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Earlier this month I wrote that I was planning a trip to Europe this summer. I will go to Switzerland to visit my cousins and attend a family birthday celebration. When I wrote that post, I was unsure as to where I would go from Switzerland. I received an e-mail from one of my Swiss cousins who currently lives in Norway. He and his family will return home after the party, so I have decided that for the second part of my trip I will go to Norway, a country that I have never visited before. Although I have not yet made any reservations, I have started to plot out an itinerary. I bought a couple of guide books, and I have been studying them. Rick Steve's "Scandinavia" has proven to be the most useful with practical information.
My plan is to fly from Zurich to Bergen, Norway's second largest city. This is where my cousin lives. I will spend three days in Bergen seeing the sights and visiting my cousin. Norway is notoriously expensive, perhaps more than Switzerland, but I found a hotel there whose price is not too outrageous.
Then from Bergen I will take a couple trips to visit the spectacular fjords of Norway. I found a day excursion from Bergen to the Hardangerfjord which is 50 miles to the south of Bergen. Although I am not a big fan of guided tours, this may be the easiest option. I will check with my cousin before I make a reservation. Then I will make a several day trip on my own to visit the largest fjord, the Sognefjord. I can take a boat from Bergen to Balestrand, a small town on the shore of the fjord. There is a nice, reasonably priced hotel in Balestrand. I will probably make the hotel reservation later today since it is nearly booked. There is no cancellation fee, so I can go ahead and book it even though I have not made any other reservations at this point. From Ballestrand I can take boats to visit various places of interest along the Sognefjord.
I will return by boat to Bergen, spend another night there, and then take the train from Bergen to Norway's capital, Oslo. (The train ride is supposed to be one of the most spectacular in the world.) I will spend a couple days in Oslo, see the sights there, and then fly home.
It should be a very exciting trip!