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Beautiful Bergen 10-11 July

NORWAY | Tuesday, 19 August 2008 | Views [679] | Comments [1]

travel to & accommodation

The train ride from Oslo-Bergen had great views, especially from Geilo to Bergen. It travels past cute little stations like Finse (at 1220masl). Up high it is like a plateau of snowy patches, lakes and tiny cute alpine cottages. I can't for the life of me work out how the cottage owners even get to their cottages in winter – there didn't seem to be any real roads – the houses were just scattered amongst the rocks. I guess they take the train, travel light and ski to their huts.

After Finse (the highest station, i think, in western Europe) you come down a bit through very green forested countryside with lakes, rivers and waterfalls everywhere – with a back-drop of still-snowy mountains until you get into the fjords. The fjords are beautiful – just like up in Lofoten/Narvik except the mountains are rounder and less jagged and there is more forest and some hints of civilization.

Dorm.no – my hostel in Bergen - was just a stones throw from the train station and very hip and modern. They definitely have the knack of stuffing in as many backpackers as possible though – there were about 12 people in my dorm and about 6-7 dorms in a very small space. It was almost a miracle that i never had to queue for the toilet/shower.

Touristic Adventures (11 july)

Bergen is an extremely picturesque, very user-friendly city with character in spades. For Norway's 2nd biggest city it really has a friendly village feel to it. It is definitely one of my favs.

I spent most of my one day in Bergen just strolling around it's cute streets - wandering on in to the odd medieval church, heading along the fjord harbour past ancient wooden houses in the Bryggen district (a UNESCO world heritage site) and then through the mouth-watering fish market to the fortress Bergenhus. It was a gorgeous day (unusual for the usually very wet city) to clamber around the fortress and i managed to get my quota of stunning Norwegian vistas from the fortress hill.


The Bryggen district is amazing. All the houses are made of wood in the traditional style, consequently the buildings think nothing of leaning on each other, there are some “interesting” slopes and angles and almost none of the floors are level. There are tiny wee shops (somehow managing to ooze character despite selling overpriced souvenirs) crammed into increasingly narrower alleyways. And then there are the renovations – any remodeling has to be done the old-school way (hand-sawing wooden logs and the like) – so they take a long long time and become an instant tourist attraction.


Sadly a traditional Bergen rain shower (a torrential downpour of the type where you no longer hear, see, smell anything except the, sometimes horizontal, rain), curtailed my touristing and i had to sprint (via several shops) on back to the hostel.


After consuming a “traditional Norwegain meal”, yup i bought the heat and eat meal again (real food is just too expensive in Norway), i managed to cram in a politico-philosophical discussion with a Brazilian and Scot (over a glass of extremely expensive Baileys in the hostel bar) before turning in in preparation for my “Norway in a Nutshell” trip the next day.

Comments

1

hey, it's raining here too! We've had flooding in several parts of the country...You must have had a thousand different conversations with people by now, so cool! Me Karl and the chicken are fine, just kind of doing domestic things. We found Betty in the kitchen the other day eating oats out of her bag, so she's really part of the family.
We're loving your blog, it's awesome!!

  Sue Thompson Aug 27, 2008 7:37 AM

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