Oslo to Bergen: a magical train journey in winter wonderland

Here I was, finally in Oslo! I took a deep breath of cold winter air once I was out of the hostel, around 8 PM, determined to discover some winter wonderland spots in the city. But surprisingly, none. It seemed the fairytale winter, with creamy snow and perfect white views was left outside the city. Little I knew than that I was going to meet Her again, in fool splendour, the very next day.

I found out days after that Gronland, the region of the city I crossed that evening, is not the safest, this in one of the safest cities in the world. I’ve noticed many emigrants there but felt no unsafe sensation. Plus, I found a small store opened, in the corner of one street, at that late hour, and thanks to someone willing to get a better life in another country and ready to work late for this, I bought my breakfast for next morning. A good deal also, compared with the earlier street food dinner: hot dog and a small bottle of water for 10 euro. But didn’t we all heard already that Norway is not cheap. And I’m a hot dog fan.

Still, really cheap was my train ticket for next morning to Bergen: 20 euro, bought online, 3 weeks in advance. Prices can be even 4 times higher. I read about this route only after I bought my plane tickets for Oslo and had all planned, no chance to get there in the 5 days of the initial journey plan. But then, lucky me, I got an email announcing me that my inbound flight to Oslo was canceled, and so I could get another ticket, 3 days earlier than the initial plan. And so, here I was on the train from Oslo to Bergen, on one of the most beautiful railway in the world, as it’s known. And I can assure you it’s even more beautiful than you can imagine. For me it was like that.

The moment we started letting the city behind us, there it was again, the fairytales winter that had amazed me the previous evening, on the way from the airport. Except now, it seemed even more determined to make me say WOOW constantly and transform the summer lover that I strongly am into a white winter addict. The best description for this journey is this: A 7 hours journey through Narnia that I will remember all my life. All was white! From vast fields with fir woods horizons or simply deep fir forests where deers were running freely and wild animals tracks were constantly visible in the snow, to high mountains, than again steep valleys, than even more amazing fiords, frozen lakes to partially frozen mountain rivers with turquoise shades.

This was nature at its best and I couldn’t believe my eyes. There it was the winter I remembered from my childhood, when snow was as high as I was back than, at the margin of the street right in front of our building. So Norway was the place winter was hiding in all this time. I was so glad I found it. No words can do justice to this beautiful journey:

In Finse, at 1200m the snow was huge, covering the entrance of the hotels we passed by. Still, no one seemed worried, tourist were carrying their skis, a man was walking the dog through an alley among snow, the train station workers were doing their job. And it was a blizzard outside. At -8 degrees, this winter was showing big plans till late spring and I liked how people were used to its caprices and let it snow.

The 7 hours were almost finished but I so didn’t wanted this trip to end. Starting the last half of the journey I was often looking at my tracker’s watch to see how much time was left to enjoy this.

I wonder now how these landscapes look in spring, or summer. But I am convinced during winter they are at their best.

After Dale we started to descent, the valleys were smaller but the fiords show up, the temperature outside rose, the snow was smaller and smaller and in my mind I wave my hand to Lady Winter, we have left her behind again. But we were already charmed.

To be continued, hopefully tomorrow but no promises 🙂

How I fell in love with Norway: Hello Oslo!

It’s almost midnight and I’m sitting in my living room, with a glass of icy red wine on the wooden empty floor and a lighted vanilla candle. It’s warm and it’s cosy, but I’ll rather be far away right now. Google Map says 4.322 km. In Northern Norway.

A friend whom I talked with today and who has lived there for two years, said to me: You feel as if you’re still there. I know, she said, it’s like that for a while.

In September I booked my flight to Oslo. I started planning the trip: hotel, hostel, Airbnb, train tickets, other plane tickets and of course a lot of google search about that to do in Norway in January. In October my inbound flight got canceled. What a great news, cause the research I have made me soon realise the initial 5 days plan was not enough. So here I was in November, with an all planned trip of 8 days to Norway, and a hidden wish in my heart.

Two weeks before living I was already obsessed with checking the weather forecast in all three locations I was going: Oslo, Bergen and Tromso. Every hour, on three websites. I know, this can’t be ok 🙂

It took me 2 days to prepare the luggage. Try to have clean clothes every day, for 8 days, in January, in Norway, and you got yourself a real challenge.

And in a glimpse I was flying to Oslo, where a beautiful winter in the city was waiting to amaze me. Since back home we had the warmest winter I can so far remember, there it was winter wonderland, as if all the snow didn’t want to go to other places too. If course I took the bus to city centre instead of the 20 minutes train, so I can get as excited as I pleased while seeing the nature looking fabulous in white.

I got to the city centre, found my hostel for that night and went out for a 2h walk in the snow.

Oslowinter
Lovely winter in Oslo

 

 

to be continued tomorrow 🙂

Traveling solo since 2010