Thank You for an Incredible Experience!
Feb 4 - Feb 14, 2023
Dear Tricia and Christina,
We had a wonderful time in Norway! Everything went smoothly, all the guides were most personable and the cooking class was fantastic.
To make my response more precise, I am going to organize my comments in accordance with our daily schedule
Days 1 & 2, Oslo: We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, as recommended, and all went well. The Thief is a lovely hotel with an amazingly good brunch. Best gravlax we ate on the entire trip! Stig met us at the hotel as anticipated and we planned the next day. Our time on Day #2 at the folk museum was well spent. After several hours walking around, we ate at their restaurant and then walked along the Oslo harbor while I took photographs. Stig was a very knowledgeable and enjoyable guide.
Day 3, Sigdal: We met Einar as planned and he drove us out to Sigdal where we met with our prearranged contacts. Again, we found Einar a very pleasant companion for the day and I’m sure he’s very knowledgable re: hiking expeditions. We enjoyed a nice lunch together and he found a place where we could buy needed umbrellas (as well as some fun socks for gifts that said things like, on the bottom of one foot “The wife is always right” and on the bottom of the other, “The husband is always wrong” . . in Norwegian.) He was very patient with my photographic needs.
Days 4 & 5 Oslo to Bergen: The train ride was beautiful and I imagine it’s even nicer in the summer. John met us at the station and helped us to our hotel. Again, John was an exceptionally nice guide and showed us around the city - commenting on its history and directing us to the best reindeer sausage in Bergen. The weather was not good so we didn’t do the Funicular. The hotel was very interesting although we missed the extravagance of the buffet in Oslo.
Day 6, Bergen to Bekkjarvek: John was so kind - he came down to help us take our luggage to the ferry. We enjoyed the ferry very much - even though the seas were a bit rough. A driver from the hotel was waiting for us when the ferry landed and we were pleased to have the opportunity to see the island. The hotel at Bekkjarvek has a quasi-museum in it, as well as stores and a library - so it was really fun to walk around. The cooking class went well beyond our expectation. The chefs were extremely nice and we sipped on white wine while we watched them cook and learned about life in the kitchen. Ken even got to do a bit of the chopping himself. Afterwards, during dinner, we were invited back to watch as each separate course was prepared. Needless to say the food was delicious and the entire experience was really fun. Highly recommend this for future guests - especially once Chef Johanssen’s new facility is completed.
Day 7: Bekkjarvek to Tromso: The ferry stop is right outside the hotel - so convenient - and the bus was waiting at the conclusion of the ride to take us to the airport. Again, it was an easy transition for us to navigate. We took a taxi to the Edge - a most wonderful hotel - and then had a lovely evening on the sailing cruise. In all honesty, we could have used a bit more food on board the ship i.e. I’d recommend they serve cheese and bread with their soup. We were able to see a bit of Northern Lights but the cloud cover was substantial. The captain and his crew were very congenial - we really enjoyed talking with them and the other guests.
Day 8, Tromso: Bernard, our guide in Tromso, was extremely knowledgeable about the city and answered all of our questions in detail. He took us to some interesting shops and showed us the Sami market. I enjoyed talking with him very much. That evening we went Northern Light hunting with Dan - who did his best to find a break in the clouds so we could get photographs. We drove 3 hours into Finland, where he prepared a camp fire and served us stew. He then took pictures of us under the Northern Lights and processed all of them that night (impressive since we didn’t get back until after 1 AM). He wanted us to be able to see the photos when we woke up the next morning. Again, I think he is a top pro at what he does.
Day 9: Tromso: The breakfast buffet at The Edge (thanks to Marcus Samuelsson - the world renowned chef) was the best I have ever had anywhere. (The gravlax was not quite as good as that at The Thief - although the scrambled eggs were better). We loved being able to try the incredibly wide variety of offerings. We spent the day at the reindeer races, the art museum and buying presents to take home. We wished we had more time to see the other museums as well.
Day 10: Back to Oslo where we enjoyed returning to the Thief and walking around the harbor. Had a nice (although expensive) dinner at a nearby restaurant and packed up to head out very early in the morning for our flight home.
In summary; 1) All beds were very comfortable, 2) All guides were most congenial, 3). All transitions occurred smoothly, and 4). We had a great time! Thank you for all your work in putting this together for us. We are recommending you to all of our friends.
Moving on - do you offer a similar service for Iceland? We’d love to visit Iceland this September. Particular interests include photographing fishing villages and sheep round-ups. Also, we are trying to convince Ken’s brother and his wife (who is of Norwegian descent) to join us in Norway in late spring or early summer of 2024. When should we start working on that trip?
Robin and Ken
Dear Robin and Ken,
I'm so overjoyed that this very special vacation became a very special memory. It's a delight to read your review and hear about the details along the way. I know how meaningful your ancestry to Norway is to you, and this trip was an important way to pay tribute to that connection!
Christina is working on connecting with you an Iceland specialist, and I will message you to begin discussion on your Norway 2024 trip. So glad this is not goodbye for us :)