In a nutshell, Norway

Naturally, no trip to Norway could be complete without a visit to the famous fjords. So I did the Norge i et nøtteskall tour – or as it’s more commonly known as, the Norway in a Nutshell tour. This is basically a daytrip from Oslo to Bergen, diverting somewhere in the middle to take in the Sognefjord, which is the largest one in Norway.

Part of the tour is a trip on the Flåmsbana train which travels from Myrdal to Flåm through some stunning mountain scenery. The Kjosfossen waterfall is a stop along the way and legend has it that a temptress lives behind these falls and tries to lure men to the rocks with her singing. I wonder how many sea-faring cultures in the world have these sexist water-related myths featuring sirens?

It was an awe-inspiring excursion but going on it at this time of year is probably not ideal because of the cold weather and dark conditions.

On the other hand, you really appreciate the hardiness of the Norwegians who live in such inhospitable places. Some of the villages had no road access and were only reachable by boat. Human beings are amazingly adaptable.

Another downside to travel – or perhaps upside depending on how you look at it – is that you can really lose track of what goes on in the world. While I was on the cruise, another tourist I was speaking to told me that there had been serious rioting in France and in many of the places that I had visited. There are so many thoughts in my mind about it, but mostly I’m just sad that places that I found so beautiful and interesting have so easily become scenes of violence. It’s a sad fact about the world.

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