Tuesday, June 25

How to take a trip from Oslo to Norway’s Arctic Circle by train

This post was produced by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

The attendant, Tor Helge, potters around the dining vehicle, his whistling existence friendship enough as I keep an eye out onto the Gudbrandsdalslågen, among Norway’s longest rivers, its waters sparkling in the light. Like Christmas trees on stilts, pencil-thin pines fringe its banks and a sandy islet rises like a foundation in between the circulation.

Whispering along with, the train leans into a turn before we swing large and I edge towards the window, finding a handful of individuals fly-fishing for trout, pike and perch, waders approximately their thighs. Hikers appear on a path and a group of bicyclists glimpse sideways as we pass. The sky’s a milky blue, sunlight glinting on the peaks of the Dovrefjell mountains– it’s a traditional summer season scene. Just one thing’s various: I look down at my watch and it’s 3.50 am.

With a moderate pains behind my eyes, I’m advising my body to change its body clocks to the natural phenomenon of Norway’s midnight sun. North of the Arctic Circle, from mid-May to mid-July, the sun remains above the horizon, without any difference in between night and day. Throughout this duration, Norwegians accept the present of time– and light– by treking, fishing, climbing up, cruising, sea kayaking and normally strolling around drinking and partying in the soft orange radiance of ‘night’.

Fascinated by the concept of groundhog daytime, I’m taking the sleeper train from the capital, Oslo, as much as Trondheim on the 300-mile Dovre Railway. From Trondheim, I’ll move onto the Nordland Railway, which weaves up the nation for another 450 miles to Bodø (noticable boo-der), the last station on the line, simply north of the Arctic Circle.

The previous day, I showed up in Oslo anticipating to discover the city alive with loud beer gardens and premium food trucks, and bicyclists weaving in between them in floaty gowns– however a ghost town waited for. “Everyone leaves in July,” stated Fredrik, a waiter at a bookshop coffee shop. “Most individuals go to France or Italy or get away to their summer season homes. For 2 to 3 weeks in July, it’s dead here.”

The station had a number of dining establishments where I might remain up until it was time to board the train. Leaving quickly from platform 4, the service creaked and groaned out of Oslo Central at 11pm, before it unwinded into the journey, an even thump-thump taking us behind warmly lit house blocks, the city’s spread of green areas thick and regular. It wasn’t long before we pulled east, where the location’s wealth exposed itself in the kind of separated, multi-levelled homes with Teslas parked in the driveways and shop stores on the high streets.

By midnight, the clouds had actually darkened and extended into indigo ripples, however on the horizon, a belt of orange declined to fade, ultimately turning pink. As we passed the edge of the Vorma River, a white mist hovered above it till it broadened into Lake Mjøsa,

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