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Oslo to Myrdal leg of Norway Nutshell cancelled this morning

We received an email last night between 9-10 pm after we had gone to sleep since we had to get up early and get ready, check out of Oslo hotel, have luggage at reception for transfer, and be at train station before 8:25. I didn’t check email until about 5:45 am and saw that we could not get to Myrdal, therefore our whole day would need to be cancelled. We immediately went to the train station at 6:30 to see our options to get to Bergen since we were supposed to fly home from there on Thursday, 31st. No one could guarantee trains right now so flying was only viable option. So at that point we decided to change out flight to tomorrow from Osloinstead of Bergen. It took about 2 hours on the phone but we were able to get rebooked for a small fee since we had a flexible reservation when we originally booked with LH. We are disappointed since we felt that the fjord experience would be a highlight of our 16 day trip. I do feel compassion for all of the Norwegians experiencing major problems with the weather this summer though. At least we didn’t have to pay an arm & a leg to get home 2 days sooner and we are ready to be home. Great trip overall with some real ups and downs. There are lots of travel issues all over based on the news so we are not alone!

Posted by
9876 posts

I am so sorry for this disappointing and very last-minute change in plans. You have maintained a positive attitude which i admire and which can't have been easy in this situation. I am sorry you will miss out on the Nutshell (this time at least) and glad that you were able to work out a modified return at little cost.

Thanks for this reminder that things are unfortunately not back to normal and your consideration for the others living through this.

Posted by
229 posts

Thanks Kim. We are fortunate that we are going home to a house that is intact and no disasters in our area, other than we would love some of the rain they are getting here since we live in the desert Southwest. 🙏

Posted by
7653 posts

That’s a shame that your anticipated Highlight got canceled due to weather (really the transportation’s decision), but it’s so good that you were able to make arrangements to get home without additional hassles.

We’re leaving for Scandinavia in a week, and plan to be in the Nutshell area in 3 weeks - driving - so we’ll see what awaits us then. I’m curious, was the food absolutely the most expensive you’ve ever encountered? Did you eat out a lot? Fixed meals at a place with a kitchen? What did you eat? What were your favorites?

I hope your trip up until now was fantastic!

Posted by
960 posts

So sorry, that is a disappointment after all the planning and anticipation, but as you note, the Norwegians live with the upheaval. Not a happy summer for many.

It wasn’t clear to me if you are going to Bergen at all. If you do check Rodne cruises for their short cruise from Bergen. We did a 3.5 hour fjord cruise through Mostraumen. Enjoyed it. They have some cruises from other locations also. Check Hurtigruten as well. You may be familiar already and too short on time to check other cruise options, but perhaps info for others.

We found some good Indian and Italian restaurants in Oslo and Bergen that were not as high price as seafood and fish places. We thought food was high, but prices have risen stunningly in some of our local area places this year, so the prices we saw weren’t a total shock. Our hotels had huge breakfast buffets, no lunch needed!

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229 posts

Can, yes the food was very expensive and the great breakfast buffets helped a lot. We were either in hotels or overnight ferries the whole time. We did skip lunch off and on and just got gelato or a pastry. We had McDonalds a couple of times, Italian several times, fish and chips, burgers. My husband is not an adventurous eater so it is always difficult to find places that have a few choices he likes. The buffets gave me the opportunity to try some of the more typical Scandic fare, lots of meats and cheeses, heart breads, herring many ways, shrimp and crayfish, and a variety of international dishes. One of my favorites that I had several times is a piece of their dark, seedy bread with a Mayo type dressing, piled with greens, herbs, especially fresh dill and baby shrimp. We had the smorbrodd sandwiches a few times too. Couple of typical prices of meals we had were upscale burger place where I had a salmon sandwich, tortilla chips with cheese and salsa side, glass of wine. My husband had burger, fries, side salad and a coke. It was $80. Last night we had a 12 inch pizza, 1 beer, 1 wine and it cost $55. So there you go! Let me know if you have any more questions. People were so helpful and kind and we had some nice conversations throughout. Also, never used cash at all.

Posted by
229 posts

ORD Traveler, wish we could have taken your suggestions but we wouldn’t have had time even if we had gotten to Bergen due to itinerary.

Posted by
9876 posts

I am headed to Bergen and on to Balestrand Thursday - I remember well the expensive meals and the huge help that the breakfast buffet makes in that regard !!!

Posted by
680 posts

I'm sorry that you are missing the fjords. Did you get to see any of Norway besides Oslo?

A cousin from Norway posted pictures yesterday, and there is still a lot of water everywhere. Sadly, I am still seeing people post on other Norway travel sites about canceled trains.

Safe travels home.

Posted by
6668 posts

Sorry to hear about your problems. But if you hadn't been so quick to rebook your flight you could have made it to Bergen. The rail line opened again around lunch time so you could have taken an afternoon train direct to Bergen.

Posted by
7653 posts

Sounds like delicious, but pricey dinners. Sounds like there’s no Extra Value Meal at the McDonald’s in Norway! Thanks for the details, and about the cash not needed.

Posted by
4636 posts

My husband had burger, fries, side salad and a coke. It was $80.

I believe that it is possible to spend this much, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I recall a few places with very high prices, for example the ski chalet on top of the mountain where Holmenkollen is we spent $45 for 3 coffees and 3 pastries (in 2018), but those who shop for groceries and cook or picnic can get buy with spending just 10-15% more per day than France or Germany. I specifically remember eating at the franchise of the national pizza chain Peppes in Oslo, feeding 3 teenage boys and remarking that it didn’t cost appreciably more than doing the same in the US. Unless things have changed that much.

I realize many “want a vacation” and aren’t interested in waging war against high prices, but there are paths to spending less.

Posted by
7653 posts

Tom, as retirees of modest means but with a thirst for travel, any “vacation” does involve a war on costs. We’ll be using guerrilla tactics, carefully shopping at groceries for ingredients, fixing them at the apartment or hostel kitchen, and maybe not overdoing the portions. We’re splurging on one dinner at a fancy hotel, kind of an Armistice in that war.

I’m counting on the fresh fish likely being cheaper than what we can get in landlocked Colorado, hundreds of miles from any ocean, and 500 feet higher than the tallest peak in Norway. Prices on beer and wine could effectively institute Prohibition. We’ll see. Being resourceful, like the OP when things go awry, will be a necessary strategy, too.

Posted by
27427 posts

If you can find a good "kebab" fast-food place, you can get a tasty, filling meal for around 12 euros (2022 pricing) plus the cost of your beverage. I put "kebab" in quotes because all across that part of Europe and in the Baltics it most often seems to mean gyro-style meat (or the chicken equivalent) rather than the chunks of meat we consider a kebab. The latter are sometimes available as well, but the menus posted in such places are often only in the local language, and the workers are likely to be immigrants, many of whom arrived in Scandinavia too far along in years to have been through 10 years of English classes in school. They will try to help, but they may not fully understand questions.

I've not had good luck with falafel; the toppings have been too bland for my taste. I've found that even if you go to a sit-down spot, you can't expect the food to be as good as in the Lebanese or Turkish restaurants in France.

I really liked the fish soup every time I had it, and it's not usually very expensive.

The open-faced sandwiches with shrimp were also universally good. They're usually called "toast Skagen". I think I paid around 10 euros for those in cafes last year.

Edited to add

A few grocery-store tips:

I found little single-serving packets of nuts available in several stores. Prices are up a bit this year, I bet, but I was buying 50-55 gram packets of cashews or almonds for €1 last year. Peanuts were--and still are--cheaper but seem to be sold in larger packages. Nuts have saved me on many occasions when I got seriously hungry midway through a museum visit with no cafe available.

Wasa crispbread seems to keep forever, even just stored fin a ZipLock bag. Add some cheese if you have access to a refrigerator (or are traveling with enough people to polish off a package) and maybe some fruit and it's not a bad meal. Wasa products will be found in the bread aisle; don't look for them with the crackers.

If you don't feel adventurous, you'll see several familiar-looking cheeses in the stores. I saw sliced "cheddar" several times that I'd guess was intended for cheeseburgers. It was fine but milder than our aged cheddar.

I was confused by the labels on juices until I figured out that "apple" in Norwegian is similar to our word, whereas "orange" has "sin" added to the end ("appelsin"). The pattern is similar in Swedish.

Posted by
4636 posts

A few tips for Cyn:

Denver is served by Icelandair, which is a slick way to get to Scandinavia from middle tier markets like Denver not served by SAS. Look at a map, it's a very direct way to get to Bergen, Oslo, or the other Nordic capitals to fly via Reykjavik, especially from the Midwest, Northwest, Western Canada, or Denver. Layovers are always short and no issue with missing a connection or bags, Icelandair does this connecting service well. Amsterdam isn't too badly situated for Scandinavia but Denver isn't a Delta hub.

AirBnb seems to have locked up Norway and Sweden, unless I didn't find the alternatives. Cabins on fjords seem to offer a good value.

Something that worked well for us: hotels have incredibly fabulous breakfast spreads included with the room price, you won't believe it. Compared to a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton they are out of this world. There's a limited selection of Clarion Collection hotels but they serve a dinner buffet even more exceptional than the breakfast buffet but at no cost. So if staying on points (like we did once, in 3 rooms, the joys of a family of 5 in Europe), it's free accommodation and full board if skipping lunch. Churn the Choice Privileges hotel credit card to get enough points for one or 2 free stays. I don't know who Strawberry Hotels is but they have a list of the Choice properties, scan down the page for the Clarion Collection hotels https://www.strawberryhotels.com/hotels/norway/

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6668 posts
Posted by
1508 posts

And the rain in mountainous Norway occasionally has the delayed effect of a rockslide that deposits a lot of small rocks— sometimes larger ones— onto the roads. Since most rural roads are single lane, the rockslide will entirely close the roadway in at least one direction until work crews from miles away can clear it.
This happens with such frequency on highway 63 heading north from Geiranger to Eidsdal that the Norwegian government website for highway conditions—-www.statensvegvesen.no—- even lists the alternative routes drivers should take in the event there is a road closure there. Two days ago, while driving on the 63, I saw a new tunnel being built about 15 north of Geiranger. Presumably this tunnel is needed because that stretch of the 63 has repeatedly been closed and the solution is to protect the road from rockslides by routing it through a tunnel.

Because of Norway’s enormous amount of annual precipitation falling as both snow and rain, preventing the closure of the highways is an ongoing challenge. This is why you see far more tunnels than bridges while driving. The tunnels encase the road in a way that minimizes maintenance, while bridges open to the elements would still need to be rigorously maintained to keep the bridge clear of snow and ice. In the case of the Oslo to Bergen train line, it could potentially take anywhere from days to weeks to get work crews to remote locations to re-open a bridge where there are no roads in the event the train tracks were covered with ice or a snow drift or rockslide. It’s easier just to encase the tracks with walls and a roof to keep the precipitation off the tracks.

There are Norwegian work crews with special equipment constantly patrolling the roadways to sweep and clear off any potential hazard that poses a public safety hazard. It’s amazing to see how much work and expense goes into preventive maintenance of this beautiful country’s transportation system. 🇳🇴

Posted by
7653 posts

Good information, Tom_MN and acraven, thanks.

Pictures worth a Tusen Tack, Badger.

Kenko, we’ll be on Highway 63 (or alternatives), so I appreciate the heads-up, and thank you.

So will there be a return trip, dpalmer53 - hopefully with a bit less rain, and a lot fewer closures?

Posted by
229 posts

Cin, I don’t think we will go back sad to say but never say never. Right now I am so happy to be home that I can’t entertain anywhere international! However, I did book a flight to visit my children and grandchildren and attend a reunion at the college where I taught in 3 weeks! So I will “keep on traveling”!

Posted by
17 posts

I feel you, I took the ferry into Oslo and walked right over to the train station feeling quite on top of things... only to find out my Oslo to Flam VY train was cancelled that morning. Next four hours were spent frantically researching my options. I was determined to go to Flam and spend the night, so i ended up taking a last minute flight Oslo to Bergen, extending my hotel stay and taking the Norled ferry both to and from Flam (vs train into Flam and ferry to Bergen). Cancellation probably cost me about $500 plus reduced my two days in Bergen to only a few hours. That said - Flam was the best part of my trip.