June 14, 2008

last new city

I won't spout politics, I swear.

I took the train today - all day today, really, which is surprisingly exhausting - from Oslo to Bergen. I was really excited about it, too, because the Bergen railway is supposed to be one of the prettiest train trips in the world.

Yeah, it lived up to it. You would think that like, after hour 4 or so, the scenery would get tired of being so relentlessly jaw-dropping and like, be dull or something, but no. It just got lovelier. Coming out of Oslo was pretty much town, and then we moved into the verdant pastures and charming painted wooden homes amongst green trees that is Scandinavian pastoral suburbia. As we kept going, though, it just stayed incredible. There were big mountains and valleys, fields of heather, lovely lakes with glassy water, rushing streams, the occasional surprise waterfall, charming little villages and wee seaside cottages.

Getting further along, we hit Finse, the highest part of the trip, and it looked...chilly.

I will remind you this is mid-June.Granted, not many people do, but can you imagine living like that? So cold!

Anyway, the scenery got a lot more fjordy as we got closer to Bergen, and the town itself, while bigger-feeling than I expected (it's only 200 thousand about, but it's also the second-largest city in Norway...) still has quaint houses perched on hillsides and what I expect are phenomenal views. I'll go exploring tomorrow.

I realized, though, that this is the last new city I am going to. The only places on my itinerary I have left - London, Paris, back to Oslo - are all places I've been to. In six months, I haven't been to anyplace I had been before, and that's done now. Weird.

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