Yes, Beltherway (for BELgium, neTHERlands, norWAY). Thanks to Troy Aker for the brilliant portmanteau.
This past weekend I went up to Rick Steves’ Travel Center in Edmonds for a trip consult with Lisa, and with her help I was able to firm up my itinerary, and I’ve finished booking all my accommodations, mostly through Airbnb.
Ghent (3 nights)
I fly into Brussels, and there’s a train direct from the airport to Ghent. This will be my base for day trips to Bruges, Brussels, and (if time and weather allow) the seashore.
Other in Ghent, Belgium. Central though quiet location. Spacious studio on upperfloor. Nice view from kitchen onto garden and park.Historical centre just round the corner. The studio consists of two large airy , bright rooms on the top floor of our house. The kitchen-dining area overlooks our garden and the adjoining park. Next to it is a (to be fair) small bathroom with shower. The bedroom is on the streetside. It is very spacious.
Antwerp (2 nights)
I could really stay in one place for five nights in Belgium, but Lisa recommended splitting the time between Ghent and Antwerp.
Apartment in Antwerpen, Belgium. Hi! You have Antwerp for tourists AND you have Antwerp for travelers. Our apartment is located in the city’s coolest and most upcoming neighbourhood where you can buy the cheapest fresh food and meet with different cultures. We love to give advice!
Delft (2 nights)
Delft is, according to Rick Steves, the one places in the Netherlands to stay if you decide not to stay the whole time in Amsterdam. It’s Vermeer’s home town. It’s also next door to The Hague, which has one of the Netherlands’ best museums, the Mauritshuis.
Bed & Breakfast in Delft, Netherlands. Our accommodation is situated on the ground level of our house in the city center. It has its own entrance, living and sleeping area, private bathroom. We offer great locally sourced breakfast and home baked bread.
Haarlem (5 nights)
In Haarlem, I’m staying at the B&B Hotel Malts, which is the top-rated B&B in Haarlem on TripAdvisor. Lisa recommended staying in Haarlem rather than Amsterdam; it’s only a 15-minute train ride, and it’s a nice place to relax in the evening. I read similar advice from a lot of travelers on various travel forums. In addition to spending time in Amsterdam, I can take any number of day trips or partial day trips. I also got a ticket to a performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for one evening while I’m there. They’ll be doing the Beethoven Violin Concerto and the Prokofiev Symphony #6.
Oslo (4 nights)
I found a flight that departs from Amsterdam at 9:30 p.m., and I found hosts in Oslo who are happy with my late arrival, so I won’t spend the better part of a day traveling, and I’ll have three full days in Oslo, including a night at the Oslo Opera House for a performance of the Verdi Requiem.
Apartment in Oslo, Norway. A spacious, modern top floor apartment next to Norway’s biggest and most popular street, Karl Johans gate. The best attractions of the city are so close that you will never run out of options of where to go and what to do. The location is super!
Balestrand (2 nights)
In Balestrand, I reserved a fjord-view room at the Balestrand Hotel. It’s not as famous and historic as the neighboring Kviknes Hotel, but it’s got great reviews, and it’s much less expensive.
Balestrand is one of those places I never heard of before I started researching this trip. I knew I wanted to go from Oslo to Bergen, and the normal touristy way of doing that is a tour called “Norway in a Nutshell.” As I read about that very popular tour, I found that there are a lot of options that involve staying overnight along the way. Balestrand has the advantage of not being directly on the NIN route; you start out on NIN from Oslo to Myrdal to Flåm by train, and then, instead of continuing on the tour, you catch a ferry from Flåm to Balestrand. After two nights there, I can either go back to Flåm to continue NIN, or take a ferry on the Sognefjord directly to Bergen, which is the obvious better option. Balestrand is a great scenic place on the Sognefjord, the longest fjord in the world, and I will have a full day there to enjoy some good hiking in the area, as well as other activities.
Bergen (2 nights)
Apartment in Bergen, Norway. Saskia‘s apartment is a 30 m2 fully equipped apartment for 1 or 2 persons. The apartment is very comfortable, got a own entrance from the street and was brand new in 2010. TV with international channels. Free access to wireless internet connection.
Trondheim (2 nights)
Apartment in Trondheim, Norway. Location, location, location! Super-central and newly modernized 85 m2 apartment right in the middle of old town with city and culture life on your doorstep. The apartment is located next to the river in Trondheim’s most desirable neighborhood with old wooden houses, cafes and restaurants.
Featured image by Amsterdam Municipal Department for the Preservation and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Sites (bMA), Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3883283