Friday, October 16, 2015

Sept. 13 Bergen, Norway

Olaf the Good founded the city in 1070. Bergen is located on the west coast of Norway on the Atlantic Ocean. Population 272,520. Due to it's temperate oceanic summers Bergen is mild with average highs of around 61ยบ F. Often called "The Seattle of Norway" Bergen gets almost 90" of rain a year. It's hard to believe it but 11,000 yrs ago this entire area was covered in ice. Massive glaciers carved out the present landscape of long fjords hemmed in by cliffs that soar 3,500 feet into the air. It is also referred to as "The Land of the Midnight Sun" and in the summer the sun shines continuously for three and a half months.
The city has witnessed Vikings setting sail on voyages of exploration, trade and war. It's hard to imagine what life onboard those old ships was like in the Middle Ages. The Port of Bergen was a major trading hub for the Hanseatic League, the band of Geronimo merchants who's trading empire encircled the Baltic and North Seas. The city still retains nuch of it's 18th and 19th century charm with a heady blend of natural beauty, history and culture. The waterfront fish market at Torget is a feast for the senses with it's wide variety of seafood stalls. Local currency is the Norwegian Krone (NOK) but some vendors might take U.S. dollars, Euros and British pounds.
Some useful words:

Please...........var saw snail
Thank you.....Tusen take
Excuse me.....ewn shewl

Bergen is awesome and my favorite city so far. They just keep getting better and better! Our driver and guide were both excellent. We drove first to Mt. Floien and waited for the Funicular which is sort of like a train with separate cars, each one holding about 16 people. It was almost a straight up and down track where we got aboard and it ran quite smoothly in and out of tunnels up to the top of the mountain. When we got to the top there was lots of viewing space on different stepped levels, some a little too difficult for me to get to so i just took pics from from the general viewing place and the inside of the store which was full to the rafters with souvenirs and wall to wall people. I didn't buy anything though there was lots of stuff to buy; i brought Euros with me and they needed Norwegian Krones of which i had none. Anyhow, the lineups were horrendous in a cramped space so i passed easily and without regret. Outside i knew the 100 year old largest tree in Norway @ 150' was nearby but i couldn't spot it so figured it was a good hike away. It was raining and there wasn't many places to sit so i sat on a wet bench and waited for my number/colour to be called for the trip down. The view as you can see was spectacular of the misty Hardanger Fjords. This is the third largest fjord in the world and the second largest in Norway. Once we were all back on the bus we commenced with the city tour which was pretty awesome with lots of info on present day things as well as historic. One thing i learned that i didn't know was that the Natzi's had tried to take over the city and they came with many tons of dynamite hoping to make the first atomic bomb there. Carelessness or an accident happened and the dynamite blew up the ship it was on and the entire side of Bergen went down along with all the people and homes there.
Though Bergens population is over 272,000 it seemed much larger to me and is spread out a long way. Bergen is my favorite place from this trip, so far. It's a very livable city and i liked it a lot and would love to have an extended time visiting there sometime.

Going up Mt. Floien on the Funicular
Is the view awesome or what
It was raining and misty

                I would have purchased one of these ladies but had no space in my luggage.

Waiting to go back down on the Funicular



Linda G. said...

I remember Bergen well. I visited it two different times . It is my favorite city in Scandinavia.

Lorraina said...

It's nice to hear that Linda; didn't even know you were such a travelling gal! The funny thing is I had never heard of Bergen before this trip. It makes me wonder about all the other great places in the world i haven't seen or heard of.