We boarded a bus, driving west from Oslo, headed for Bergen on the west coast of Norway. We stop halfway there in the little town of Flam for the night. The weather is a little cooler but still wonderful, in the 60's.
During the bus ride, Mona, our tour guide, talked about the Scandinavian countries and answered our questions. All three countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, are constitutional monarchies; which means they all have kings and queens, who have no political power. They just represent their countries around the world. And the people love them.
All three countries practice a form of democratic socialism; which means that they provide free health care, education, child care, etc to their people. Of course the people pay very heavy taxes to receive their free benefits. Taxes are very high especially on luxury items like liquor, tobacco, gas for their cars. The taxes are to provide the government with money but also to discourage the people from indulging in these luxuries. The government discourages the use of cars by providing excellent public transportation systems-buses, trams, bicycle lanes, trains, ferries.
The great irony is that Norway has become very wealthy since the discovery of off-shore oil. They export great quantities of oil and gas, while they strive to become independent of oil and gas.
We stopped in Borgund to see the Stave Church. See all the pictures.
After we checked in to our beautiful hotel in Flam, we visited a farmer who has lived in this area for generations. He told us about the history of the area.
Our hotel provided us with an excellent dinner buffet. Amazing!! All kinds of fishes-herring, salmon, cod, whale, crab, haddock, crayfish, fish soup; dried meats-lamb, beef; salad bar; hot dishes; cheeses; with ice cream and brownies for dessert!!! We are being well nourished on this trip!