By Jack Nuclkes: UW-Madison Undergraduate who is on an IRES Neutrino Astrophysics Internship in Sweden in Summer 2016.
Four days after returning from Switzerland, we again packed our backpacks and began our trip to Norway. After our long haul to the Alps, we were all glad that we only had a mere 30 hours on trains planned for the weekend.
By Friday morning, we reached Bergen, a city on the west coast of Norway. We then headed back east to Voss (the town that is the namesake for the “artesian” water brand) to meet a bus that took us down an 18%-grade road to Gudvangen, where we boarded a boat for an unbelievably beautiful cruise through the Nærøyfjord. We had read that this deep, narrow fjord offers some of the best scenery anywhere in the world, and it certainly delivered. Two hours later, the boat deposited us in Flåm. The world-famous Flamsbana train then took us by waterfalls and through hand-dug tunnels from sea level to Myrdal at 3,000 feet. One more train brought us back to Bergen. We spent the evening strolling through the fish market and exploring a fortress before getting on the night train to Oslo.
We arrived in the Norwegian capital before the city really woke up, so for two hours we had the streets to ourselves. Throughout the day, we saw the obligatory sights, including the modern opera house, a tour of the city hall (where we learned so much we were half expecting to get a diploma before we left), and a walk through a large sculpture park. By the afternoon, we were all out of granola and PB&J supplies, so Nick K. grabbed what he said was a delicious barbecue-flavored hot dog, suspiciously on sale, from one of the many 7-Elevens in the city. Shortly after, we caught the train back to Stockholm, concluding another great weekend trip.