Since the on-line site doesn't accept US credit cards I can't make a reservation. I called the Norway RR and they told me that I can get a ticket, but not a reservation, so even with a ticket that doesn't guarantee a seat on my date of travel. I'm planning to go on May 19, which is the Monday after their independence day. I can only make a reservation when I arrive in Norway 3 days in advance of my proposed travel date. Since I'm doing the Nutshell on my own, I have reservations on all of the pieces except this one, and I've looked at alternatives, but no buses to Flam. Any ideas? or do I just cross my fingers and hope for the best? I have a reservation at a hotel in Flam that night.
Are you sure that your bank hasn't blocked your card because of the foreign vendor? I'd call them to let them know you are making a purchase in Norway. Also, having a Paypal account may help with your ticket purchases. In any case, from what I understand, you are traveling from Myrdal to Flam. There are trains every hour, so I really don't think you will be stranded in Myrdal overnight. May isn't high season so I really wouldn't sweat it. You can always get a ticket when you arrive in Norway. By the way, May 19th is a Tuesday.
T in Seattle has 2 good points. I added a 3rd.
Because they will block the foreign transaction if I don't, I always have to notify my credit union when I plan to make foreign purchases from the US using my credit card. I try to batch them over a week or so and have the CU open up that option for that week.
Most every European calendar I've seen starts with Monday and ends with Sunday, so it's easy to miss that when making reservations or any other plans. 17 May is Norway Constitution Day (aka Independence Day and National Day) and it falls on Sunday this year.
I don't think this is your situation, but I have read on the forum of people who get the European dating system mixed up, too, because it is dd/mm/yyyy. That can cause serious problems for reservations that are not refundable.
It's generally been our experience that you can just hop on to the Myrdal train connection without reservations. May is not really high season and I think that direction of travel is less impacted by cruise ship crowds who could be starting their circle at Flam.
There are two types of trains in Norway:
Long distance/regional trains, where (seat-)reservation is required and
local/commuter trains, where it’s impossible to make a reservation.
Oslo – Myrdal: Only regional trains.
Bergen – Myrdal: Both regional and local trains. Most NiN travelers use local trains.
Myrdal – Flåm: This is a local train. Only groups of more then 10 and roundtrip passengers (Flåm- Myrdal – Flåm) can make a reservation. About half of the capacity is sold this way.