Three of us from Little Marais decided to tour Norway together. My wife Denise and I began planning a tour on our own in January 2013, making our own customized version of a Norway in a Nutshell tour. Do a Google search on Norway tours and you will find plenty of packages. Our neighbor Art (Stub) Fenstad suggested Juven Tours and Travel of Fargo, ND. Denise called to ask for help with airline reservations. Owner Carrol Juven had a tour planned already for the dates we wanted. It was an easy choice to go with experience, and avoid the stress of language, train schedules, and wondering whether we had picked good hotels.
Not only does the plan cover the places we chose, but Carrol has led nearly 50,000 people to Norway over more than 40 years. He knows the places around Hamar where my ancestors owned farmsteads. One of the churches I wanted to visit is a historic site, and our tour bus will stop there. Likewise, the tour will spend two nights in Trondheim, where the Fenstad farmsteads already are marked on the map 17 miles across the Trondheim Fiord. We will visit 22 fjords.
The first leg of the tour has us staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Bloomington, MN, near the Mall of America. Given the severe thunderstorms that have plagued the whole route from the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Twin Cities for weeks, we wanted to be here a day ahead of our flight. Sure enough, a severe storm caused wind damage in Duluth and the Twin Cities this afternoon. Most of the tour group is coming from Minot and Fargo, North Dakota, and only Delta Airlines provides through service to Oslo, via Amsterdam. We will join the group at the MSP airport.
I brought my notebook pc, an iPod, and iPad, and a Canon digital camera. I will select a few photos to post on Facebook albums, and draft as many daily blog posts as time permits.