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Private guide for Norway ports.

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If you do a forum search, you will discover that question comes up a lot and there are very FEW private companies that do tours. SOme people on our cruise rented cars...but not at these ports. Most of us booked ship excursions at the ports that were spread out more. And most tours were prebooked and sold out. So don't wait.

Bergen for sure needs NO tour. It is compact and very easy to meander. Stavanger too can be done on your own. In Geiranger, we chose the ship's Glacier excursion.


We found a lot of info researching online for each city. Use your roll call too for extra info. We always prefer private tours when cruising. But we bit the bullet and chose the ship this time, just due to the lack of choices. EVERYTHING is super expensive in Norway. And the excursions follow suit.:eek:

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We are traveling with a party of 8 and would like to know of a private guide with a van to take us to see the sights at some of the Norway ports - avoiding the big-bus tours - in Alesund, Stavenger, Geiranger and Bergen.


Below are some ideas and suggestions for super charming Bergen. Have not been to Stavenger. As detailed on my full live/blog connected below, we did a rental car in Alesund and went south to Runde Island, seeing lots of unique countryside and water-level sights, etc. Below are are some of my visuals samples to help build your excitement for these wonderful areas.


In Geiranger, it is pretty small and the options/tourism infrastructure are a little limited, especially compared to larger cities such as Bergen. In Norway, private tours can be fairly costly in some cases. Ship tours are not perfect or cheap, but it some cases it can work, get you there, make your logistics easier, etc. For Geiranger, getting "up country" can be important. I can explain more details, if needed on why and how for those options.


What are the age ranges of those in your group, their mobility, interests, etc.?


Reactions and added questions? Follow-up her or on my live/blog.




Alesund’s architecture is characterized by its turrets, spires, medieval-romantic frontages . and other whimsical touches that give this town its distinctive style. It is like something from a fairytale. On the night of January 23, 1904, the town, built largely of wood, was totally destroyed at night by gale-aided flames. Only one person died, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm vacationed nearby and sent four warships with materials to build temporary shelters. The town was rebuilt in stone, brick and mortar in Jugendstil or Art Nouveau, the architectural style of the time. This design reflects a “romance with the past” and highlights Nordic mythology along its winding streets. To honor Wilhelm, one of the most frequented streets of the city is named after him. The town has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907.


More Alesund area info, tourism options at:




As the seat of Norway’s medieval kingdom of Norway for six centuries, Bergen is a former Viking stronghold encircled by deep fjords, towering mountains, and sweeping glaciers. Today's Bergen has much of the medieval flavor remaining around Bergen's harbor. We explored the cobblestone streets, saw its pastel-color wooden houses, bargained in some of the many artisans' workshops and visited the famous and always-entertaining Fish Market. You can watch the locals haggling over today's catch and enjoy a quayside lunch of freshly caught salmon or fish and chips.


Rated by Frommers as more scenic than Oslo, Bergen was the base of the medieval Hanseatic merchants. Those historic timbered houses are set around Bryggen or The Wharf, a center for crafts and workshops. Its prime row is mostly reconstructed 14th-century structures, some of which were originally destroyed by fire. Det Hansseatiske Museum depicts commercial life on the wharf in the early 18th century and is highly rates with well-preserved wooden structure. Its art museums are highly-rated with religious icons, local art, etc.


In the afternoon, after some of the big crowds had lessened, we took the Floibanen funicular railway to the top of a 1050-foot high peak for scenic views. This cable car has been operating for over 80 years and was refurbished in 2002. The Funicular Lower Station is situated 150 meters from the Fish Market. At the top of the Mount Floyen, there are hiking trails and places for lunch or dinner. The trip takes seven minutes and both cars are on the same cable going up and down. Mariakirken or St. Mary’s Church is the most outstanding Romanesque church in Norway. Bergen is Norway’s largest port and has a population of 252,000. Scenic Bergen completed our voyage with its dramatic backdrop of seven rounded mountains and cobble-stoned streets. It entices you to take memories and photos cherishing the land of the Norsemen. Here is the link to this rail option:



Their good and helpful Tourism Office can be accessed on the web at: http://www.visitbergen.com/en


We docked at the fairly handy Skoltegrunskaien Pier. This put us within about a 10-15 minute walk of the main attractions at the market and warehouse area.


We did a special two-hour tour for our group of six with Anne Lien, the owner of Bergen Guide Service. You can reach Anne at http://www.bergenguideservice.no or by e-mail at anne@bergenguideservice.no.


Anne was great in giving us the details about the unique history of the Hanseatic merchants, how their building were built, what’s caused the crooked-look of today and what’s being done to preserve these unique structures.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 113,976 views.




This is the dramatic overview of Alesund from the Aksla vantage point along the western coast of Norway. This spot allows a nearly 360-degree view of this setting for this island city and the surrounding mountains and islands. It is at a 597’ height overlooking the five islands making up the scenic town.:





From Aksla, here is some of the charming architecture in Alesund. This includes a canal or waterway in the middle of the town. This is called "Brosundet" ( or the Bridge sound). That means Ale sund (sloping sound). Or reflecting that the sound slopes through town. This is how Alesund got its name.:





With our guide, Anne Lien, the owner of Bergen Guide Service, this shows some of these warehouse buildings. Fish products would be stored until they were ready to ship to other cities in Europe. The space between these various wooden warehouse buildings is very narrow. It is not just the fronts that are 300-years old and historic. These buildings stretch back at some distance with various shops and offices here.:





Right near the Hanseatic merchant warehouse area is the Bergen Fish Market with lots of options to buy food to eat on site or just watch, enjoying the “show” as people ask questions and buy the various fresh fish items.:





This is the super scenic view from immediately above Geiranger that shows the Silver Cloud and Costa ships tendered. A little before this picture, we were to go to Mt. Dalsnibba as a photo stop from this 4,920-foot vantage for the snow-covered surrounding mountains, icy glaciers, crystalline lakes and Geirangerfjord far below. We went there, but it was totally “socked in”. It was so thick, you could barely find your bus on this day on top of the big mountain crowded with lots of buses from the Costa ship. But this view, at a lower level, makes up for that problems and provided a wonderful vista.:





After being tendered in Geiranger, we sailed out and passed by two super famous waterfalls. YES, yes, we saw lots and lots of waterfalls on this trip, but these two were among the “best of the best”. Here is the “Seven Sisters”. Directly opposite it in this narrow fjord, there is another “biggie” called several names, including “The Suitor”. The majesty for these feats of nature is pretty amazing.:



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We booked this fjord cruise in Stavanger (Lysefjord – goes past Pulpit Rock) http://www.rodne.no/index.cfm?id=325701


and this fjord cruise in Geiranger http://www.geirangerfjord.no/geirangerfjord-sightseeing-5


I would highly recommend both of them (especially the Geiranger one - the scenery is just stunning). We didn’t find the prices too bad for Norway.


Bergen can be done by yourself – go up the funicular (there are walking/hiking trails at the top) and spend the rest of the time wandering around the city – it is beautiful.

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