My Norweigan escape!


View from trainThose of you who have followed my blogs for a while will know that my husband Olley and I love to make the most of our weekends, especially during the time after Christmas when everything can seem grey and miserable. Last year we enjoyed a couple of days in Paris but this year we fancied a rather more exotic trip to St Petersburg. However, after discovering that we would need costly visas we decided on slightly closer to home and settled on a cut price (return flights for just £35!!) visit to the west coast of Norway, beautiful Bergen.

Bex and Olley in VossThe airline offered a package with accommodation in an apartment hotel, so we had a kitchenette, and there was a sofa bed allowing a third person to sleep for an extra £10 a night. Such a bargain is hard to resist so Bex, our medical student daughter, opted to join us.

I was lucky enough to go to Bergen many years ago to make a film for the BBC Holiday programme. We got there by boat from Harwich across an extremely rough North Sea and all suffered dreadful seasickness – not fun as I was also pregnant at the time. Flying was far less painful, and we arrived to cold, dry weather with a few breaks in the clouds – more good fortune, we were told later, it had been raining almost constantly since November!

Bryggen by nightBergen is a lovely city. Small enough to walk around and lots to do and see. We wandered around the ancient Bryggan area, the original heart of the city with beautiful timber houses painted gorgeous colours, and shops selling arts, crafts, and warm Norwegian jumpers. The fish and flower market on the quay is famous for its vibrancy and is now housed undercover so we were able to explore in comfort. Then we took the funicular railway up to Floyen, one of the seven mountains surrounding the city, and enjoyed panoramic views, icy winds, and hot chocolate in the hilltop cafe!

We also took the local train on a beautiful journey following the fiords into the mountains to Voss, a ski resort, where we took the gondola up to the nursery slopes and stopped for lunch. The countryside is stunning, even with dull skies, and travelling by rail is a great way to enjoy the view – I took loads of photos though the window, but had to dodge the many tunnels we passed through.

It was a short break but one which did a great job of recharging my depleted batteries (after fighting a chest infection.) Olley and I loved spending the time away with Bex – I think it's important to do things with our children one at a time as well as having family time all together.

From head down, Dennis Basso hat, InCashmere scarf, Centigrade coat, Echo gloves, Kipling bag and Diane Gilman jeans!We talked, walked, laughed, ate, and drank all weekend (actually the dining out was a bit limited as it's really expensive, so a single course with no alcohol was what we did – wine is £8 a glass!)

I would love to return to explore more of Norway, maybe further north to witness the Northern Lights, or in summer to experience the midnight sun. I would relish the chance to cruise the fiords by boat, but I think we may look into taking our motorhome so that we can spend a few weeks there – my short weekend there has certainly whet my appetite for a longer visit.

I wonder whether you have managed to get away, even if just for a day. Having something to look forward to can make the short days and long nights of winter pass a little faster. Let me know your favourite place for a speedy pick me up – I'd love to hear and it may give me inspiration for my next trip!

I hope you're well and avoiding too many winter bugs.

Take care
Kathy x


  1. Magda Chetty January 31, 2014 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    What a great blog, I was so happy to read it, as I am going to Bergen this May. One of my best friends whom I got to know here in Mallorca is from Bergen and her husband is from Oslo.
    They have a flat in Oslo and a house in the mountain in Bergen and asked us to visit them, they say the best month to go is May. So I am so looking forward to it.
    Like you and everyone else I find January so long, and always hope to have something to look forward to. This year My husband booked to go to Vietnam and Cambodia this Monday, he can not wait, but as I don’t like such long flights, myself and two girlfriends are flying from Mallorca to Barcelona, then to Dubai next Wednesday and will get on a cruise ship in Dubai for one week, and on the way back we stay 3 nights in Barcelona.
    Thinking about the trip and getting things ready for it, made January pass so fast, it ends today wow.
    I got a great book about Norway, if you would like it let me know, and I can send it to you at QVC.
    All the best.

  2. vanessa bond February 2, 2014 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Love your blog sounds a beautiful place .My husband is always on about the Northern lights having read this I may well go take care x

  3. Mrs Anita Belding February 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    So pleased you liked it in Norway. Hubby and I had the most wonderful cruise last year to Norway , Iceland and the Faroe Isle it was truly the most wonderful place or places I have ever been to, magical,so I , like you must go again. The sea was on its best behaviour calm and still ( don’t think we will be that lucky again.) Good you are feeling better Kathy , bye for now lovely lady .

  4. susan February 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, fabulous blog and insight into Norway! Thank you! It is pouring and blowing a gale again so nice to read some fun news! It’s a long winter isn’t it in this part of the world! It’s so expensive to go away so also good to hear about your flights! I have to say you are a stunning family and smart one too! Love your scarf. Night night x

  5. martin forbes watching via sky tv February 18, 2014 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    hi kathy happy new year
    hope you are well
    i am now on a 2week lazy holiday from work doing nothing.

  6. Susanne Fitzpatrick February 21, 2014 at 11:33 am -  Reply

    Would you let me know which airline you flew with that included accommodation please as I would like to go to Bergen and as I will be travelling alone, want to be safe and have accommodation etc sorted before I go.
    How far was it from the airport to where you were staying – a taxi ride away?
    Thank you very much

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