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May Musings While in Norway
updated: Feb 06, 2010, 8:30 AM
By John McCafferty (aka McSeas)
Greetings from rainy Bergen.
|Looking back down the Sognefjord while heading deeper into it.|
Will we see one of the fjamous fjords tomorrow? Or will we be looking at more Bergen rain, which looks very much like Santa Barbara rain? Stay tuned.
I like the looks of the city. Houses rise out of the woods and rocky slopes like big Monopoly houses. Didn't know Scandinavia was so forested - lovely piney forests. And the more I see of Norway, the more interesting it gets.
We're off to Flamm tomorrow for that fjord tour. Weather is looking better by the hour (it's 8 p.m. and sunny in places). SD and I have already resolved to return in the not-too-distant future. It's an excellent place to visit. Next time, it will be a Norway-Finland-Baltic tour, maybe connecting to a cruise out of Sweden. Better yet: Rent a car, as urged to do by Curt Solberg, retired SBCC history professor with roots in Norway.
It probably WOULD be a tad expensive in these parts, and Europe generally is a tad more expensive than the U.S. That's two tads, adding up to quite a few hundred more bucks for stuff than in St. Babs. Well worth it.
AND I hasten to note that the Lonely Planet book I saw erroneously trumpeted, "Norway is the most expensive country on Earth". Not true! Tied with some other Euro places, but it's way over-stated as a problem.
Fjinally -- the Fjamous Fjords...
"Cruise" -- I keep thinking of the Seinfeld episode in which George sells his father's cruise shirt. Stiller's reaction was wonderful: "You sold the shirt I got for my CROOCE? I'm goin' on a CROOCE, and you sold my CROOCE SHIRT?" (SMACK on George's forehead...)
Went way up the biggie, the Sognefjord, from Bergen to the end, and then a scenic train ride back through the mountains. I bought a couple of postcards - taken by a professional, shooting pictures from varying altitudes to get the drama of the place. Houses here and there. I guess some folks want to be where it's QUIET! There's fishing, but less than I thought, because most of a given fjord channel is very, very deep. Hundreds of feet, one guy said. So boaters would need to fish near the shore, for the most part.
I asked about currents and got a confused and confusing answer (language problem). Sounded like there is both tidal surge coming upstream from the ocean, and currents of runoff water from rainwater and melting snow, and there is a great deal of both.
A Quebec, Canada, innkeeper near the St. Lawrence Seaway explained to me once that there are a variety of fish in water that is thus mixed, fresh and salt.
Anyway, Bergen was a fine city, even if the locals did keep apologizing about the weather. We got lucky on cruise day; even had some sunshine.
Today we saw the backcountry above and beyond the fjords (I guess that word means "glorified inlets") from the train to Oslo (pronounced rather unappealingly as Ooz-loo by locals). Some fjords are glorious indeed. Up on the mostly bald mountains, there are many small villages with ski cabins. It looks as though the schussing wouldn't be too thrilling, but long and comfortable. On second thought, maybe some daredevils would enjoy shooting down the other side and on into a fjord.
We'll hang out in Ooz-loo for a couple of nights and then on to Berlin.
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