Norway: Highlights of Oslo and Bergen

Led by Margaret Hayford O’Leary, Professor of Norwegian
June 1–10, 2017

This program is a GO.

We invite you to join us as we explore Norway’s two largest cities, Oslo and Bergen. We will visit major sights, as well as less familiar ones, while still having ample time for exploration on your own.

In Bergen, in addition to Edvard Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen (where we will enjoy a concert) and the scenic Fløien, we will also visit the leprosy museum and the Hanseatic wharf. A highlight of our Bergen visit will be a tour of the Oleana sweater factory, where we will learn about the worker-friendly philosophy underlying the production of the gorgeous sweaters. This is the only Norwegian sweater producer where everything, from start to finish, is produced in Norway. Of course there will be time to visit the factory store!

In Oslo we will tour the Royal Palace, the opera house, the WWII resistance museum, the richly decorated City Hall and the famous Viking ship and outdoor folk museums on Bygdøy. We will have lunch at the iconic Ekeberg restaurant, with its view over the Oslo harbor, and spend time admiring the dozens of statues in Vigeland park. Finally we will visit both the National Gallery and the Munch museum where we will see two versions of Munch’s famous painting “The Scream.”

We will travel by bus from Bergen to Oslo, which will enable us enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains, stopping at waterfalls, fjords and glaciers as we wish, while also keeping our eye on arriving in Oslo in time for dinner.

At the same time as we explore the natural beauty and cultural riches of Norway, we will also learn about what makes Norway tick as a country. How is this country so successful economically, culturally, politically, when it has only been an independent nation since 1905? Why does the five year occupation during WWII still play such a large part in the national psyche? Why does Norway nearly always end up at or near the top of lists of the best places in the world to live, to raise children, to be a woman and more?

Program Leader  

Professor of Norwegian Margaret Hayford O’Leary has taught Norwegian at St. Olaf since 1977. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and her B.A. from Concordia College (Moorhead). She has lived in Norway for extended periods both as a student and during sabbaticals with her children and husband. In addition to her work at St. Olaf, she also teaches beginning Norwegian language and Norwegian Life and Society at the University of Oslo International Summer School every summer, and has led several study tours both for St. Olaf and for Smithsonian. She was recently appointed Associate Dean of Humanities at St. Olaf, after having chaired the Norwegian department for eleven years.

What to Expect  

Hotels will be centrally-located, tourist class (typically three or four star), with private baths and air conditioning.

Average highs in early June are around 66ºF, with lows around 50. You will need light layers that can be added or removed as needed. Rainfall averages a couple of inches in June, so a light raincoat or small umbrella may come in handy.

We will get around in each city primarily on foot and by public transportation. Thus, this program involves a lot of walking. To fully partake in this program, you should be capable of walking a minimum of one mile at a time over uneven terrain and up to five miles per day, of climbing stairs that may not have handrails, of keeping pace with an active group of travelers on long days of traveling, of dealing with the emotional highs and lows that can occur when experiencing a different culture, and of traveling with a group for several hours each day. You will frequently have the option of taking a taxi at your own expense to meet up with the group, if you wish.

You should plan on seeing your family physician or a travel doctor at least four to six weeks prior to departure, preferably earlier, to talk about routine vaccinations. For more information on travel health, visit cdc.gov or who.int.

Program Fee  

The program fee is $4,250 per person. Based on double occupancy, it includes discussions led by Margaret O’Leary, a dedicated tour manager, accommodations, breakfast daily and group meals as listed on the itinerary, admissions for group activities, ground transportation during the program, gratuities to group guides, drivers and meal servers, and limited medical coverage while overseas. For single occupancy, add $900.

Airfare to and from Norway is not included. Participants are solely responsible for all expenses not specifically included in the program fee. Examples of excluded expenses are: Airfare between your home town and Norway • Airport transfers • Any passport fees • Any recommended immunizations or vaccinations • Baggage insurance • Trip cancellation insurance above $2,000 lifetime coverage • Any beverages at group meals • Laundry • Dry cleaning • Phone charges • Room service or other items of a personal nature • Expenses incurred during free time or non-group activities • Lunch and dinner, unless specifically included on program itinerary.

Making Your Travel Plans  

You should plan to leave the U.S. on Thursday, June 1 in order to arrive in Bergen on Friday, June 2, 2017. Plan to depart from Oslo anytime on Saturday, June 10, 2017.