Where did you go?
What tourist attractions did you visit and do you have any tips for people with IBD who would like to see these? (long queues or wait times, special queue jumper passes, toilets at attractions etc.)
Norway in a Nutshell Tour – Trip across Norway (Oslo to Bergen) via multiple modes of transport (ferry, train, bus) that shows the best of what Norway has to offer. It is some of the most picturesque scenery imaginable including a boat cruise through the Norwegian fjords.
Bergen – beautiful world heritage city on the Norwegian west coast that is the gateway to the fjords.
Oslo – vibrant city nestled at the end of a fjord with art galleries, museums and great food
Were there any language barriers we need to be aware of?
No, Norwegians speak fluent English.
Did you do any prior research before the trip? Were there any organisations or websites you found useful relating to IBD e.g. Other IBD support organisations around the world.
The Norway in a Nutshell trip came highly recommended by a number of friends and family. As I wanted to take my time, enjoy the trip and minimise health risks I researched the tour itineraries and tailored it by stopping early each day and then continuing the next morning. Tour operators were very understanding and willing to accommodate individual requests.
Did your IBD cause you any issues on this trip?
Although I was on a lot of medication to keep the Crohn’s under control I was fortunate to have a clean run of health in Norway. Fatigue which has been an ongoing issue associated with my Crohns was a challenge at times over the 5 week trip.
Was there anything out of the ordinary that stressed you out, or could potentially stress out someone with IBD?
Norway is one of the worlds most expensive places so even prior to leaving getting travel insurance covering pre-existing conditions was a concern. Surprisingly it was easy to get covered.
The Norway in a Nutshell tour is quite intense, with a lot of travel and quick transportation changes along the way. It can make for long and tiring days. Given it is normally a multi-day tour and is one of the main attractions in Norway, those with IBD should consider breaking the tour up (can be tailored for individual needs) and stopping overnight as some of the main attractions along the way.
Can you recommend how many days/weeks is a good time to visit this location?
4-5 days. I spent 2 days on the Norway in a nutshell tour and 1 day each in Bergen in Oslo. Next time I would spend longer in the Norwegian fjords
Can you tell us what the food and cuisine is like? Any tips on where to eat and what to avoid?
Norwegian cuisine has a strong focus on seafood. For those slightly more adventurous I did see reindeer and even whale on a few menu’s. It’s worth keeping in mind that Norway is exceptionally expensive and everything costs far more than in Australia. As an indicator a coffee was close to AUD$8-9 in Oslo.
Did you ever need medical attention? What did you do?
No. However whenever I travel I always research what is considered to be the best hospital in the city I’m heading to, so that If I do run into any issues I know which hospital to head to.
How were the toilets?
In the hotels, and major cities (Oslo, Bergen) they were high quality. For the long trip on boat/bus/trains across the country they were about what you would expect on public transport. As someone who has had Crohns for years, I’m completely desensitised to bathroom conditions.
Do you recommend any hospitals or a GP that people with IBD could potentially use?
On a scale of 1-5 how much does your IBD affect you? (1 being in remission and 5 being in a flare)
3 – I had surgery a few months ago, and whilst it was a tough period, I feel far better now. It’s enabled me to have a better quality of life
On a scale of 1-5, how difficult was it to manageyour IBD while on this trip? (1 being no issues and 5 being very difficult to manage)
2 – predominantly managing the medication and fatigue
Were there any activities which challenged your IBD management?
The trip itself was a challenge in IBD management mainly due to the medication. Whilst I had read about people who had successfully travelled with Humira, I didn’t have confidence that I could travel for a month across Europe and keep it refrigerated. However I have a great specialist who was able to prepare a treatment plan that enabled me to stay healthy and have a fantastic trip
Were there any activities which challenged your IBD ma
Yes, Norway is an amazingly beautiful country
Any additional comments?
If possible try to get travel insurance that covers you for pre-existing medical conditions. Shop around, call the insurance companies (rather than do it online) and have letters from your medical specialists if necessary. The insurance companies can be resistant at times (especially if recent surgery or hospital admissions) however be persistent.