Historic trains + Just Oslo // Day 3

Today is a pretty light post to document - which is good because I'm tired.

Additionally, there were not a lot of picture opportunities today. That isn't to say we didn't see great things, it's just that somethings are super hard to capture. If I was to summarize Norway, I would say nice people, hot dogs, and great nature. That's what the tourism board wants right?

Flam Train
We woke up this morning in quaint little Flam on the glassy fjord. You seriously can't even imagine how calm, even, and perfect the water looks. Pictures will never do it justice. We had a little cup of instant coffee on our balcony before breakfast and heading to the train. While most meals have been great here, this breakfast wasn't exactly up our alley. There was a lot of fish and some of it hidden to look like hashbrowns. LIARS.

We took two trains today: Flam to Myrdal and then Myrdal to Oslo. The Flam train is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world. I think I've taken some really beautiful train rides... and this is certainly up there but not the tip top. It is however a serious feat of engineering. There are 20 tunnels of which 18 were dug BY HAND. It is pretty wild especially when you consider all the tight turns and ledge. Plus, they let you out at one waterfall. So that's a win.

Myrdal to Oslo
On a near five hour train ride, you are almost guaranteed to see some change in scenary but I feel like it was amplified in Norway. You pass through several varied landscapes that are just simply hard to photograph - plus it was assigned seating so no moving around. Rocking mountain top to farms to city life in 300 short minutes.

After having spent a day down in the bottom of the fjord, we were now on top of it. You can feel that in the scenery. It is all rocks but also a lot of lake-ish bodies of water. After that, it is time for glaciers. I've never seen a glacier before so this was pretty cool even though we didn't get that close to it obviously. When we got to the forest portion it was so thick you felt guaranteed to see some wildlife... but didn't. Kerrianne is still bummed about this. She really wanted to see a bear.

But this is why trains are so amazing - you see so much landscape without moving an inch.

Yesterday afternoon we did some planning for our half day in Oslo. We were initially a little skeptical about how much time we had for an entire city... and then kind of quickly realized there wasn't actually that much to do here. It really seems more like a walk around city... with many of the super interesting sites further outside the city (e.g. off our list).

We decided to stay at the Comfort Inn conveniently located near the train station. So far we have had really great luck picking hotel locations - and this was another good location. Within a few minutes of checking in, we were already well on our walking adventures. As an overall summary, we did 7 miles like 5 hours. Here are some of the sites we hit:

  • Cathedral
  • By the Parliament Building
  • through the Royal Palace gardens
  • around the Fortress
  • through Aker Brygge (this is kind of a trendy new neighborhood. Think Fort Point in Boston kind of)
  • Opera House

My favorites were probably the Cathedral and the Opera House. The Cathedral had a really different style to it... and of course we lit a few candles because we always have to. The Opera House had a really great view and fun architecture. I am super interesting to hear how many people just drunkenly slide right off the marble ramp into the water. It just has to happen.

After a few great dinners, we didn't set a super high bar for Oslo but completely lucked out. I can't remember the last time I had such a delicious surprise dinner. We initially saw Cafe Bacchus behind the Cathedral and made a mental note to come back perhaps. They had a really cute patio with gray and white blankets on all the chairs... but we ate inside to warm up. The entire menu looked awesome although pretty short. Here's what we had:

  • Pan seared halibut with broccoli crusite and hollandaise sauce... also some amazing mushrooms and fingerling potatoes
  • Cheese plate. A creamy blue cheese and salty parmesan style cheese.
  • An awesome IPA from Eiker Fab. It was kind of carbonated in an awesome way. 

And that's pretty much it. We are calling it a wrap on Oslo and Norway... Tomorrow we are on to Munich!

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