I know this is not the trip report section but the Norway pages are not frequented much so thought the main Norway forum is a better spot for others to see.
Big thanks to Bobm185 a fellow poster that did a similar trip this summer and Anita on this board who offered advise to both of us.
Just made a quick trip (5 nights in Hotels) to the western Fjord area of Norway. I focused on a small area of the country as the focus for this trip since we didn't have much time.
We flew into and out of Alesund which is a great little airport.
I actually had the first ever positive lost bag situation.
Flew with my wife and our 4 year old daughter.
When the luggage came out our 2 checked bags with clothes came but our boxed car seat did not. Flight in was from Rome and then AMS so not sure when something got messed but it happened.
Anyway only reason I had the car seat is because I found Hertz rates for Norway car seat rental to be absolutely outrageous (approx. 40 USD per day with no cap) so decided to just buy one before our trip since we had no extra charge to have it check through on our flights.
Anyway, the car seat was lost so the operator of the Alesund airport loaned us a car seat (probably taken from Hertz or another companies inventory) which was new. They recovered our box a day later but we made arrangements to just borrow theirs and return it and exchange for ours when taking our flight home from Alesund.
So I still have a new unused car seat in the box and didn't have to pay to rent one.
Car rental was easy, everything was easy with the Alesund airport experience since it is a small and still friendly option to fly into or out of. Such a different experience than an airport like AMS, FCO or BOS which we also used on this trip.
Alesund: a pretty town, inviting to walk around the old downtown area though shops close very early and are not open 7 days a week. Food is limited. Aksla is breathtaking and well worth a stop if you time it right when no cruise ships are docked.
I went up there for sunset and it was amazing, just incredible and there were maybe 40 people max up there over what is a large area to spread out, looked to be about 5 cars in the parking lot. I stayed for the city lights to come on and by then about 10 remained.
The next morning I really wanted my wife to see it so went up there after we checked out and what a different experience. 2 cruise ships were docked in town and I guess this location is there main excursion, we discovered a parking lot filled of buses, no room to even move at the viewpoint area. The busses parked moved out in unison as a new set of a dozen busses moved in. A truly horrible experience and we go stuck trying to leave for at least 30 minutes as they orchestrated the departing and arriving busses. Keep in mind the road is steep and narrow so not fun for a car and a bus to meet, but 2 busses meeting causes issues.
That was our first but not our last bad taste of the cruise ship effect on this region.
Next we drove the scenic way to Hellesylt ; we took a route involving 2 car ferries and passing by the Hotel Oye and Queen's Highway. Queen's Highway drive was wonderfully scenic and feels very secluded.
The entire region of Norway we visited very much has a feel of being inside a US national park like Yellowstone. Very few residents, great scenery, streams or bodies of water beside the road, remote feeling, good roads, etc...
Took a little detour to head north from Hellesylt to the overlook of the Geiranger Fjord after a tunnel before returning to the dock area.
Pulled up to the 2 PM ferry at about 1:50 PM and had no issues getting a car spot on the ferry to Geiranger without a reservation. Was prepared to wait for the 3:30 PM ferry and check out Hellesylt waterfall and shops if we had. Ferry was about half full for cars and less than half for non-car passengers.
PART II ; next post