Day-By-Day Intinerary: Norway, June 2001


Evening departure from Minneapolis by Icelandair. Sit back, relax and enjoy your comfortable jet aircraft. Dinner and breakfast will be served during your transatlantic flight.


Morning connection in Reykjavik for your flight to Oslo. Late morning arrival at the new Gardemoen International Airport. Luggage assistance and transfer from the airport to your hotel. The rest of the day is free in Oslo. Perhaps take a harbor cruise or visit one of the museums. Take a stroll along the main street, Karl Johan, and enjoy the beauty of the "Studenterlunden" in the center of town nestled between the National Theater and the "Storting," Norway's Parliament. Gather for a welcome dinner this evening. Hotel Bristol; D


Morning departure from your hotel by private motor coach and local English-speaking guide for a three-hour tour of Oslo. The tour will include Frogner Park, with its renowned Vigeland sculptures, and a stop at the famous Holmenkollen ski jump. From the ski jump you have a unique view of Oslo and the surrounding area. Also visit the impressive Viking Ship Museum. The 1,000-year-old Viking ships make history come alive. Drive past the medieval fortress of Akershus, the Royal Palace, the busy port and Town Hall. Last, visit the Resistance Museum, which commemorates the Norwegian resistance against the Nazi occupation. The tour ends at your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure to explore, shop and dine on your own. Hotel Bristol; B


Depart Oslo in the morning and drive north to Eidsvoll on the south end of Lake Mjøsa. Eidsvoll, "the cradle of liberty," is the most resounding name in Norwegian history for it was here that the Norwegian Constitution was framed and adopted in May 1814. This event is commemorated every year on Constitution Day, May 17 (Syttende Mai). Drive past the town of Hamar to Skredshol Farm, one of the best and largest farms in the district of Hedmark, with a magnificent view of Lake Mjøsa. The Moslet family will offer you a homemade lunch, share the history of the farm (which can be traced to the Middle Ages) and give you a guided tour before you continue to the charming town of Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Visit Maihaugen, the largest open-air museum in northern Europe. Here you will find 120 buildings and thousands of artifacts collected from the Gudbrandsdal Valley. Upon leaving Lillehammer, drive past several Olympic arenas and sites. Then start your drive through Gudbrandsdalen, known as "the valley of valleys," extending from Lillehammer to the Dovrefjell Mountains. Arrive at the village of Kvitfjell for check-in at a newly opened hotel. Built in traditional Norwegian style with cogged logs and solid timber, the Hotel Gudbrandsgard is located above the Olympic downhill area with a superb view of the Gudbrandsdal Valley. Tonight enjoy dinner and entertainment by local folklore dancers. Hotel Gudbrandsgard; B, D


Leave your hotel in the morning and continue through Gudbrandsdalen to the small community of Sel, the setting for the main work of Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, author of the Kristin Lavransdatter novels. The trilogy, translated into more than 70 languages, is the most read novel of the 20th century. See the lifelike statue of Kristin Lavransdatter, then proceed to the newly-reconstructed medieval farm, Jørundgard, at Nord Sel. A guided tour will be arranged to learn more about the life of Kristin Lavransdatter. Continue north, making a stop in the small mountain village of Folldal, one of the highest permanently inhabited communities in Norway. Continue to the village of Alvdal for a visit to the Aukrust Center to experience the unique world of Kjell Aukrust. Kjell Aukrust's artistic range is extensive, from humorous storytelling with words and illustrations to lyrical pearls and impressive paintings; from imaginative inventions and a delightful cast of characters to all-round creativity shown through works for theater, film, radio and television. In the afternoon drive along the river Glomma, Norway's largest river, past the villages of Tynset, Tolga and Os to the quaint, romantic copper mining town of Røros, immortalized in the tales of Norway's Johan Falkberget. This 300- year-old mining town has been listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List since 1982. At first sight, you could easily believe that the 20th century passed silently by the little town. Bergstadens Hotel; B, D


Leave your hotel in the morning for a guided tour of Røros. First visit the white stone church, completed in 1784. The other dominant building in Røros is the smelting works. This building was constructed according to the original drawings from the last smelting works in 1888, and now houses Røros Museum. For over 300 years, mining provided a living for the townspeople, and the Røros Copper Mine was one of the richest mines in Europe. You will also visit the Røros Museum and see the smelting works. You will be fascinated by the sounds and movements of the models of pit lifts, waterwheels, horse and carts and the furnaces-a living portrayal of every-day life as a miner. The rest of the day is free in Røros. Tonight have dinner at Kaffestuggu Café, located in one of the oldest buildings in Røros. Bergstadens Hotel; B, D


Leave Røros and drive along the Gauldar Trout River and the Trondheims Fjord. Continue past the village of Hell to the towns of Levanger and Stiklestad where the Viking King Olav was killed in battle in 1030. He introduced Christianity to Norway and was later canonized. The battle is reenacted on July 29 every year. Visit the new Stiklestad National Cultural House with its many exhibitions. The Cultural House is part of Stiklestad Museum, containing 30 buildings. The museum will give you a better under-standing of how people lived in the Viking Age. Also see St. Olav's Monument and visit the Stiklestad Church dating from 1180. Proceed to the town of Steinkjer in the Beitstadfjord inlet. Check in at the Tingvold Park Hotel located next to a Viking burial ship from the period 600 to 1030. Hotel Tingvold Park; B, D


After breakfast drive to the village of Snåsa on the shore of Snåsa Lake. Snåsa is the center for Norway's South Sami. Here you will visit the Sami Cultural Center where you will be served coffee while sitting on reindeer skin in an authentic Sami sod hut. Then visit the Vinje parsonage where Bernt Julius Muus, founder of St. Olaf College, was born in 1832. Close to the parsonage stands a monument erected to the memory of Jens Rønning, the first person from Snåsa to emigrate to the U.S.A. Then continue along Snåsa Lake and the Trondheims Fjord to the town of Trondheim, Norway's third largest city. The city still maintains a unique status as the location of the national shrine, Nidaros Cathedral, and the Governor's Palace. Trondheim has a long history stemming from the Viking period. Check in at the Britannia Hotel, which opened in 1897 and retains its gracious ambience. Hotel Britannia; B, D


This morning take a guided tour of Trondheim. The tour will include a visit to Nidaros Cathedral, which was built on the site where Saint Olav was buried in 1030. Then drive through the center of town past the Governor's Palace, Stiftsgården, and the central market place with the statue of King Olav Trygvasson, the founder of the city in the year 997. You will also visit Ringve Museum, an estate from the 1600s given to the city as a music center by its last owner. Today Ringve is a music museum containing a unique collection of old musical instruments. During the afternoon you are free to explore Trondheim on your own. Perhaps take an excursion to Munkholmen Island, which in pagan times was a place of execution. In early Christian times an abbey was built there, probably the first in Norway. After the Reformation it was converted to a fortress and prison. Dinner will be on your own. Hotel Britannia; B


Morning transfer from your hotel to the pier where you will board the coastal steamer for a full day cruise to Molde. Sail past the 17th-century Munkholmen Fortress, then past Reinskloster at Rissa. In her novel Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset describes the life of the nuns at the convent. Enjoy lunch onboard. At 5:00 p.m. arrive in Kristiansund. The town was bombed in 1940 and over 700 homes were destroyed by fire. Most of the old wooden buildings were replaced by new ones that faithfully preserve the character of the town. After a short call in Kristiansund continue your journey across the narrow Hustadvika passage. Enjoy dinner onboard the ship. Continue past the fishing village of Bud and through the Julsundet Sound before turning into the Molde Fjord. Arrive about 9:15 p.m. in Molde, often called the "City of Roses" because of the wide variety of flowers and plants that usually flourish in much warmer climates. Transfer from the pier to your hotel. Hotel Rica Molde: B, L, D



Leave Molde after a short tour and board the ferry to cross the Romsdals Fjord to Vestnes. Ascend the "Trolls' Path Road" between Åndalsnes and Valldal, a giant among Norway's serpentine roads. Proceed to Valldal, where you will notice the zigzag stripes in the mountain wall. According to legend, the stripes were left by the sea monster that King Olav smashed against the cliff when it tried to prevent the king from landing in Valldal. Drive along the Norddals Fjord to Liabygda for a short ferry crossing to Stranda. Sail on the world famous Geiranger Fjord with its sheer rock walls and numerous waterfalls. Continue your cruise to the popular resort and port of Geiranger. Follow the Geiranger Mountain Road ascending to the roof of Norway from which you will have a spectacular view of lakes and snow-capped peaks. Continue to the village of Lom where you will visit a 12th-century stave church. Check in at the Fossheim Turisthotell, originally opened in 1897. Solid timber-walled houses in keeping with traditional building techniques, together with art and antiques, contribute to an authentic rural atmosphere. The hotel offers an excellent menu based on the best traditional cuisine made by one of Norway's most famous chefs, Arne Brimi. Hotel owner Torgeir T. Garmo is also the owner of the Fossheim Steinsenter (Mineral Center). Its collection of Norwegian minerals is by far the largest and most complete in Norway. Also visit the Fossheim Lapidary Workshop. Fossheim Turisthotell; B, D


Leave Lom after breakfast and drive through the scenic Bøverdalen Valley and then ascend the Sognefjell Mountain Road. Descend to sea level to the fjord village of Skjolden and proceed along the beautiful Lustra Fjord to the village of Ornes to visit the 11th-century Urnes Stave Church, listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List of most valuable cultural memorials. After this visit sail by ferry to Solvorn and proceed along the Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the world. Arrive in Balestrand, the most famous tourist resort in the Sognefjord area. Check in at the historic Kviknes Hotel, which has belonged to the same family for more than 100 years. After dinner a member of the Kviknes family will invite you to a private section of the hotel where you can enjoy coffee while learning the history of the area and the hotel. Hotel Kviknes; B, D


Depart Balestrand by express boat and cruise on the Sognefjord. Arrive in the small fjord village of Flåm. Depart by train on the Flåm Railway, one of the most remarkable pieces of railway engineering in the world. Only 12.4 miles long, it ascends 2,845 feet in less than one hour from Flåm to Myrdal station. Enjoy the breathtaking view over the Flåm Valley and the thundering sound of waterfalls. Arrive at Myrdal Station and take the scenic Bergen Railway to the resort town of Voss, center of the Hardanger region. Voss is also the birth-place of Knute Rockne, the famous foot-ball star from Notre Dame. This after-noon visit Steinstø Farm, one of the area's largest fruit farms producing straw-berries, cherries and apples. Meet Turid, Heidi, Ola and Arnvid Steinstø, who will give you a guided tour of the farm and serve you coffee and homemade apple cake. Afterwards drive past the fjord villages of Øystese and Nordheimsund and through the Steinsdal Valley to Steinsdalsfoss, a beautiful waterfall on the Fosselva River. Continue across the Kvamskogen Mountain Plateau and along the Sør Fjord before you arrive in the old Hanseatic town of Bergen. Hotel First Marin; B, D


Bergen Tourist Guide

Begin your Bergen tour at the colorful fish and flower market. Stroll to the old ware-houses of the Hanseatic period of the 14th and 15th centuries, today called Bryggen or The Quay. The long, narrow wooden warehouses, jammed so closely against each other that air and daylight can enter only through tiny slits, are a working model of life in bygone times. First visit the Hanseatic Museum, one of the oldest and best preserved wooden buildings in Bergen. Then visit the Bryggens Museum, based on the findings of the archeological excavations of Bryggen between 1955 and 1972. Your last visit will be to St. Mary's Church, the oldest building in Bergen, dating from the 12th century. The balance of the day is free. This evening attend a recital at Edvard Grieg's home, Troldhaugen (schedule permitting). Hotel First Marin; B, D


The day is free in Bergen. Visit some of the many museums or take a quiet stroll through the cobblestone streets. We recommend shopping for Norwegian sweaters or silverware. This evening take a trip by cable car to Mount Fløyen for a breathtaking view of this seafaring town. Enjoy a farewell dinner at Fløyen Folkerestaurant. Hotel First Marin; B, D


After breakfast transfer from the hotel to Flesland International Airport for your return flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Consider the optional stopover extension in Iceland! B, meals in-flight