Since visiting Sweden, Finland, and Denmark 4 years ago we've been hoping to complete our tour of Scandinavian/Nordic countries by traveling to Norway and Iceland. Timing it during the two weeks when we could miss the conventions of both political parties was pure happenstance but made us feel like travel geniuses anyway.
During this trip there was much less rushing around large cities and more taking in magnificent vistas and mystical landscapes. This trip was all about the views. Our first stop was Bergen, Norway and our first priority was obtaining tickets to ride the Funicular to the top of Mount Floyen.
If you are headed to Bergen and want to do this (it's a must, really) you buy your tickets at the visitor center. And do it first thing in the morning. Race there, in fact. We arrived very early and didn't have to wait at all. When we came back down the line was out the door and down the street quite a long way. Given that proposition it is also walkable and would definitely be worth the effort. You don't want to spend your day in this charming town waiting in line.
When you get to the top the views are breathtaking. There are some shops, bathrooms, and a restaurant. There is even a playground with a troll.
There are trolls everywhere in Norway.
We got some beautiful photos before a fog rolled in and completely caused this beautiful sight to disappear in a haunting mist.
After you take in the spectacular scenery meander around a bit. We happened upon a magical wood.
If you are an adult and your faith in fairies and elves is flagging, Norway is the cure for that.
Just when you are sure magical forests only exist in storybooks...
and trolls aren't real...
stepping into a mystical forest will make you rethink your cynicism.
Surely there is a hobbit or two here somewhere.
The trees towered overhead in a thick mist and a carpet of moss absorbed our voices. We spoke in hushed tones though no other travelers had followed us here.
So often, just steps away from a busy tourist attraction, there is an unexplored gem that most people miss. Take time to wander away from the crowds. Walk around the corner. Follow a hidden path just to see where it goes. You may just find magic