Friday, September 21, 2007

Norway: Oslo-Flam-Bergen (Fjords, 9/18/07)

We were off early on Sept. 18th for a full day of traveling to Bergen / touring the Fjords. We took a train from Oslo to Mydral, switched to another train in Myrdal to take us to Flam and then took a boat to Bergen. We got into Bergen around 9pm, found our hotel and rested up for a busy day ...

Chris boarding the train to Bergen
These were sights along the way on the train. We had a mix between clear and cloudy skies the entire way. It was beautiful!

In Flam we transferred from the train to a speedboat that would take us through the Fjords to Bergen ...

On the way the train stopped at a magnificent water fall ...

It was quite surreal that we were on a boat
going through the Norwegian Fjords!!

The boat stopped a number of times to let off / pick up
passengers and we got to see many of the rural, coastal towns

Another magnificent waterfall.

The city was glowing as we entered Bergen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Norway: Oslo (9/17/07)

We got into Oslo on the morning of Sept. 17th and were ready to see the city. We were only going to be in Oslo for one day before our 2 day Fjord tour. We took the tram around the city and tried to see as much as we could. We were also scoping out what sites to see when we got back to Oslo after our Fjord tour ... we'll be back to see more on the 20th.

Welcome to Oslo ... now where do we go?!?

The is the square in front of Central Station, Oslo

Chris checking into our hotel - right above the train station again, just like Gothenburg.

Our room ...

We took a tram up to the highest point we could find, then we climbed a little higher ... they even have forests in the city!

The view made the climb worth it ... WOW

This is another pic from our bird's eye view - notice the ski jump in the background? Just almost at the top of the hill a little to the left of the middle ... ?? You can bet we'll be going there when we come back after the Fjord tour! :)

Cheeeeeese - our self portrait from way up high

We also visited a park that was designed by and full of sculptures done by Gustav Vigeland ... he made statues, mostly stone, of people - men, women & children. It was very interesting, we have many pictures of naked stone statues!
Chris and I at Vigeland Park

After our busy day walking around and seeing the sights we headed back to grab dinner and get ready for our early start the next day - we were heading out for the Fjord tour from Oslo, through Myrdal and Flam before getting to Bergen on the Eastern coast of Norway. We'll stay two nights there before flying back to Oslo for our final two days of vacation. Stay tuned for magnificent pictures of the fjords and Bergen ...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sweden: Gothenburg (9/16/07)

Gothenburg was a "transfer" city for us ... Chris and I were taking a train out of Gothenburg to Oslo the morning of Sept. 17th and it would have been too early to leave from Vaxjo ... but it turned out to be a great city and we really enjoyed walking around with Carin & Emily. Here are pictures from our day there:

Our Hotel - First Hotel G, directly on top of the central train station in Gothenburg
Lobby of the hotel

Our posh room ... I loved the decor :)

Once we were checked in we caught a tram and headed to the old town for lunch

Picture in the cafe where we had lunch
Oooooo ... the desserts at the cafe were ... soooo delicious and worth every calorie!!
Window shopping

No explanation needed :) Carin is my Swedish sister!
The beautiful buildings in Gothenburg

Another beautiful scene - I just love the old buildings :)
Carin and Emily took a train back to Vaxjo once they had shown us the sights of Gothenburg and Chris and I got ready for our EARLY train to Oslo ... more adventures were waiting for us in Norway ... Goodbye Sweden!

Sweden: Vaxjo (9/14/07 & 9/15/07)

We had a great time with Carin & Emily in Vaxjo (pronounced Va-quaw). They have a spacious apartment near the center of town and were excellent hosts :)

A view of the courtyard in front of their apartment complex.
The living room

The bedroom

The kitchen

Hanging out before dinner ...
This is a Swedish BBQ ... the chicken was pretty good!! I would have never thought that you could make chicken for 5 people on one of these tiny grills!

A fountain we walked past on the way to the city center - apparently the students in this college town were bored the night before because -as you can see - there were bubbles in the water and the water had been turned off. (lol)

Downtown Vaxjo

After touring the town we took a 30 min drive to the Kosta Boda glass-blowing factory and outlet stores. The factory was closed to visitors/tourists but the shops were open and we were able to see many of the glass bowls, glasses, vases, etc. that Kosta Boda produces.

After the Kosta Boda factory we went back to Vaxjo and had dinner with Carin, Emily, Ingeborg, and Malin at a cute restaurant in the center of town called Deluxe, or Cafe Deluxe ... or something like that :) It was delicious!

In the morning it was time to continue our trip ... all four of us (Carin, Emily, Chris and me) took a train to Gothenburg. Carin and Emily came with us to show us around and make sure we were settled into the hotel before heading home that same day ...

On to Gothenburg ...