shall realize later in the trip.

This was also the trip where everyone was introduced to the world of points and miles, which ended up saving each of us close to $2k in hotels through Choice, and airfare through AirFrance.

To get a taste of Norway, I opted for a day in Oslo, 2 in Bergen, and 2 in Ålesund. Personally, I would have preferred spending all those days hiking, but as the lone hiker in the group it was not possible.


Royal Palace
Vigeland Park – reminds me of Central Park in NYC, but on a much smaller scale. I can imagine it being a beautiful park in the summer.
The Munch museum was the major attraction in Oslo for us.
The famous Scream

The rest of the night was spent at Wallman’s celebrating Munerah’s 49th.


To get to Bergen the next day, we took the six and a half-hour scenic Bergen Line. Again, possibly a beautiful route during the summer.

Whiteout conditions all around us, with not much to see.
Bergen, the second largest city in Norway, is known for its fjords. It was the capital of Norway before Oslo took its place.
As a coastal city, trading settlements were established in as early as 1020s.

One of the attractions in Bergen is to catch a bird’s eye view of the city from the Fløyen viewpoint.

The easiest way to get up and down the hill is via the Fløibanen funicular, which was our initial plan.
However, due to a series of miscommunications, we ended up hiking up to the top – Yay for me!
View of the Bergen harbors
The simple Scandinavian designs along with the vibrant colors around town make for a beautiful contrast against the grey skies.


To add a little interest to our trip, I thought we’d get from Bergen to Ålesund via a cruise boat. Hurtigruten runs a cruise along the Norwegian western coastline, from Bergen all the way up to the northern tip of Norway. Instead of taking the cruise all the way to Tromsø, we got off at Ålesund after an overnight stay on the boat.

Cruise ship

Again, the biggest attraction in Ålesund is to climb up to the highest point for a view of the town.

Four hundred and eighteen steps lead up to the Aksla viewpoint.
View of the town
A hiking trail behind it leads to Lilletoppen, with a view of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Ålesund is known for its Art Nouveau architecture around town. It was rebuilt from scratch after the 1904 fire that demolished the entire city, and this time period coincided with the Art Nouveau movement.

With the mundane part of the trip over, I was anxious to start our real adventure up north in Tromsø.

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