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Help planning bucket list trip

I have been dreaming of visiting Norway for well over a decade but every time I start to plan I get overwhelmed and give up. I have many issues when it comes to using public transportation as I suffer from panic attacks and I can't do long trips without easy access to a bathroom. As I said I have issues!

I think I have finally come up with an itinerary that would work for me and would appreciate any thoughts or comments as to whether this makes sense or any suggestions as to how I could make it better.

Also, is it best to try and book all of this myself online or is there a tour operator that I could use to book the whole thing for me? Thank you

Day 1: Fly to Oslo, take the airport express train downtown (20 minutes), stay somewhere close to the central train station. The one thing I really want to see is the Vigeland Sculpture Park.

Day 2: Take the earliest train on the Bergen line to Myrdal (4.5 hours). Take the train to Flam (1 hour). Do a cruise on the Naeroyfjord (2 hours). Disembark at Gudvangen and take the shuttle bus back to Flam (20 minutes). Overnight in Flam.

Day 3: Possibly do the bus tour to Stegastein (30 minutes). Take the train from Flam to Myrdal and then take the train to Bergen (3 hours).

Day 4: Take Hurtigruten cruise from Bergen to Alesund via Geiranger.

Fly home fro Alesund

Posted by
166 posts

Where are you flying from? If America then this is a whirlwind trip, if you could extend at least 3 more days and make it a full week it would be less rushed and more enjoyable. But as far as your intenerary it is certainly doable.

Posted by
2525 posts

Do you want to hear comments that the schedule put forth is not realistic? If so, stay tuned. Scandinavia is easy to visit and I’ve never felt the need for a travel agent (assuming knowledgeable). Have you read and watched all that Rick offers as to Norway and travel in Europe generally?

Posted by
9 posts

I am coming from the island of Barbados but I'm going to Germany first. I was sort of tagging this on since it is not likely I'll be in Europe again. What about the itinerary is unrealistic? I have read a lot of travel books over the years on Norway and the specific places I wanted to see are in this itinerary. If I added on an extra day in Bergen and Alesund would that make it more realistic?

Posted by
2525 posts

This is a bucket list trip, right? So, it's very important to you and surely fond memories will be with you. Are you really going to spend: night one in Oslo, night two in Flåm, night three in Bergen and depart from Ålesund on day four? Compared to many/most folks on the Travel Forum, I am a very fast traveler...you clearly beat me. For starters, spending a full day at Vigeland Park is my cup of tea even given prior visits. Craft a trip that suits you and have a fantastic time as Norway is truly magnficient (and expensive).

Posted by
9 posts

No I was not going to depart on day four I should have been more clear. I have no interest in museums, I am happiest in nature. I've always wanted to see the fjords but because of my many issues it is hard for me to plan a trip. I do not want to drive myself for long distances and I especially don't want to have to figure out ferry schedules when driving and as I mentioned I have to be careful on what public transportation I use. I appreciate all comments and input. From what I can tell a lot of people do the Norway in a nutshell to get a taste of Norway when time is limited. I was trying to make that itinerary work for me with my limitations and also include a bit more. Thanks again for the input

Posted by
1834 posts

You might look into a travel agency to help you since you do have a few "issues".
We just got back from Norway and used Brekke Travel to help us plan and they did a great job. They specialize in Scandanavia.
Good luck!

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you for the comments. I might look into trying a tour operator online there are none in Barbados that are familiar with Norway that I know of. I will definitely need a customized tour but I think using this itinerary as an outline I can make something work

Posted by
207 posts

What time of year, and how budget-conscious are you? And do you get anxious on boats ( or planes, trains, etc) because of motion and/or fear of an accident, or, is it the logistics of planning the transportation?
I ask because I had never heard of the Hurtigruten ships before I started planning my in trip. If motion on a boat is an issue, my suggestion won't work! (I was fortunate to have beautiful weather and it was very calm, but depending on the season or just luck you could be miserable!) Anyway, they have a US office and lots of travel agent- like support, if your budget allows. Once on board you would have nothing to plan, and access to your own or their public bathrooms at all times as you watch the scenery go by. You can use their shore excursions to the extent of your interests and budget. Perhaps then you can skip the NIN and its logistics.
I loved Vigeland Park in Oslo and the combined museum was fascinating- for context, even if you are not a museum person you see the casts, learn about his life, etc.
It is a little bit outside the central area. You could take a taxi there and back if the tram seems daunting...
Go for it! Budget elsewhere at home to make your dream come true!

Posted by
9 posts

I do suffer from motion sickness on boats so I'm actually not sure how I would do on a large cruise. The ferries on the fjords look like they are pretty calm so I'm sure I'll be okay on them but I'm wondering if the cruise up the coast will work for me or not and I won't really know until I get on and then it will be too late! Any buses that I get on have to have a bathroom on board unless they are only a short 15 minute trip.

Posted by
207 posts

"Day 4: Take Hurtigruten cruise from Bergen to Alesund via Geiranger."
I will make one more attempt to help! You must be traveling in the summer season if the Hurtigruten ship is going to visit the Geirangerfjord. It was spectacular! But you will be on the big ship? I guess not very long... it's not clear if you want to go to the overlook, or stay at sea level. I am afraid of heights, and it was quite high- spectacular view- the ship excursion includes Trollsteigen Pass, closed my eyes, but epic.
Finding a travel agent who can walk you through not only the logistics of the arrangements but also knowing what to expect will be really helpful- working for you and your specific needs. I got a lot of good advice on Trip Advisor, although they tend towards independent travel.
The earliest train from Bergen-Myrdal and on to Flam was pretty straightforward. There will be some tunnels- is that ok? Flam is tiny and easy to navigate. I used the Express boat onward to Bergen but understand there are more tunnels via land to Bergen. You don't want any surprises when you have anxiety!
I think going straight to Vigeland from your hotel after the flight would be a lot. I would give yourself that first day to just relax at your own speed, and spend a second day taking your time at Vigeland, for a very early start the third day- I think the first train is at 6:30 or something a.m?
Best of luck!