We're spending 4 days in Copenhagen in August and then flying to Bergen. We will then have 4.5 days in Norway. I'd originally thought of spending 1.5 days in Bergen, doing the Norway in a Nutshell tour from Bergen to Oslo in 1 day, and then 2 days in Oslo before we fly home, but I think we would enjoy more time in the fjords than in Bergen. Is it realistic to fly to Bergen, spend essentially a half day and night there, start the NIN and arrive in Flam via train/bus/boat by early afternoon, take the ferry and spend the afternoon and night in Balestrand and take the ferry back to catch the 12:20 Flam train for the NIN leg back to Oslo? The connections are awful for doing NIN in a day from Bergen to Oslo -- we wind up getting into Oslo at 10:30 pm. (We're 67 and we want a more relaxed pace.) Does anyone have any idea how often the ferry will run in August? I know it's about a 2 hour ride. We like boat rides. ;-)
Here's where you can find the ferry schedules: https://www.norled.no/en/maps-and-schedules/expressboat/sogn-and-fjordane/
A couple of comments:
First, everyone I know who's been to Bergen loves it. You might find yourselves sad to leave after having just a half day to enjoy it.
Second, if you want to spend a night in Balestrand, you can take an express boat directly from Bergen. This will definitely offer you the more relaxed pace you're seeking. Doing this, however, you will miss the portions of NiN between Voss and Flåm , which I hear are especially scenic. (I did this route in the reverse direction last May, so I also missed that portion of NiN; but I loved my entire experience, and have no regrets, and I'm sure neither will you.) But alternatively, you could spend the night in Flåm , which would also be more relaxing than going from Flåm to Balestrand and back. I was unimpressed by Flåm ; it's actually in a beautiful setting, but it's essentially little more than a transportation hub.
It looks like the ferry from Flåm to Balestrand leaves daily at 15:30, so you'll want to be sure you can get from Bergen to Flåm with time to spare.
Enjoy your trip! I loved Norway; of all the places I've been in Europe, it's the one country I'm most eager to return to.
Lane, thanks for the info. I was torn between trimming time off Bergen or Oslo, but I HAVE to go to museums in Oslo or I will never forgive myself. Plus we'll do the Viking Museum etc. on Bygdoy. Our plan was to end up in Flam at around 1:15 and take the Flam to Balestrand ferry...but I am having trouble figuring out when it departs. I gather that the morning ferry back will be early.
As I mentioned in my previous post, it looks like the ferry from Flåm to Balestrand leaves daily at 15:30. You want to look at this schedule: https://www.norled.no/contentassets/dda9d4d3d61d4b158bc23c5692747de5/oppdatert-flamrute-juli-2016.pdf
Note, however, the dates on the schedule: 19.06.16 - 30.09.16 og 01.05.17 - 18.06.17. This means a new schedule will go into effect in late June, so be sure to check back at the Norled site when you're closer to your actual trip to verify the timing. It might not change, but you'll want to be sure.