Yes I know, it’s been three years almost exactly since I backpacked in Norway and celebrated my 99th country on route to the magic 100 (which was Tunisia). I never truly got round to writing the 20 plus stories from my fast week in Norway but I toured a lot, including a train from Gothenburg to Oslo.
Then I visited Voss, took a cruise through the fjords of Gudvangen, visited Flam and took the world’s highest railway. I also visited Myrdal and Bergen before partying with Gunnar Garfors – the only man I have met who has visited every real country in the world. Now that over three years have passed since that trip, I finally share my top 5 moments and some as yet unseen photos from my time backpacking Norway.
1.Gothenburg to Oslo Train
My entrance into country 99 was something of a fairytale. After backpacking through the Swedish city of Gothenburg, I had a beer at Gothenburg strain station and waved goodbye to Sweden. Once I boarded the train, I helped a young Norwegian lady put her bags up in the overhead compartment and off we went.
That young lady was Lisa. She was from Norway and we got chatting. She was impressed and surprised that I was backpacking into my 99th country on route to becoming a backpacking centurion. As a surprise, Lisa gave me a present just before we crossed the border. It was a keyring of the famous SCREAM painting by Edvard Munch. I still have it on my key-ring today!
2.Celebratory Beers in Oslo
Oslo was a great city to choose for the celebration. I had three epic nights here, two nights in the swanky Clarion Collection Hotel in the Christiania Theatre in the heart of Oslo and a further night in the excellent Olympic sporty hotel.
My first celebration was a beer on my own in the Scotsman Pub but the highlight was a night out with Gunnar Garfors. Gunnar has visited every country in the world and was the youngest every hobby traveller to do that. We had a great night out on the rip, drinking beer, talking football and debating what is a country and what is not.
3.Fjord Cruise, Gudvangen
Probably my highlight tourist wise was the fjord cruise. Despite having visited Antarctica in 2010, this was still an awe inspiring cruise through the fjords of Gudvangen. I had longed to go on Norway excursions as a child and now here I was doing it and celebrating a 99 with a flake country.
I never got round to writing about the cruise itself, but it was such a great time for me. I cannot even remember how long the cruise took but the views were stunning, my fellow tourists were great fun – especially the Taiwan group and the ship finally sailed into Flam where I visited the museum.
4.Riding the world’s steepest railway line at Flam
I also completely forgot to write about this one – after touring the town of Flam and enjoying the museum there, I took the famous trip on the world’s steepest train line – from Flam to Myrdal. It was a sensational train ride up the mountains, one to be treasured forever.
5.Backpacking in Bergen
I had to get a spot of textbook backpacking in on my 99th country tour so I heading to the city of Bergen. Here, on the west coast of Norway I slept in the backpackers hostel, backpacked Bergen and ate some great fish in a penguin restaurant.
SO there you have it – finally my top 5 from Norway. I hope I can get through this depression caused by that horrible nasty liar, her accomplice and the wannabe world leader guru God to bring you more stories, again some day…