• Taryn Lock

Trip to Norway and Vienna

Athol and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on 26 September 2019. It's been a great 10 years for us - living in 5 cities in 3 countries, starting Read to Rise, writing and illustrating 6 Oaky books, graduating with 3 masters degrees, publishing 15 books and many more awesome things. We are really blessed!

We decided to celebrate by visiting Norway and Vienna, neither of us have been there before. Norway is one of the best countries in the world to live in.

We arrived in Olso on our anniversary Thursday 26 September 2019. It was pretty chilly! We grabbed a bite to eat at the Olso Station as we waited for our train to Flam. We caught the train which took about 6 hours in total, the views were absolutely amazing. We changed over to another train at Myrdal. The train to Flam is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world (and also one of the most steepest!). We stopped to see the Kjossfoss waterfall and took a quick photo.

Flam is a little town with a lot of tourist shops and is on the Naeyerfjord - a world heritage site. From Flam we caught a bus to a nearby village Aurland which has about 700 inhabitants. There was a Spar for groceries but really not much else - such a small village! We stayed at a small hotel along the fjord which had beautiful views. We took the bus to see Stegastein Lookout which is an amazing lookout point that juts out over the fjords.

We spent 3 nights in Flam and then caught the cruise boat to Gudvangen, an old viking village, where we spent two nights. The cruise was so beautiful! The water was so calm, we saw waterfall after waterfall. Gudvangen was very quaint. Our room even had a sky light so you could see the waterfalls :)

It was amazing to be surrounded by nature, despite the cold weather! It was so peaceful. A few cruise ships stop at Gudvangen so there are a bit of tourists around. The rural parts of Norway are spectacular to say the least!

We then caught the bus and train back to Oslo. On the way to Oslo it snowed so we got see a snowy Norway which was really magical!

We spend two nights in Oslo. We visited the City Hall, this is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.

We had supper with Athol's friend and we wondered the streets in Oslo.

We then headed to Vienna, Austria as Athol was attending a UN conference there. We stayed at the Melia Hotel as it was walking distance to the UN which is just outside of the city in Donau Park. It is a very modern area, with lots of development happening. We went into the city one day, it was rainy and very busy with tourists. We visited the Austrian National Library which is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world!

Both Norway and Vienna were very expensive - food, transport, accommodation was 3 times South African prices. We paid with our credit card at all places so didn't need to exchange ZAR. We did just need Schengen visas. The travel time is about 16 hours from SA to Oslo with a stop in Frankfurt. It wasn't too bad travelling. Norway was the best, the sheer beauty and vastness of it was truly a memorable experience - such a great way trip!

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