My Way is Norway

This item appears on page 36 of the October 2011 issue.

The winning entry to the essay contest announced in the June ’11 issue (page 46) is Jack Hutter of Knoxville, Tennessee. The topic was “My Way is Norway,” and his essay appears below. Jack will receive a 50-dollar gift certificate for Magellan’s Travel Supplies (800/962-4943).


My wife and I flew into Bergen, Norway, in April 2011 and took the 12-day round-trip Hurtigruten coastal cruise to Kirkenes. We followed that with an overnight stay in Flåm — over 100 miles inland on the Sognefjord, the country’s largest fjord — then took the train up the steep valley 3,000 feet higher to Myrdal, continuing by train to Bergen and on to Oslo.

That prelude to our five days in Oslo included some of the best scenery we’ve viewed in travels on six continents.

My wife and I first visited Norway 50 years ago with two small children. My son, then six years old, now lives in Oslo, teaching at the university from which he graduated.

We made five other visits to Norway as well, and on every trip we revisted the Viking, Fram and Kon-Tiki museums in Oslo along with the Norsk Folkemuseum in Bygdøy, usually taking the first boat, at 8:45 a.m., from right below city hall.

Doing the following makes for a great day: walking under and around actual Viking ships and artifacts; exploring inside the historic sailing ship the Fram (used on expeditions to both poles), gazing at the clothes, tools, bunks and cooking galley used by the famed explorers Nansen and Amundsen; viewing Thor Heyerdahl’s raft Kon-Tiki, and, finally, wandering through the buildings from all over Norway housed at the folk museum, including the 13th-century stave church, then going inside to view the exhibits of so many items from Norway’s history.

In Oslo, there’s art of Munch; the Vigeland Scuplture Park; the city hall’s wooden and stone sculptures outside and immense frescoes inside, and the walled fortress, with its Resistance Museum plus ramparts from which you can view the harbor.

Add this country’s great people, who speak English, and it’s no wonder we keep returning to Norway.

Jack Hutter
Knoxville, TN