Norway: Dalen-Bergen-Laerdal-Oslo

Courtesy of the American Spouses of Brunssum Travel Information Guide

Review:
Time of year you went and weather: June 2001 for one week–weather was beautiful. It went from rather chilly to comfortable, depending on if you were in the mountains or not. Only one day of rain in a week.

Directions: Flew to Oslo, and then went from Oslo to Dalen (Telemark region) to Bergen to Laerdal (through the Laerdal tunnel) to Kongsvinger and onto Oslo again.

All routes can be found at http://www.viamichelin.com/

In Dalen, we stayed at:
Club Hallbjonn Telemark
Telemark
Dalen I Vesttelemark
NORWAY
Phone: 350-71560 
This was a nice place, but I think it may only be offered through timeshare rentals. We own a timeshare and I think we did an exchange. There are two other hotels in Dalen. The Telemark region is mountainous, ski country and very scenic. (You can view this resort at http://www.rci.com/ under Resort Directory, resort number 0958.)
Besides being a great ski area and scenic, there are a lot of traditional, old buildings that you don’t see in any other region. It’s really fascinating seeing these, let alone how they do their farming in some areas.
In Bergen we went through the information bureau and got an apartment for a couple nights right near the city center, and a small grocery store. It was clean and convenient.
In Laerdal, we stayed at:
Lærdal Ferie- & Fritidspark
Po. Box 7
N
-6886 Lærdal
Norway Phone: +47 57 66 66 95. Fax: + 47 57 66 87 81
http://www.laerdalferiepark.com/
We were on the fjord in a cabin, which was very nice, comfortable and affordable http://www.laerdalferiepark.com/%5BENGELSK%5D/index.htm
Near Oslo, we stayed at:
Vinger Hotell, Resorts
Østre Solørvei 6, N-2211 Kongsvinger
Phone: +47 6281 7222
Fax: +47 6281 7035
E-mail: resepsjon@vinger.no
http://www.vinger.no
They offered us a good rate, and they have a big breakfast buffet the next morning–traditional Scandinavian.
The drive was neat due to the traditional farm buildings–you head through some beautiful farming country.
Things to do:
There are plenty of old Stave churches to see, great views everywhere, Laerdal Tunnel, the waterfalls were everywhere at this time of year too, Hardangerfjord and the other many fjords (strangely I couldn’t find any hardanger [Norwegian embroidery] anywhere), and the Bryggen and fish market in Bergen (amongst many other things to see/do, as well as shop). There is a lot to see in Norway, it all depends on what your particular tastes are. They have all kinds of tours to go on as well if you’re not interested in driving yourself. It’s a beautiful country.

Any recommendations for traveling with children:

In Dalen, the snow was just melting, so there were spots still on the ground, which was fun to play in. There were great places to go walking with awesome views. Not a whole lot otherwise happening in the area–a couple restaurants and hotels.
In Bergen, it is a big enough city to walk around in–the kids liked the pizza place we ended up in. We also went to a place that sold Norwegian sweaters (that look as good as Dale of Norway, but cost a lot less) and the kids got to pick out a sweater–I believe the store was the Leather Man.
Our kids enjoyed the longest road tunnel in the world and the salmon museum in Laerdal, (let alone a town named after them! :)
In Oslo we walked through the Frogner Park by Gustav Vigeland and saw all the statues that progress through life’s stages–not for those who can’t deal with nude statues. http://www.vigeland.museum.no 
The kids made a friend there and they stayed occupied playing for about an hour while we walked through the park.
The drives everywhere were incredible, especially around the fjords.
Restaurant tips/recommendations:
Mostly watched for places where other families were seated and that they had a kids’ menu, of course, watching the prices as well. Most meals were very affordable–stay away from any American chain restaurant, as they’re VERY EXPENSIVE compared to local places to eat. You can expect a lot of seafood and meat dishes. McDonald’s is always a favorite with the kids.
Since I’m Norwegian, I like potato dumplings and lefse; they taste just as wonderful there as my grandma used to make! :)

Guidebooks you used/helpful in planning this trip: Internet all
Publish Post

the way, as well as contacted each delegation/friends for suggestions and advice. Called International Spouses as well for best routes and things to see–they were a wealth of information.

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