As the wealthier parts of Europe were building grand churches and castles of stone, Norway built with wood, and little survives from centuries past. At 4,600 feet, the Sognefjell road is Norway's highest pass. There's also a convenient bus connection from Flåm and Aurland. Of the many tongues of the glacier, this one — called Nigardsbreen — offers the best visit. Scenes glide by like a movie. I'm Rick Steves. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Oslo, Norway, and find out what to do on your next trip. And the visual highlight of this ride, Nærøyfjord, is 10 miles long and breathtakingly narrow — as little as 800 feet wide. So it's very deep there. Rick Steves Snapshot: Norway contains all the complete chapters on this stunning country, excerpted from Rick's full-length Scandinavia guidebook — and leaves out the chapters on other Scandinavian destinations. The walls are festooned with photos of the musical and literary superstars of his generation. Post questions and answers about travel in Norway. Fountains celebrating cultural icons provide popular meeting places. Dating from around 1180, the interior features only a few later additions, including a 16th-century pulpit, 17th-century stone altar, painted decorations, and crossbeam reinforcements. In 2012, Rick mentioned traveling with a woman named Trish Feaster. And this glacier's a very big glacier. Rick Steves' Europe. Historically, it was a challenging place in which to live. Today their descendents, returning to their Viking roots, discover a prosperous, contented, and beautiful country. You can visit his house on your own, but it's more enjoyable if you take the included 20-minute tour. That's why Vikings ventured south and so many emigrants left for America. Start a New Topic. The scale is enormous, and blue cliffs of ancient ice dwarf awestruck visitors. 194k Followers, 155 Following, 1,602 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Rick Steves' Europe (@ricksteveseurope) View the daily YouTube analytics of Rick Steves' Europe and track progress charts, view future predictions, related channels, and track realtime live sub counts. In this rugged terrain, tunnels and fjord crossings provide valuable shortcuts. The Borgund Stave Church is one of the best. This fountain is dedicated to the beloved violinist Ole Bull. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Norway and find out what to do on your next trip. Start a New Topic. This popular day trip is nicknamed "Norway in a Nutshell.". "Rick Steves does nature.". For an exhilarating alternative, sign up for a speedier tour in a small, open Zodiac-type boat. see our FAQ. Begin with an enticing variety of seafood — mackerel, eel, smoked salmon, pickled herring, and more. Interiors were stark and dark, with tiny windows and simple X-shaped crosses of St. Andrew. In the 1500s, Bergen was essentially a Germanic community of 2,000 workaholic merchants surrounded and supported by 5,000 Norwegians. On a summer evening the twilight lingers, causing people to do the same. The Trans-Norway line, an engineering marvel when completed in 1909, was important because it laced together the nation. Visiting a glacier is a quintessential Norwegian experience, bringing you face-to-face with the majesty of nature. The valley comes with a quintessential glacier view. Rick: Let's go! Video: Watch Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains, and Bergen — an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. At the glacier called Nigardsbreen, the scale is enormous. My Account. The church is about a 30-minute drive east of Lærdal, on the road to Oslo. Guide: So this is what makes this fjords in Norway so special, cause it's steep, steep walls down in the fjord everywhere. That's why Vikings ventured south, and that's why so many people here chose to leave and settle in America. In its fine old dining room, the Kviknes offers a classic Norwegian smörgåsbord. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. My Account. Like the Egyptians, the Vikings believed in a life after death. In ’78 it was a steep single lane with 2-way traffic, switchbacks, and a sheer drop. Guide: Welcome to the Håkon's Hall, which is today one of the more important secular buildings we actually have here in Norway from the Middle Ages. The tower and hall, sitting boldly out of place on the harbor just beyond Bryggen, are reminders of Bergen's importance as the first permanent capital of Norway. And tunnels — this is one of the world's longest for cars, at 15 miles — save lots of time. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. Stylized dragons — reminiscent of those that once adorned Viking ships — probably functioned like gargoyles: to keep evil spirits at bay. So he was the last one. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Sweden. Language: English Thanks for joining us. Pick one of the 60 days when the sun shines to ride Bergen's popular funicular. Rick: So there was a man named Eilert? As host, writer, and producer of the popular and long-running American Public Television series Rick Steves' Europe, and through his travel books, he encourages Americans to become what he calls "temporary locals." Norway's lunar-like mountain-scapes and deep fjords were shaped by glaciers that covered most of the continent 10,000 years ago. And nine generations later, Ole Henrik keeps the tradition alive. Anne Steves filed for divorce in Snohomish Superior Court in the State of Washington in September of 2009. While the beauty of these fjords has changed little in the last century, today, getting around is a different story. The main square, originally created as a fire break in this fire-plagued city, is lined by big department stores. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | These are northern Europe's highest peaks and they're steeped in Norse legends and folklore. While the basic design reflects the simple technology of the age, more elaborate examples like this one stand as proud testaments to the culture. Borgund's church also comes with one of the country's best stave-church history museums, which beautifully explains these icons of medieval Norway. Its creaky old rooms offer a time-tunnel experience back to Bryggen's glory days. So if all you want is the best of Norway, this compact Snapshot guide delivers everything you'll need to know — for about half the price and half the bulk. At this latitude, even these modest altitudes take us high above the tree line with snow through the summer. It was all about the fish. For centuries villagers trekked across this pass to reach the coast. Otternes is one such farm village perched high above a fjord. Guide: So we ready to go? It all culminates with a rich spread of local cheeses and berries. Why four families together: The result: a fascinating land well worth visiting. The architecture guides your gaze upwards, towards heaven. If your trip includes an excursion to St. Petersburg, which isn't included in Rick Steves Scandinavia, the Snapshot: St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn guide is a worthwhile buy. Their three-hour tour is the same, but adds a stop in Undredal, where you can see goat cheese being made, sample it, and wander that sleepy village. The hotel, set right on the Lustrafjord (with a garden perfect for relaxing and, if necessary, even convalescing), is open May through September. The Hanseatic League was an alliance of cities stretching across northern Europe from London to Russia. Exploring the Nile Valley from north to south, we see the highlights of Egypt. This fine harbor has a long history. Other options New and used from $18.39. In this intensely scenic corner of Europe, the challenges presented by nature have met the tough and creative spirit of the Norwegian people. A former inn and coach station, it's been in the family since 1690. The adjacent tower dates back to the same period. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. Back before World War I brought the Romantic age to a halt, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm spent five summers communing with nature right here. Start a New Topic. This is the wet and wild homeland of the Vikings — whose culture lasted about three centuries, from roughly 800 to 1100. I recently told my TV producer, "Everyone in Norway looks like my brother." Romantic painters and writers were inspired by the mountains plunging into the fjords and by the dramatic light. Mail is dropped and visitors come and go by request. It was all about this fish: cod — a form of protein that could be dried, preserved, and shipped anywhere. Park guides lash on crampons and rope up adventurous travelers in preparation for an icy hike. Today, Otternes welcomes visitors with a rare look at Norway of old. This time we're traveling in northern Europe, where the mountains meet the sea — it's the best of western Norway. Then we delve into the Hanseatic heritage and enjoy the salty hospitality of Norway's historic capital, Bergen. And Viking raiders terrorized much of Europe for generations. Get it as soon as Thu, Dec 3. This mound marks the grave of one of those Viking rulers. Laila: Yes and Eilert he lived here till 1980. But if I did, he'd look like the guys in Norway. The train stops at a misty waterfall. 4.8 out of 5 stars 394. Today the action's down at sea level. We'll zero in on the scenic west — along the biggest of the fjords, Sognefjord, with stops in Jotunheim, the Jostedal Glacier, Solvorn, Flåm, Balestrand, and Bergen. This little museum offers the best possible look inside the wooden houses that are Bergen's trademark. But Rick, you didn’t mention the bus ride up Stalheim Gorge. Much of Norway's current affluence is fueled by the oil it drills just off shore. But I find excuses to return to Norway almost annually. It's based on local ingredients — many of them pulled right out of the fjord. When you explore and when you know where to look and you have a good guidebook, you'll find it's a real hoot…, This is the glamour of travel, I mean of production… While breathtaking scenery is everywhere you look, the history is harder to see. The end of the Viking age, with its pagan Norse gods, is marked by the coming of Christianity to Norway in the 12th century. Rick Steves' Europe is an American travel documentary television series created and hosted by Rick Steves.In each episode, he travels to the continent of Europe, documenting his experiences along the way.. Its simple design favored security over comfort. As we descend into the fertile valley, farms appear. Norwegians are making massive infrastructure investments to link their people and industries. Paintings romanticized both the nature and the traditional folk life it fostered. Post questions and answers about travel in Norway. Little Balestrand is dwarfed by the mountainous scenery. Stave churches were supported by stout pine poles — or "staves" — and slathered with a protective coat of black tar. Title Author Replies Last Post ; Still, a handful of farmers remained, eking out a living here until just a generation ago. Norway. Today, in the one-with-nature concert hall, visitors drop in to midday performances by local musicians. You can imagine the Norse spirits of Thor and Odin inhabiting these misty peaks. Cruising on a boat across a pristine lake to the glacier, I felt dwarfed by blue cliffs of ancient ice. Laila: Yes. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. A charming ambiance pervades the place. The elegant Old World public spaces in the old section make you want to just sit there and sip tea all afternoon. Rivers of ice like this carved huge valleys creating the defining feature of Norway's landscape — the fjords. The result: a fascinating land well worth exploring. Bergen has burned down and been rebuilt several times. Plan your own trip or take one of Rick's value-packed European tours and vacations. This was the historic trading center. While there are more demanding Nigardsbreen routes, I like to join a family hike — just an hour, but enough to bring me face to face with the glacier's majesty. Our guide, Rune, knows all the interesting stops. Sweden. 73 $23.99 $23.99. People slept cozy as they could in cramped cupboard beds. Much of Norway's affluence is fueled by the oil it drills just offshore. My Account. This building has changed little since it was built in 1180. All rooms come with balconies. Customers ate it up — then as well as today. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Norway; Please sign in to post. Having traveled with me for 12 years, he was shocked: "I didn't know you had a brother!" It pays to check the bigger hotels' websites for special deals. Adventurous travelers can lash on crampons and follow a park ranger on a trek over the ice and snow. As a matter of fact, these simple steps were built for the German emperor. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, American travel authority Rick Steves guides viewers through his favorite European cities. Pace yourself with small plates through many courses. With a setting like this, Grieg fans become tuned into nature and nature lovers become tuned in to Grieg. Rick: So I'm curious about how this community was organized. Rick Steves' Europe. The country's famously steep mountains and deep fjords were shaped by the glaciers that covered most of the Continent 10,000 years ago. While breathtaking vistas are everywhere you look, the city's history is harder to see. Norway. Håkon's Hall was originally built as a banqueting hall in the 13th century. The surrounding countryside is decorated with medieval stave churches, fishing boats, cascading waterfalls, dramatic glaciers, and brightly painted shiplap villages. Surveying the surrounding islands and fjords, it's clear why this city is known as the "Gateway to Fjord Country.". The approach includes a cruise across the glacial lake. Rooms upstairs — with hundred-year-old cod hanging from the ceilings — take you back to the 1700s. My Account. And his last wish was we should try to take care of this house almost like it was when he died. First settled in 1522, farmers lived here until the 1990s. Steves advocates independent travel. Dramatic waterfalls continue to cut into the mountains. A park-like esplanade leads to the national theater. The Nigard Glacier is the most accessible branch of mainland Europe's largest glacier (the Jostedalsbreen, 185 square miles). The house and adjacent museum are full of memories and artifacts, including the composer's Steinway. But today, crossing it's a pleasure. All the full length Rick Steves Europe PBS Episodes that I could find. Post questions and answers about travel in Norway. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Norway; Please sign in to post. Those medieval Norwegians, now tamed, took their boat-building skills and rather than sleek ships to raid in, they built fine wooden churches to pray in. To enjoy the full effect of this fjordside setting, I take my coffee and dessert out to the porch. Start a New Topic. Sognefjord is Norway's biggest, and that's the one we're exploring. Remarkable carvings survive — evoking the pagan roots of these early Norwegian Christians. Laila: Yeah. Title Author Replies Last Post; Norway fjords: see our FAQ. While there were over a thousand such churches in Norway back in the 1300s, today, only a couple dozen survive. It's a busy working port. Norway is first and foremost a place of unforgettable natural beauty — and Norway's greatest claims to scenic fame are her deep, lush fjords. Rick Steves' Europe Egypt’s Nile, Alexandria, and Luxor. Historically, it was a challenge to live here. Video: Watch Oslo, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. S11 Ep1106 | 26m 15s And locals come to life when the sun peeks through, here in Norway's rainiest city. In the late 19th century, Norway's greatest artists and musicians called Bergen home. While tentative at first, hikers soon gain confidence in their crampons as they climb high onto the glacier. This is the land of Thor and Odin, whose spirits still inhabit the misty peaks. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. It's about three miles from Flåm (easy for drivers; a decent walk or bike ride otherwise), up a twisty gravel road midway between Flåm and Aurland. Seven hundred years ago, local kings established Bergen as Norway's first capital. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Norway. They needed each other, and Bergen is where they met. And the selection ranges from rutabagas to reindeer. The distance from seabed to mountaintop around here is as much as 9,000 feet — nearly two vertical miles. It stretches nearly the length of America's west coast. The hotel has two parts: a new wing, and the historic wooden section, with 25 older, classic rooms, and no elevator. For a present day taste of this Romanticism, I like the mellow town of Solvorn with its dramatic fjordside setting. Until next time, get some hairspray. It was basically four stout rooms stacked atop each other. Bergen's popular funicular rises high above the city offering commanding views. Survival suits keep everyone cozy and comfortable at thrillingly high speeds. Explore Norway! The court granted her a divorce on March 5, 2010. 1:00:18. "Rugged" is putting it mildly when it comes to 80 percent of Norway. The most scenic train ride in all of northern Europe connects visitors from Oslo and Bergen to all this wonder by climbing over the mountainous spine of Norway. Skip to main content. To get deep into the heart of the fjords, sightseers ride traditional ferries or excursion boats. It was an all-male society with strict rules and a focus on business. Fires were almost routine, and little survives from centuries past. The most exciting single-day trip you could make from Oslo or Bergen is this circular train/boat/bus/train jaunt through fjord country. Northern Europe's highest mountains are here — called Jotunheimen, or Giant's Country. Rick: Long way down! I recently told my TV producer, "Everyone in Norway looks like my brother." The berries, picked right out of their garden, go perfectly with the view. Man: Long way down. They worked together for freer, safer, and more profitable trade in an age before modern states could provide a reliable environment for business. Thanks for joining us. Along with a scenic boat ride up Nærøyfjord, a highlight is this little train, which takes travelers from the main line in the mountains steeply down to the fjords. It's popular with cruise ships and a refuge when heavy winds drive in the boats that serve North Sea oil rigs. Norway. While there are more demanding Nigardsbreen routes, I'm joining a family hike — just an hour, but offering an unforgettable experience and bringing you face to face with the power and majesty of nature. Pale locals bolt outside when the sun peeks through in Norway's rainiest city. Pre-order Price Guarantee. If you have a rail pass that covers Norway, skip the package trip, as your pass covers the bulk of the route. Along with being home of Norway's king, Bergen was a member of the mighty Hanseatic League, and therefore a trading power. It rises 1,000 feet above the city to dazzling views that lead all the way to the Atlantic. To help drivers stay awake, there are rest chambers with colored lights mid-tunnel. Finally, the train hits the fjord, where passengers catch a ferry for the next leg of Norway in a Nutshell. The distance from seabed to mountaintop around here is as much as 9,000 feet — nearly two vertical miles. My Account. Otherwise, however, the various Snapshot guides for Scandinavia are simply excerpted chapters taken directly from the complete Rick Steves Scandinavia guidebook. For most of its past, Norway was extremely humble. His little studio hut near the water makes you want to sit down and modulate. Hi, I'm Rick Steves back with more of the Best of Europe. 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Look like the guys in Norway looks like my brother., our! Peaks and they believed you could take it with you a series of efficient connections enjoying a and., and Luxor of climate change and castles of stone, most of many!