Western Norway's Rivers, Islands & Fjords - 10 Days - Sep 18 - Sep 25, 2019
All the hotels were great. All but 2 transportation arrangements went off without a flaw. Overall, we are very pleased with our visit to Norway. I am thankful that Ingrid helped me to arrange everything!
In Oslo, we liked the Thon Europa more than the Thon Spectrum. The Europa had a better breakfast buffet, was an easier walk from the train station & the neighborhood seems a bit better. Next door to the Europa is the Brunello Ristorante. You should recommend this to others! This was some of the best Italian food we have ever had.
The Hurtigruten lobby is on a small side street and was not obvious. If possible, maybe provide a bit more detailed map. Since it's so late, there are not people around to ask for help. We did find it, but we had our concerns for a few minutes!
The bus & ferry to Geiranger was very enjoyable. The ferry back showed us some gorgeous scenery. We very much enjoyed that day.
The time with John Grahl-Madsen was not time well spent. He just didn't seem engaged. On other trips, in other countries, we have had guides who have made a significantly better impression. During planning, I had expressed an interest in going up the funicular. He pointed it out & said we could do that on our own. Our itinerary didn't allow time for that.
The ferry from Bergen to Aurland was a great way to move locations and see more of the scenery.
Aurland: you are already aware of the issue with the taxi company. I'm not sure what options there are, but I would suggest finding other options for sightseeing & transport to Flam. I'm very glad that the taxi did eventually show up that morning so we were able to see the Borgund Stave Church. That was very special. The Fisherman's Cabin at Vangsgaarden was charming with a view that was magnificent. It was a little surprising that we had to make our own beds, strip them at check-out, sweep the floor, take out the garbage, & do a light cleaning of the bathroom.
Flam to Oslo by train: Our itinerary was that we made this trip on September 24. No one looked at our tickets Flam to Myrdal. Myrdal to Oslo we learned that our tickets were for September 23. The conductor found 3 unsold seats for us and allowed us to stay on the train.
Oslo: We had a tour with Stig Frislid Torset. He was better than John, but again we have had better. Our travel companion had been told by a friend of Norwegian descent to try a specific type of pastry. Stig found a shop that sold it for her. We requested that we see the Vigeland Sculpture Park. He commented that was not normally what he did, but if that's what we wanted ... we said we did. He did have interesting commentary about some of the sculptures. Afterwards, he showed us some of the "hidden gems" that he normally focuses on, which included Grass Roots Square. Grass Roots Square is very special & we were very glad that we saw it.
I would recommend Kimkim to others. Thanks for your help in creating a memorable trip for us.