Plans Derailed – Part 2

By Dave Fox
En Route: Oslo to Bergen, Norway

[This is part 2 of yesterday’s post. Click the photos for larger versions.]

We made it up the mountain.

Df144Our train pulled into the little town of Gol, and with no advance warning, we were told to get off. From Gol, buses would take us around the spot where the previous day’s train derailment had happened. We were still hoping to catch our fjord cruise.

“Don’t get on this bus,” a driver told me. “Get on that bus over there.”

“Okay. Is there a bus that can get us to Flåm in time for the boat to Gudvangen?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Those guys over there will know.”

I asked a second bus driver.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Ask one of those guys.”

I asked a third bus driver.

“Try asking one of the other drivers,” he said.

We gave up on the fjords.

We stowed our bags under the bus and stood in line to get on. As we stepped into the aisle, it became apparent this bus had around 50 seats, and about 982 people were trying to sit in them.

I asked the driver if there were other buses we could catch.

“That bus over there,” he said. He pointed to the first bus — the bus we had been told not to get on. “Get on that one,” he said.

“Okay, but our bags are on this bus.”

“Relax. We’re all going to the same place.”

As I took my seat in the other bus, I started to get that nauseous, “Something isn’t right,” feeling.

“I think we should have our bags on this bus,” I said to Kattina. “Wait here. Don’t let them leave without me.”

I probably wasn’t supposed to open the luggage compartment under the other bus, but hey, I’m a trained professional. So I pretended I was allowed to, which was a dumb move. When you look like you know what you’re doing, people want you to help them. A lady came running up to me.

Buried_house_1“There you are!” she said. “I was looking for you. That’s my bag. I need to put it on this other bus.”

She pointed to a different bus from ours.

“This isn’t your bag,” I told her. “It’s….”

“Yes it is! And my bus is leaving! Give me that!”

“This is my girlfriend’s bag,” I said. “You can’t have it.”

“Oh,” she said, glancing at the name tag. She poked her head into the luggage compartment. “That’s my bag!” she said, grabbing the next black bag she could find. She went to her bus. I went to our bus.

For the next couple of hours, we climbed higher into the mountains. Snow was coming down hard. At one point we passed a house buried up to its roof.

Fjord_1But then the sun started peeking out. Slowly we dropped down to sea level. The next thing I knew, we on a road alongside the fjords. The same scenery we had wanted to pay a hundred bucks for, we were now seeing for free.

We passed through the town of Flåm, too late to catch the boat. Then we went back into the mountains, up to Voss, where rumor had it we would be put on trains the rest of the way to Bergen.

This story could drone on for a lot longer, but I’ll wrap it up. You probably have important work you should be doing… or stupid e-mail jokes to forward, or porn to download, or spam to read. (Seriously, go check your spam. I hear Viagra’s on sale this week.)

Suffice it to say that after watching two other bus drivers argue about whether or not to take us to Bergen, after missing a bus connection in another small town due to an improperly marked bus, we arrived in Bergen a mere six hours behind schedule.

A mere six hours? Yes. Our flight home wasn’t so efficient… and I swear the riots in Copenhagen were not my fault.

[Stay tuned for details.]
Published on Saturday, March 10, 2007

Leave a Reply