Sons of Norway is pleased to bring you the following message from Travel Partner and International Convention Sponsor, Borton Overseas.
Today we bring you some travel highlights from Nicole Anderson, a Scandinavia Specialist with Borton Overseas. Nicole had the pleasure of leading her first group tour to Norway just a few weeks ago. Read on to learn more about her favorite experiences during the trip, including one unforgettable bus ride.
Just over a week ago I left the Land of the Fjords and headed back to Minnesota and to my job at Borton Overseas. It was there that I lead my first group tour to Norway, and I am already more than ready to go back! Norway may not be where I currently live, but it is definitely my home. My name is Nicole and I am a Scandinavia Specialist at Borton Overseas.
My job gives me the opportunity to help travelers love and experience Norway the way I do. Last fall, I was chosen to lead Borton Overseas’ latest Signature Journey, Embrace Norway’s Wonders, and I have been excitedly and nervously awaiting the trip ever since. I knew it would be great to return to Norway–my home off and on for 7 of the past 8 years–but I was a little apprehensive to lead my first group. I needn’t have worried as the trip was incredible, my group was fantastic and many of them were experiencing Norway for the very first time.
But I get ahead of myself… Let me explain a bit about what a Signature Journey is. Signature Journeys are a series of escorted tours hosted by a Borton Overseas Destination Specialist that have a single departure date. What sets them apart from your average escorted tour is the content. Signature Journeys are small-group tours that have been handcrafted by Borton Overseas staff and feature exclusive experiences, themes and events unique to our destinations. In the past, we have created tours to celebrate specific holidays, to participate in a particular event such as a marathon or have been hosted by a special guest. Embrace Norway’s Wonders was one of the latter. I co-hosted the group with David Engen, the Minnesotan winner of the Norwegian reality TV show, “Alt for Norge,” in 2015. One of the biggest benefits of hosted trips is that they allow the participants to travel with someone well versed in the culture, geography and (possibly) the language, of the destination while still having a touch of home with them on the journey.
Our tour started in Oslo, taking the Norway in a Nutshell journey to Bergen by train, where we boarded a Hurtigruten ship and sailed to Kirkenes to partake in a King Crab feast. In all, the journey was 13 days and everyone became more in awe of the country each day. Not to mention that we were extremely lucky to have amazing weather throughout the trip.
Although there were many remarkable things we saw and experienced, there is one in particular that sticks out in my mind–an excursion we took while aboard Hurtigruten, traveling from Geiranger to Molde. Our excursion began by leaving the ship for a smaller boat and making our way into the Geirangerfjord. Geiranger is a picturesque little fjord town where I could surely have spent hours looking at the cute shops and enjoying the scenery, but we were immediately escorted onto a bus that transported us up the mountain’s iconic hairpin turns. Looking out of the window I could not even see the railing on the side of the road; we were so close to the edge. Admittedly, seeing the drop off made my stomach flip. When we reached the summit we proceeded to take photos while a knowledgeable guide gave us history and facts about the area.
After a bit, we returned to the bus and headed to Trollstigen, where we were able to view the valley from above. This outlook is actually a platform with glass walls built out over the beautiful valley below, providing amazing and somewhat frightening views. We returned to the bus where I again put my trust in the experienced bus driver for another stomach dropping, 11 hairpin turns (each with their own name) down the mountain. At the bottom, our group was rewarded with a snack of delicious cream-filled waffles and coffee. Finally we were driven into the town of Molde, where we enjoyed dinner while awaiting our Hurtigruten coastal steamer to sail into port and pick us up. Although I do not recommend this excursion for those who are afraid of heights, it was definitely a defining experience for everyone who participated. Our group was in awe as to what they had just experienced and were so happy to have gotten the chance see Norway from such a height and in such a light.
Again, I could go on and on about how wonderful Norway is, how great my group of intrepid travelers are and how much fun this particular journey was, but I would rather just help you experience it for yourself. Let my colleagues and I help you plan your own trip to Norway and beyond. Don’t forget we are always brainstorming more Signature Journeys for you to join. You can see our upcoming ones here and stay tuned as they change each year! Take my advice these trips are not something to be missed!
– Nicole Anderson, Scandinavia Specialist at Borton Overseas