Getting to Norway from Croatia was no small feat. In retrospect [that good ol 20/20 vision~!] there was maybe some other way to do this, but we wanted to get here because we said we would be here by thanksgiving because after all it’s a Christmas tree farm and that is how it’s done… we want to be good on our word..
so we left Croatia on a Tuesday night.
We boarded a train from Rijeka, hr, to Ljulujeck, Slovenia where we arrived at about 1130 pm. Then we boarded our 11:52 pm night train to Munich, which apparently is also called Munchen. [I swear, we really should agree to spell names of major cities the same as the locals, it would be to our benefit].
The overnight train was expensive, and off season I wouldn’t recommend it, necessarily. However, the cabin manager, or whatever he’s called, took our passports for the border crossing (?) so we could sleep through that… the cabin has three high bunk style beds, a window, a sink, and very little storage. I couldn’t imagine sharing that small space with a stranger, but then, we are getting older and into our comforts, eh?
I found the lull of the train to be very relaxing and comforting… it was when we periodically stopped that I felt unsettled and wary. Strange, but true.
I’m getting so as I really like the trains and I’m feeling much more comfortable at the big stations, too. Not like that first time, in France, I believe it was.
So then we walked over to our next train that would take us to Hamburg by 1 pm. First we got on the wrong car in the correct lane- and then after that we moved to the right place. It was nice to have a table seat area… it’s cool to stretch out and enjoy all that space. Although, in general, the spaces are more comfortable than a plane, for sure.
We arrived 5 hours later in Hamburg and were able to just figure out that a train was leaving to Kiel in 15 minutes, Brad secured tickets, and we found 2 seats together on a fairly packed train [compared to the other one].. This ride was only one hour and 20 minutes, though. In Kiel we had awesome Mediterranean style food: meat, rice, flavors, delicious! And we were quite hungry by then so it worked out.
Then we found a great hotel called the Nordic Hotel Astora, or something like that. It looked really boring from the outside but it turned out we had a corner room with windows on both sides. Awesome. Really very cool.
That town is pretty neat, I’d say it’s one of the nicest port towns-if not thee nicest= I’ve ever been through. Neat. Clean. Tidy. Very Deutch! Lol.
Apparently alcohol and tobacco are priced exorbitantly in Norway. To plan for this, we bought;
WINE, 3 big boxes of it = 9 bottles worth,
10 packs of tobacco for our soon-to-be host.
And, just because, we also bought chap sticks, candy, and batteries. And that’s all I could talk brad into carrying…
we loaded up and went to our ferry between Oslo and Kiel.
Then we arrived in Oslo on Friday morning at 10 am. It was a cool experience.
It seems that it took a bit to get ourselves situated, but we weren’t in a hurry so it didn’t matter, really. It was American food day, for some reason. Brad had the best bacon cheeseburger for lunch and later for dinner we had nachos [not really] and a pizza… hmm. It was okay. Very bland dinner for over $50. Crazy pricing here… it will take some getting used to, for sure.
We walked around and looked at all the shops, we went to the national museum but decided not to go in because really, the temperature was just so great I wanted to stay outside. So where there was a kid playing his electric guitar [ with great covers! Iron maiden, guns n roses, and others] we found a coffee place and sat right on a big square within listening distance.
I like how the coffee shops-instead of closing their outdoor seating when it’s a little cooler- provide little blanket throws on their outdoor seating. It’s a great idea and you figure, it’s fall/winter, so why not?
By the way, Oslo is at 71 degrees north! That is so cool. The sun seemed to set shortly after 3:30 pm, it was overcast and a little hard to tell, but that’s what I think. It was dark by a little after 4pm! I love it!
Now I’m riding a quintessentially red train from Oslo towards Bergen. Next up? More details about this and added photos.