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Norway in a Nutshell with Romey

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This iteration of Norway in a Nutshell was a one day jaunt out of (and back to) Bergen.  Things got underway early (around 8:40) at the Bergen train station.  The trip went Bergen–>Voss–>Gudvangen–>Flåm–>Myrdal–>Bergen (through Voss).  Arrival at home was 6pm.

Of course the day was perfect and the light was beautiful.  Even the clouds of Bergen parted temporarily as we departed.

Here’s how the day went.  After a delicious breakfast in Bergen at the Børs hosted by the delightful Dalia, we walked to the plastic-wrapped train station and found our place.

Masked on the train to Voss

It was still early in Voss and the 15 minute connection wait for the bus was uneventful.

Voss station (the blue appears)

The bus to Gudvangen is roomy and nice.  But no wifi this time (WTF?!).  The trip took about an hour, leaving 45 minutes to have some cocoa and walk around in Gudvangen.

Waterfall from a bus

 

On the way to Gudvangen

 

Majestic and way bigger than this picture makes clear

 

Looking back to Gudvangen

 

The bridge

 

The fjord was simply magical

 

A crystal clear day with little wind left the Fjord a gigantic deep mirror.

 

The ferry arrives

Since we were touring on off season (and during a pandemic), snacks were harder to come by than on previous Norway in a Nutshell runs.  Even the ferry (which usually has a nice snack bar with various food items) was limited to coffee and tea.  Bring along some snacks.

The two hour ferry ride is nothing short of stunning.

Pretend Viking boat

 

The ferry (very upscale)

 

 

These days, the ferry (which can comfortably hold 400) is a super modern, quiet boat with lots of room.  It is also fast.

Pole position (with a charger)

Just as we departed, some base jumpers blew in from on high.  Check out this spectacular landing.

 

Looking back into the wake

 

 

 

 

 

From the bow

 

Norway

 

Mountain boat

We called ahead to the Flåm for a pizza from the bakery.  This is a good move!  The pizza was delicious and it was great to walk in and have a hot pie waiting.

 

Yum!

 

 

Then it was a 3 minute amble over to catch the Flåm–>Myrdal train (one of the steepest inclines in railroad) in an historical vehicle.  Here we go.

 

The climb really is remarkable.

 

Myrdal here we come (check out the switchbacks)

A short stop at the waterfall is always in order.

Romey takes a picture

Romey also takes a video.  (These bits are for Emily.)

 

 

 

 

 

And then on to Myrdal with some daylight remaining (remember, the sun sets around 3:30pm in late November).

 

We made it!

 

 

After a few minutes at the top, the train to Bergen arrived.  Then it was three hours back, arriving just in time for dinner with friends (including Vemen and Hovard this time).

Last train back

 

The route

 

Back home in Bergen.

Day Trip to Stradbroke Island (aka Straddie)

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Part of the fun of the Yow Conference circuit in Australia is the days in between sessions. We were slated to sail a huge catamaran in the ocean, but the seas were too high. So we refactored with a visit to Stradbroke Island.

Here’s how that went.

Ferry from the mainland to the island on a bus!

A picnic lunch with the fellow geeks and beer.

A walk on the Point Lookout trail

Spectacular cliffs (and a couple of sharks)

Kangaroos in the wild

Gelato in “town,” followed by a dip in the (pretty damn cold) ocean. The swim was wild.

Beaches

Water taxi back to mainland.

The seas were rough on the way back as the sun was setting.

Amy, leader of geeks made us all get wet!

Instigator

A warm shower back at the hotel was welcome indeed!

Another Day in Malta: Wind in Valetta

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A very windy day on the Mediterranean

To get to Valetta from Cospicua you can either take the ferry (every 30 minutes…or so) or you can take a water taxi from the taxi stand. The taxi is more fun but way more arbitrary.

Views from the War Museum on the bluff are incredible. Valetta itself is overrun with tourists but makes a nice afternoon of wandering.

Ancient barracks

The Cathedral is a late stage capitalism joke. God is dead and the admission charge is 10 euros. The cattle fill the place. Not really worth the price of admission. ON the other hand, the War Museum is modern and well put together.