WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SEE SOME OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN?
MY HUSBAND AND I ARE TRAVELLING TO ODENSE IN DENMARK IN AUGUST FOR A CONFERENCE. WE ARE AWAY FOR FOUR WEEKS AND AFTER THE CONFERENCE WE WONDER WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SEE SOME OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN? A CRUISE, OR AN INDEPENDENT ITINERARY? SELF CONTAINED IS OUR ACCOMMODATION PREFERENCE, AND BEING AWAY FROM BIG CITIES. C. W.
From Odense you’re just a short hop away from Copenhagen, and it would be a real shame to miss one of the most likeable and user-friendly of all European cities.
Afterwards, my suggestion would be to fly to Kirkenes at the top of Norway, close to the Russian frontier and well north of the Arctic Circle, and board one of the Hurtigruten vessels for the one-week trip south to Bergen, one of the worlds great cruises. As well as a viewing platform for the wonders of the fiords, the Hurtigruten ships also offer a chance to explore some of the ports along the way.
At Bergen, pick up a hire car and drive across the mountains from Bergen to Oslo. This is one of the stars of European motoring adventures, a roller-coaster ride that takes in gorgeous little villages, dramatic scenery and several ferry crossings. If you were to drive north from Bergen, you could cross Sognefjord and then along drive the northern side of the fiord, and make sure your camera battery is fully charged, you’ll need it. From Sognefjord turn south to Flam and take the Flamsbana, the electric train that runs to Myrdal, just 40 minutes away, but it’s heart-in-the-mouth all the way, one of the loveliest and steepest of all train journeys.From Oslo you could drive slowly south along the west coast of Sweden, another lovely journey, then when you get to Gothenburg turn east to Stockholm. At a leisurely pace, this feels about right for the time you have available. From Stockholm you’ll need to return your hire car to Oslo, or pay a hefty one-way fee. Stockholm and Oslo are two of the most delightful and well mannered cities you’ll ever see, don’t miss the chance to spend a few days in each.