Good morning, Anna!
Holly and I have returned from our lovely trip to Scandinavia. We appreciate your working with us to plan it so beautifully. I'd like to offer some feedback—mostly highlights and a few challenges.
The hotels you chose were just fine, and you know how wonderful hotel breakfasts are in Europe. The breakfast was especially terrific at the Best Western in Bergen. Yum! The most wonderful hotel was in Ulrik, Norway. We enjoyed an incredible view from our room—water and mountains!
The train trips were perfect. The trains were so clean and comfortable. All transportation was excellent, buses and planes included. We made every connection without a hitch.
The only challenges we encountered were in Norway with the Hardanger in a Nutshell tour, and while they were not major problems, we think it would behoove you to be aware. We were impressed with how well-orchestrated the connections were. The buses were waiting for us as promised, as were the boats. There was no time for dilly-dallying, as the drivers left right on schedule. When we arrived in Ulvik, we were the only passengers on the bus who stayed in Ulvik; all the other passengers boarded a boat. This confused us, as it was not clear that we had an entire free day in Ulvik! We spent a few hours feeling like we 'missed the boat.'
At about 11 am, we began walking up the road to our hotel and fortunately met the owner of the hotel when we asked for directions. He took our baggage to store at the hotel, but we could not check into our room until 1:00 (supposed to be 3:00, but they made an exception). We checked out the hotel and then headed back into town for something to do. There is a lovely church, open to visitors, with a fascinating cemetery on the grounds. We visited the local grocery store and bought snacks for a picnic at a park on the water. Our day in Ulvik turned out to be delightful, thanks to a young woman at the local Tourist Office (We recommend you suggest that people on our plan go to the Tourist Office immediately after departing the bus). She suggested that we walk up to an apple orchard in Ulvik called ulvikfrukt&cideri. We enjoyed an hour round-trip walk to the orchard and a glass of cider once we reached our destination.
Another issue in Ulvik was that the hotel had no record that dinner and breakfast were included in our reservation. We showed the receptionist our hotel voucher, and she reluctantly did not charge us extra for meals. That was a little awkward. The incredibly delicious water made up for any misunderstanding. It was the best water I have ever tasted!
The next day, June 11, was an incredible day by boat and bus. The waterfall was inaccessible because of a car accident, so we went to a little farm instead. It was just right. At the Hardangervidda Nature Center, we watched an incredible panoramic movie about Norway and ate a delicious lunch at the lodge. The boat trip was incredible! We stopped at several towns to let passengers on and off, getting a flavor of the country. Our bus ride back to Bergen was fine, yet the walk back to our hotel was NOT short. It was about a mile, and with luggage (and we travel light), it was more than we bargained for. I would suggest that people take a cab from the bus station to the hotel.
You did a fabulous job connecting us from Copenhagen to Stockholm to Nassjo, back to Stockholm, and onto Bergen. We enjoyed a few days with my relatives in Sweden. Stockholm is my personal favorite city that I've ever visited (Budapest a close second). All the travel vouchers worked, and we felt organized and confident at almost every step of the way.
Thank you for making our trip so memorable, Anna. I would not hesitate to recommend you for Scandinavia trip planning.
Independent Norway Tour