|Subject: Re: Norway Help|
Concerning my "ideas" - I suggested Bergen as a base for the start and end. Only Bergen. Reason: You said your friends are interested in the landscape mainly. And Bergen is nearer to the fjords than Oslo. Of course Oslo might be interesting, too, but this is a discussion about what your friends are interested in.
You already got infos on Hurtigruten and the Nutshell thing. Try to check that out. Maybe you could try some route planning on the net, too. And if you get the idea that the software is lying to you concerning trip distances - rather believe the high amount of time you need to get around. I used my route planning software all around Europe and usually know how well it is - concerning Norway I never believed in advance it would take THAT long for SUCH a short distance - the software was proved to be right. Many roads just go along the fjords e.g. and that takes much longer than straight routes.
Concerning towns you missed in my post. Well. The areas with the best landscape - there ARE no towns. :)
Suggestion: Try to search a bit on the internet for "fjord" or "landscape" or something. Locate some of the things you might find interesting on the map and try to find out if that suits your friends. It's very hard to judge for friends of a friend what they would prefer. Rather more driving. Or walking. Or staying in a place.
Same with hotels. In general, hotels in Norway are never cheap. Many travellers do camping (with tents or campers or the small huts you can rent for a night or longer) or stay in the youth hostels. Another option are B&Bs which exist, but the only way I found them was a book I had to buy in advance via internet. And mine is outdated unfortunately.
In general I get the impression you deal with Norway as you would with New York State. (Maybe i am wrong.) Let me just again say, that Norway means a LOT of way between houses or villages or the few towns, high prices but of course wonderful landscape. Therefore the suggestion of doing some research about route planning and places of interest. And therefore it seems to me that tourist offices might tend to sell you Norway the easy way - in packages. There are certainly areas in Europe where you might more easily find a hotel which suits you in style AND price than near a fjord in Norway.
hth and your friends make it to this great place on earth, Baerbel near Stuttgart