Norway Adventure
WACRA 2001 Post Tour Highlights

By Ann Hoover, Lanna and Bob Andrews

Lanna and Ann had experienced two previous amazing WACRA post tours and the WACRA 2001 post tour met their usual high expectations. This was Bob's first, and he agrees wholeheartedly!

Our great Norway Adventure began in Copenhagen, Denmark, where we boarded a fabulous Viking cruise ship bound for Oslo, Norway. We traveled overnight on the North Sea, viewing a wide vista displaying the gorgeous waterway and adjoining Alps. Our dinner was a lavish buffet with a breathtaking table setting facing the sea. Hans and Lanna used their "charm" and perseverance to make sure we had our well-deserved window seats! We laughingly describe our accommodations as for the "haves and the have nots," as cruise ships always are. Lanna and Bob's room was unbelievably luxurious and the envy of Ann, who had very modest accommodations. :-) We had an early breakfast buffet, where we tasted the infamous Danish and enjoyed dramatic views of the fjords and nearby Alps. We docked in Oslo Harbor where the bus waited to take us to our hotel. As usual with WACRA, we felt very "taken care of."

Our favo
rite aspect of the Oslo portion of our adventure was freedom to be on our own and choose from the many options outlined for us by the hotel concierge. We traveled on foot, tram, city transit, and ferry to experience shopping, museums, parks, and galleries. Several times, while walking, we took the scenic route (and got lost!), but this added to our adventure. The concierge found us a wonderful place to dine that night, the Engebret Café. Since it was the Summer Solstice, we could safely walk the evening streets-what fun! Early next morning, Hans, Bob, Lanna and Ann manned the "luggage brigade," making sure our luggage got into the container to be driven to Bergen. Ultimately, that allowed all of us to experience, unencumbered, the most spectacular day of the tour.

The unique day trip, affectionately called "Norway in a Nutshell," took us through some of Norway's most beautiful scenery. Again, we experienced multiple modes of transportation, bus, trains and a ferryboat. We took the train up the awesome snow covered Alps. Then we boarded a cog-train, which descended through the Flam Valley-breathtaking! We saw the thundering Kjosfossen Waterfalls and heard a mysterious female voice singing from beneath the falls. So haunting! We then took a bus to the fjord, where we ate lunch before embarking on our boat ride along the famous Songefjiord.

Hans, once again, saved the day when it was time to board the ferry. There were too many people for the ferry that we needed and many of us were unable to get on. All of a sudden we heard an official cry, "WACRA group over here!!!!" It was Hans , who somehow got us all through the crowd onto the ferry! We loved the trip-calm waters, fresh breezes and majestic mountains along the fjord. After being lulled into a relaxed state on the boat, we disembarked and took a bus ride that definitely woke us up as we wound back up the narrow mountain roads to Voss. 

The train ride from Voss to Bergen was another show-stopper! The weather was warm and sunny and the countryside was covered with buck trees and winter vegetables growing amidst wild daisies and lupine. We passed through captivating large and small villages, where some of the homes had sod roofs and large red barns. When we arrived in Bergen, Hans, once again, took the lead and walked us through "old town" to our hotel by the wharf.

Bergen was incredible. For us, it was the best place of the trip, which is saying a lot! Of course, Hans ordered and delivered beautiful, sunny weather in a town that is almost always rainy. Bergen is a charming fishing village that has so much history and culture. We all said that we must come back again.

On our last night of the tour in Bergen, we took a bus up to a private restaurant that overlooked the whole town and harbor. The bus trip, another adventure on a narrow hillside road, was equivalent to a good amusement park ride! When we got to the restaurant, they told us that the number in our party was more than they expected. Well, the old WACRA spirit took over. We remained undaunted and negotiated. A few of us, including Hans, Lanna, Bob, and Ann, volunteered to eat in an adjoining room and eat something besides the planned fare. Of course, we had a delectable menu, we think the best; in fact, we soon became the envy of the whole group! It was a wonderful time. In the end, we ALL had an unforgettable dinner and found it hard to say goodnight because another grand post tour was over. Thank you Hans. You outdid yourself!