Malaysian sisters had the time of their lives in Norway

Balestrand is located on the northern shore of Sognefjorden. — Photos: EDNA LIM

It was a dream come true for my sister and I to be able to visit Norway to experience and marvel at the fjords there.

Our holiday began in Oslo, where everything was neat and tidy. What impressed me the most was Oslo’s efforts in preserving the environment.

The capital city was the 2019 winner of European Green Capital.

Living up to its title, all the vehicles there are electric cars and come to think of it, we didn’t stumble upon any gas stations during our stay there. There are, however, stations everywhere to charge these vehicles.

In Oslo, we enjoyed exploring Karl Johans Gate. We figured out much later that “gate” actually means street or alley.

There’s just so much to see, do, eat and not forgetting, shop, along Karl Johans Gate. Karl Johans Gate is a very long street that leads to the Parliament Building, Royal Palace and the grand magnificent City Centre where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year.

   The writer in Flam.The writer in Flam.An architecture that simply blew our breath away was the Oslo Opera House, with its sloping marble and granite roof. Visitors could walk all the way up to the roof, sit and enjoy the panoramic view of Oslo.

Do mind your steps here. There are some small steps or ledges and if you are not careful, you might fall. The walk up the roof is free.

I visited thrice just to marvel at its magnificent structure and admire the panoramic view of Oslo.

We also did a nature walk along the river Akarselva. Along the river there were many cafes, historical buildings, buildings in unique shapes, waterfalls, bridges and galleries.

From Oslo, we took the Flam Railway train to explore the fjords. It was snowing when we arrived at Myrdal Station to switch trains.

Throughout the journey, we were greeted by magnificent views of mountains, rivers and fjords. It was snowing in some parts of our train journey.

Once we reached Flam, we had to switch to a ferry that would take us to Balestrand. The trains and ferry that we took were clean and very comfortable.

Balestrand is located on the northern shore of Sognefjorden which overlooks the fjords. It’s so peaceful and quiet here.

Everywhere you turn, you would see mountains, some still covered with snow, and of course, the fjords. There was a slight drizzle but it wasn’t a problem for us.

We enjoyed the visit to St Olaf Church, which was built in 1897. It’s a church with a tower, spires, slate roofs, oval windows with beautiful stained glass.

The next day, we made our way to Bergen by ferry. We were greeted by houses clinging to the hillsides, waterfront, narrow cobblestone alleys, a fish market, museums, parks and the Unesco site Bryggen.

We went up to Mount Floyen using the funicular train and then followed a hiking trail in the forest which brought us past pine trees, streams, creeks and lake. From the top of Mount Floyen, you could have a bird’s eye view of Bergen.

Exploring the winding, narrow cobblestone alleys was a very unique experience. It was so quiet and peaceful that we were wondering if anybody lived in those houses.

  At Bergen, the writer and her sister were amused by the narrow lanes between the houses. At Bergen, the writer and her sister were amused by the narrow lanes between the houses.While we were exploring, we stumbled upon the oldest cafe in Bergen, Det lille Kaffekompaniet. It was located just above the entrance to the Mount Floyen station.

The meals during our trip consisted mostly of fresh fish like halibut, salmon and cod. You could taste how fresh the fish was with just a single bite.

On our last night in Norway, we tried their traditional moose stew. The meat was tender and juicy. There was whale meat on the menu, too, but we didn’t have the courage to try it. The price of food here is steep if we were to convert it to our currency.

All the places we visited in Norway were very walkable. We didn’t go on any public bus or train when we were in the cities. All you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes, armed with an umbrella or rain coat (as the weather could be unpredictable) and that will bring you to many interesting places.

It helps that the Norwegians speak good English. We also went in late May so the weather was just perfect – not too cold or hot. You probably need a jacket though as certain places can still get pretty cold.

An advantage of visiting Norway during the summer is the days are longer, which means we had a lot more time to explore our surroundings.

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.

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