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Yet Another NIN Question!

Greetings! I also use Trip Advisor but appreciate getting some feedback from US travelers for this subjective question about whether or not to use the NIN one- way. I am finalizing details for a late June/ mid July trip beginning in Oslo and flying home from Copenhagen. I will take the Hurtigruten cruise north to Kirkenes, and a personal interest is exploring far northern Finland.
The summer Hurtigruten route goes into Geiranger Fjord and has the option of an excursion ($$!) I am flying into Oslo from the US at the start of my trip (2 full days there) and debating between a cheap, fast flight to Bergen ( where I have scheduled another 2 sightseeing days before the cruuse) or the NIN.
Reading reviews they are very mixed between those who just loved the experience and those who thought it crowded and over rated! I will be a solo traveler and I do see many negatives about priority for groups as well as summer crowds from cruise ships. We are spoiled for scenery in the Pacific NW! And I have been to Alaska and the fjords there.
So! Will 6 days of Norwegian coastline make up for skipping the waterfalls and sights along the NIN? (I have taken both twisty buses and twisty very steep trains and find neither fun!)
Many thanks!

Posted by
2184 posts

I have not been to Norway yet, we are going summer 2018. We are doing the NIN, but doing it a bit slower with 2 nights in Flam and 1 night in Baelstrand. So I cannot totally advise you on what to do. Everyone is different and after reading posts, which way are you leaning towards?

I live in Alaska and we are spoiled for natural beauty as well. I too have seen fjords before. However, we are doing the fjords in Norway because I feel that it should be part of the experience of seeing Norway.

Posted by
5786 posts

The NIN is a literal cross section of Norway from sea level to the high Hardangervidda (plateau), steep rail descent to Flam (if departing from Oslo) and up close view of a fjord, than bus-train to Bergen. It would be a nice complement to the Hurtigruten and a few days in Oslo would be worth the time.

http://realscandinavia.com/hardangervidda-high-crossing-norways-vast-mountain-plateau-on-the-bergen-railway/

The railway between Norway’s two main cities, Oslo and Bergen, is one
of the world’s most scenic train rides, passing through green
agricultural valleys and across the country’s “roof,” the barren yet
beautiful Hardangervidda plateau.

https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/norway/oslo
My Oslo favorites:
▲▲▲ City Hall Oslo's artsy 20th-century government building, lined with huge, vibrant, municipal-themed murals, best visited with included tour.
▲▲▲ Frogner Park Sprawling park with works by Norway's greatest sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, and the studio where he created them (now a museum).
▲▲▲ Norwegian Folk Museum Norway condensed into 150 historic buildings in a large open-air park.
▲▲ Norwegian Resistance Museum Gripping look at Norway's tumultuous WWII experience.
▲▲ Viking Ship Museum An impressive trio of ninth-century Viking ships, with exhibits on the people who built them.
▲▲ Fram Museum Captivating exhibit on the Arctic exploration ship.
▲▲ Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Ski Museum Dizzying vista and a schuss through skiing history.
▲ Akershus Fortress Complex and Tours Historic military base and fortified old center, with guided tours, a ho-hum castle interior, and a couple of museums (including the excellent Norwegian Resistance Museum, listed above).

And if you are into art:
▲▲▲ National Gallery Norway's cultural and natural essence, captured on canvas.
▲ Edvard Munch Museum Works of Norway's famous Expressionistic painter.

Posted by
245 posts

Thanks so much! I wasn't originally flying into Oslo but a former exchange family has offered to host me there, so I moved the departure from the US back, to have Oslo be my starting point. Now I am looking forward to the Viking museum, Gol stave church and seeing The Scream!
The Hurtigruten trip Bergen-Kirkenes is really expensive. Their optional shore excursions are insanely expensive! But I know I will use their Geiranger trip option, so I will see the length of that famous fjord.
Since I now need to go from Oslo to Bergen I posted here on the Forum as I am waffling between just the train to Bergen, the full one-way NIN or a short, cheap flight. I know what busloads of tourists can be like (I never consider myself a tourist😉), that's ok, but I am not sure about the bus and incline train spur since I am not a fan of either!
Seeing as much of the country as possible is a good point, by traveling the width.
It's helpful to get feedback from an Alaskan! Thank you!
Any other opinions? More thanks!

Posted by
5786 posts

The one-way Oslo to Bergen via the Flåm Railway is worthwhile. The boat from Flåm to Gudvangen travels closer to the walls of the narrow Nærøyfjord than the larger Hurtigruten ships. While the Bergen Line is a east to west transit of Norway the Flåm Railway feels like a vertical descent from the Myrdal high point of the Hardangervidda to Flåm at sea level.

Posted by
245 posts

Thanks more to those who responded! Poring over the RS guidebook again his mention of the express boat from Bergen to Flam seemed a sudden solution, and was an option on that NIN booking site vs doing it myself. There ' s about 1 and 1/2 hours to wait at Flam; I read there's an easy hike up from the station for a pretty view? So, no twisty bus, yay, no very narrow fjord, oh, well, but 5 hours along the Sognefjord. It is a few hundred dollars more than flying but the opportunity to travel at least some of the iconic rail journey is really exciting. Thanks again for helping me decide!