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Exploring Norway - Places to Visit
Sonefjord: This is Norway's longest fjord with many beautiful "arms" . The scenery is beautiful and the road goes along for miles across a desolate tableland at an altitude of 3000 feet. On a summer day, the lakes appear green.

Voss: Voss lies in a district between two fjords... Sogne and Hardanger. It's on the shores of Lake Vangsvatn and is noted for its wealth of folklore. The villagers still call the trolls "out of hiding" to give visitors a little fun. In the center of Voss is a 13th century church with a timbered tower. Of note are the Renaissance style pulpit, the stone altar, and the woodcarvings. About 1 mile west of Voss is Finnesloftet, the oldest timbered house in Norway, dating from the 13th century. See also St. Olav's Cross, near the cinema, which is the oldest historic relic in Voss. The stone cross is believed to have been raised when the people of the town adopted Christianity in 1023. In addition, there's the Folk Museum of Molster, a compound of authentic houses and furnishings, tracing the daily farmlife of the early inhabitants. And don't forget a ride on the Hangursbanen Cable - ascending the mountain for a view of Voss and the Surroundings. Voss is the usual beginning spot for the famous Flaam Railway, which goes from Bergen to Oslo. Voss is 2 hours from Bergen.

Hardangerfjord ... beautiful blue waters. The resorts of Lofthus and Ulvik are on this fjord.

Stalheim: Going up Stalheim Canyon Road, one finds Stalheim, a place to pause for one of the finest views anywhere, Sugarloaf Mountain, with waterfalls and the valley below.

Naerofjord is the most scenic arm of the Songnefjord. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Flaam: This village lies on the Surlands Fjord, which is a tip of the more famous Sonesfjord.

Flaam Railway: This is the most scenic railway journey in Europe. Our tour takes the best part of the route from Flaam to Myrdal, which takes one on a 2844 foot drop, all in 12 miles. The train will follow a serpentine path in and out of tunnels, halting periodically for passengers to photograph spectacular waterfalls. A summary of the entire route from Bergen to Oslo is listed below. Depart Bergen for Voss at 7:20 AM... arrive Voss 8:36. Leave the train at Voss and continue to Stalheim by the bus waiting at the Voss Railway Sttion. The one-hour bus ride passes the spectacular Tvinde Waterfall and arrives at Stalheim at 10 AM. Depart Stalheim by bus at 10:15 AM... connect with the Gudvangen-Flaam boat ride on the Sognefjord, departing at 11:10 AM... arriving Flaam at 1:30 PM. At Flaam, take the 12 ½ mile Flaam Line Railroad to Myrdal at 2:55 PM... arriving at 3:36 PM. Change trains at Myrdal to the Oslo train... departing at 5:10 PM. Arrive at Oslo 10 PM. It's daylight all the way during the summer... and everything along the way is totally coordinated and covered by one ticket.

Geilo: At 2600 feet above sea level, Geilo is one of Norway's best-known ski resorts, and is the last stopover on the Bergen-Oslo rail route.

Torpo: The location of one of Norway's oldest Stave Churches.

Lillehammer: Past blue waters and fields of farmland and larkspur is Norway's leading resort. It is surrounded by mountains and is at the head of Lake Mjosa. The pine-scented air is so great that many Europeans make this their holiday center. Foreigners generally skip in and out of town after 1 night. Lillehammer was the sit of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Sandvig Collection: This open-air museum at Malhaugen is a museum of peasant culture, containing old farmsteads, heirlooms, and native art. A visionary dentist, Dr. Anders Sandvig created it. Assembled on a hill are 100 buildings ranging from manor farms to the cottage of the poorest peasant. The houses, reassembled here and furnished in 17th-18th century styles, came from all over the country.

Art Museum: This museum features Norwegian art from the 19th century to the present. Edvard Munch's works are very prominent. Daily 10-3, Sun 12-4.

Writer's Homes: Nobel Prize Winners Sigrid Undset and Bjornstejne Bjornson lived in the vicinity of Lillehammer. Mrs. Undset's daughter-in-law lives in her former home and it is closed to the public. But it is possible totake an excursion to Bjornson's home "Sulestad" 12 miles away.

Gudbrandsdal: The rugged peaks of the Jotunheim Mountains surround this majestic valley.

Geirangerfjord: Norwegians consider this, a favorite body of water for cruises, to be their most majestic Fjord. Perched on rocky ledges high above the fjord are a number of small farmsteads and waterfalls, such as the "7 Sisters" sending their shimmering veils cascading down the rock face. Most tours take a spectacular cruise on this fjord.

Allesund: At the top of fjord country lies Norway's "big catch" town, which spreads over 3 islands and is further dramatized by the snow-capped Sunnmore Alps in the background. The shape of the town actually resembles a fishing hook. The harbor was almost totally rebuilt after a fire in 1094. Today it is teeming with sights - the work of nature and of humanity. Seagulls screech along the harbor where trawlers bob up and down; clouds hover over mountains that resemble gray-haired trolls with gigantic noses - and the fading sun turns the stone buildings into saffron. Be sure and look up when walking around town to see the decoration on the houses with their colorful facades, turrets and gables full of the elements of Norse Mythology.
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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