I hadn't realized how beautiful Norway is! The area around the mountains and fjords on the west coast is just breathtaking! I spent my time in Norway in the south - unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to travel to the north.

Oslo is the oldest of the capitals in Scandinavia. It is very easy to find your way around. Many of the sights and attractions are on or within a block or two of Karl Johans gate. This statue of Norway's best known playwright, Henrik Ibsen, stands in front of the National Theatre.

Vigeland Park, part of Frogner Park, is full of sculptures by Norse artist Gustav Vigeland. Off to the side of the park is the Vigeland Museum that started out as a studio and home provided for Vigeland by the city of Oslo. The full size sculptures are very interesting, mostly people of all ages and shapes. The statues are all naked which gives them a sense of timelessness.

This picture is from the western part of Norway. This area of fjords, mountains, and glaciers has one beautiful vista after another. There are hiking trails of varying difficulty, both accompanied and do-it-yourself, including a hike across a glacier.

Near Sogndal is an open air folk museum. Old buildings have been moved together to make up a town that is a walk through history. I believe these buildings are from the 1600's. I'm just fascinated by things this old (tho by European standards, they aren't really that old!) As part of the museum there are live displays of period handicrafts in some of the buildings.

From Bergen, I took the Norway in a Nutshell tour. This tour goes via bus, boat, and train through the mountains and Sognefjord. The trip on the boat and trains is very scenic. The bus is as well, but the most impressive part of the bus trip is how the driver gets the big bus around the hairpin curves! Bergen was the capital of Norway in the 1100s and 1200s. These old buildings along the harbor date to nearly that time. The part in front - Rosenkrantz Tower - was once the keep of a castle. The half hidden building in the back (with the stepped roof) is Hakon's Hall and was once a royal residence.

These cute sod roofed buldings are a rest stop between Bergen and the southern coast. I thought I'd take a picture since these are under-represented in most travel pages and yet are one of the most essential buildings to travelers! Scandinavian has well-spaced, clean rest stops along most routes.

My last stop in Norway was Kristiansand on the southern coast. From here you can catch the ferry to bring you and/or a car to Denmark. Unlike many older European towns, it is laid out in a grid, so it's easy to walk along the shopping area, check out the cathedral, and the fortress with its harbor view. The town was founded in 1641 by King Christian IV - this is a statue of him.


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