I love travelling! I have always had a list of to-dos and experiences which I looked forward to accomplishing. One of them was to travel with my daughter. Both of us love travelling. We get along very well as travel companions. And we love nature and mountains. I have heard so much about the countries of Norway, Denmark and Sweden. This trio has stunning scenery, magnificent mountains, spectacular fjords and gorgeous cities. So, we decided to travel to Scandinavia this year. What a once in a life time experience, it turned out to be!!
The Hassles of Travel
Since it was going to be a girls getaway with me and my daughter, I was very concerned about safety and the hassles of travelling to a never-before visited country. Also, I had to keep in mind the distances in Scandinavia and how to travel from one place to the other.
Group Travel is the Way to Go
After several days of research both online and after speaking to my friends, I decided that the best was to go on a group tour with a trusted tour operator. A Tour Operator who would give great options of itineraries, who would provide quality and customer service! Enter Cosmos! Believe me, that was one of the best decisions I ever made. We chose COSMOS ‘Focus on Scandinavia‘ which offered a wholesome journey through Norway, Denmark & Sweden.
A team to take care of us
The most wonderful thing about group travel is the Tour Director who comes along with our vacation. Our Tour Director, Rosie, was delightful, friendly and really knowledgeable. It helped that she was local Scandinavian herself and had travelled across this region extensively. She took great care of the entire group and was very patient through- out the journey, even though we faced challenges. Her sense of humor had us in splits most of the times and offered us a new way to look at our sights. Having Rosie on our trip completely enhanced our vacation. And how does an escorted vacation go – on a coach, ofcourse! We had an excellent coach driver, Sergej. He definitely knew the most scenic routes to drive on through the vacation. In addition, we had expert local guides at Oslo and Stockholm. Infact, they were talking encyclopedias!
What a Destination!
The cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo have us a wonderful feel of the history and culture of the Nordic region. The Cruise from Frederickshavn to Gottenburg was just out of the world! The cruise journey was my first experience this way- crossing the country. Drive though countryside in Norway is PARADISE! The itinerary was designed such that we got to experience the world’s best looking countrysides. Our road trip passed through green mountains, picture perfect villages, beautiful coloured houses, snow covered mountains, frozen lakes, streams, rivers. Well, the list is endless. We couldn’t stop ourselves clicking so many photos and there were loads of excitement. Thank God for the digital technology!
Fjord Cruise was especially a delightful experience for me. This was my dream come true!
All the hotels in our trip were centrally located and we had good experience with the staff as well. The perfect hotel, according to me, was the Quality Hotel in Telemark area, due to its pristine location. Cosy set up, lake front cottage, melodies from a brilliant pianist and soulful singing made our stay memorable. The Fredirickshavn Hotel was Harbour facing and has a magnificent view. The hotel at Oslo was centrally located and worked wonderfully as we could afford to stay out till late without having to worry how to get back. The Bergen hotel was excellent too!
So, I am a vegetarian
Yes, I am a vegetarian from India and seriously typecast. As a result, I have had nightmares about how to nourish myself when I travel. And that too especially to the European countries. I am sure you can understand that! I have had scary stories about Scandinavia as well, considering the food is supposed to be the blandest ever. However, to our surprise, all the three countries had some great Vegetarian options. Not a single day did I miss my Indian meal. I tried the local cuisine everywhere. Cosmos had included meals at some places and we had vegetarian options everywhere! Our farewell dinner at Stockholm was very touching where we all had to bid good bye to each other. Especially to Rosie, our warm Tour Director!
Even now, my experience for the trip is so fresh that I and my daughter relive our memories each time we pick up our Scandinavian photo album. I am off to plan my next vacation now – maybe, Morocco this time! Stay tuned, more of my experiences coming soon!
Vandana Verma lives in Delhi and is an avid travel enthusiast. She has traveled around the world, with her family and without.