Joseph Tatum

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Crossing Norway on the Bergensbanen


I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Norway. About a month ago I bought a ticket on a whim to go to a Kaja Gunnufsen concert to celebrate 10 years of her debut album Faen Kaja. That record is probably in my top 5 favorite albums of all time and you should absolutely take a listen to it (as well as her other 2 albums). I visited both Oslo as well as Bergen on my trip.

View from Airbnb in Grünerløkka | Oslo

Oslo (Part 1)

I spent my first few days in Oslo. I love Oslo a lot. It reminds me of the northwest in the US with lots of hills and mountains surrounding the city which is probably a part of my affinity for this beautiful town. I stayed in the Grünerløkka neighborhood just north of the city center and had a nice view of a park from my 5th-floor Airbnb in a mid-1800s building (see the photo above). I did a lot of walking around, going in and out of stores, and riding the Oslo trikk (tram). I also made multiple visits to both Fuglen coffee locations for breakfast and bought/ate a lot of Kvik Lunsj.

Dam in the Akerselva | Oslo
Ouch | Oslo
Thorvald Meyers gate | Oslo

I was only in town for 2 days before heading to...


I took the train to Bergen because 1) I will always choose a train over a plane when I can and 2) it's an incredibly pretty train ride. I did this train ride about 7 years ago when I was last in Norway. It was late fall at the time and honestly, I think that's the ideal time for the best scenery. For a lot of the journey, the landscape was covered in snow to the point of whiteout. It's not like there weren't any breathtaking views, there was just a lot more to see when the views weren't completely snow-covered. But still...

Somewhere along the F4 train route | Norway

^ Pretty stunning, huh?

The train was delayed about halfway through the trip due to a freight train being stuck on the tracks in front of us. We were sitting still for nearly 3 hours, but luckily they let us wander around outside during the wait.

Wandering around Haugastøl station | Haugastøl

After a nearly 10-hour train journey, I arrived in Bergen. As I mentioned above the thing that propelled me to fly all that way was to see a Kaja Gunnufsen show. The show was great and at a small venue that held maybe 300 people. It was just her and a backup guitar player and she played Faen Kaja all the way through as well as some extra songs at the end. She did a lot of banter that I couldn't understand which was just fun to listen to and watch the crowd react. Like looking through a window into another world in a way.

Performing "Desp" (my favorite song on the record)

She was slinging her merch afterward. I found this interesting. This woman has been nominated for Norwegian Grammys and is pretty famous in the Norwegian music scene but she just runs her own merch booth. I got the chance to talk to her for a bit at the merch table and she was shocked that she 1) even had a fan in the US and 2) that this fan flew to Norway to see her live. I don't usually want to meet musicians I like but this felt special, so I just told her "Thanks for making that record. It's one of my favorite records ever." She was nice and thanked me for coming 5500 miles to see her in concert. Cool chick.

I was in Bergen for maybe 15 hours before turning around and heading back to Oslo for two more days. It snowed quite a bit during my last few days in Oslo. I did a lot more wandering around with the new Kacey Musgraves record in my headphones on repeat.

Outside Nationaltheatret stasjon | Oslo
Center of town in the snow | Oslo
Passing bus | Oslo
My reflection in the Opera house glass | Oslo
The view from my hotel room | Oslo
As the snow picked up | Oslo

Norway is great. I love it there. Check it out someday if you haven't!


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