Train Ride from Oslo to Bergen, Norway
Taking the train ride from Oslo to Bergen feels like one of those experiences that you read about all your life, until one magical day you find yourself boarding a train bound for a city on the western coast of Norway and the chapter becomes a story in your life.
I've found myself looking forward to telling you about this train trip since I caught my first glimpse of the magnificent scenery straight out of a misty August day in northern Europe. The landscape is wild, inhospitable, and achingly beautiful. Writing just now my eyes misted a little remembering how much wonder I felt to see the waterfalls of startling aqua clarity, the orange-hued rocks in the bottom of perfectly clear streams, and the surprise of seeing the colors of the Caribbean juxtaposed next to the moody grey of the northern sea country.
It's strangely riveting. I invite you to see a few of the the photos I could take while flashing through.
Somewhere around this area is the highest railway point in Norway. The train ride from Oslo to Bergen covers approximately 230 miles, 7 hours, and passes through Finse at an altitude of 1,222m (just around 4,000 feet). Here is where I found the view out the window most lovely. The people in the small groupings of houses were mostly bundled up in boots and rain gear, and the vehicles I saw 4x4s. Fitting for the terrain.
A road trip in Norway is next on my list of things to do in this country. The luxury of being able to stop whenever to eat bread and cheese with a view like this, and to wash my hands in the cold, cold water tingling to the life in this place would be satisfying. The train trip was fantastic and recommendable, but if you've got the time a road trip would be the way to do it.
Some of the scenes that made me catch my breath weren't possible to photograph at our speed, but there was one in particular I wanted to describe. This route has only about 200 tunnels, so there were often long minutes of darkness followed by glimpses into wonderland. One such time, I happened to glance out to see a waterfall just below the track line about 100 feet, with clear, aqua water splashing down into the river bed lined with red rocks. The range of mountains standing beyond, the piercing range of intense colors, and the unexpectedness of the scene leaves me longing to go back and camp in that spot. As a Christian, I think there could be no greater moments of awe of the earth God created, than in the Norwegian countryside.
I want to come back and take advantage of Norway's "right to roam" laws, but for now we have arrived in Bergen, and the sea side port of the ancient Hanseatic league awaits. Until then I remain.