Europe

An afternoon in historical Bergen, Norway

The day after our victory on Trolltunga, it was already time to hit the road again and continue our trip across Norway. Destination for the day; Bergen.

Our planning only put us in Bergen sometime late afternoon, but when we checked the weather forecast and it was all rain and cloudy in the area around Odda and more sunny around Bergen, we didn’t think twice. We immediately set course for Bergen and arrived there right after noon, with the sun shining down on us. Bliss!

Now we had an entire afternoon to explore this big city and its sights.

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Since we had arrived in Bergen around lunchtime, it only made sense to hunt for some food first. When you are in Bergen, it’s impossible to steer clear of fish, so with rumbling stomachs we headed to the fish market, Fisketorget. There are a couple of restaurants in that market hall, but you can also enjoy some take-away food from the vendors. We got ourselves a package of sushi which was really delicious and the perfect lunch. Beware though, because apparently you cannot sit in the boots in the middle of the hall if you’re just having take-away food and there are some rude waitresses hanging around to call you out on it. But my friend just ordered a beer which allowed us to stay put, not that that made the waitress any happier. Oh well!

Around Fisketorget, there were also some more food stalls, from which we of course bought some more food such as a fish cake and fish soup. It was a bit expensive, but with it being so tasty, it was all worth it.

From there we headed to thé postcard picture of Bergen; Bryggen. This UNESCO site consists of a series of Hanseatic Heritage buildings which were built after the great fire of 1702. These buildings are now of course all used for commercial purposes which makes it more of a tourist trap than anything else. It’s nice to stroll through but it has lost a lot of its charm because it’s swamped with tourists.

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If you continue along the water, past Bryggen, you can also find the Bergenhus Festning. This fortress is one of the oldest and best preserved fortifications in Norway. If you have time, it’s nice to go check it out, but for me it didn’t seem all that special.

We then headed back into the old part of Bergen where we strolled around for a while. Bergen is a fairly big city, but when you’re walking around the old center it certainly doesn’t feel that way. There are some really cute alleys and streets and I enjoyed this part of the city the most.

For a big part of the afternoon, we could be found on the couch at a little pub called ‘Jeppe’. This café felt really out of place in the center of the city and there weren’t that many tourists, but that made it even better. It was nice to sit and relax for a while after the exertion from the day before.

From there we headed to Duggfrisk, close to Fisketorget, where we enjoyed our dinner. A delicious fish soup which was supposedly ‘small’ according to my order, but wasn’t small at all. I was hardly able to finish it. First world problems, I guess!

After dinner, it was time to sightsee some more. We had gone for an early dinner since we were looing forward to witnessing the sun set over the city of Bergen. To see that the best way possible we took the Fløibanen funicular up to Mount Fløyen. A round trip costs 90 NOK and it’s definitely worth the money. From there you have a stunning view over the entire city.

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From up Mount Fløyen it became clear how big this city actually is and what a small part of the city we had only visited that afternoon. Nonetheless I didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything major in the larger area of the city.

Once the sun had gone down and it became colder, we took the funicular down again and enjoyed a late night stroll through the city. Yes, cities by night; my weakness. I especially loved the view on Bryggen by night from across the water. All the beautiful lights reflecting in the water. So beautiful.

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By 10pm we headed back to our apartment for the night; Ole Bull Hotel & Apartments. I can very much recommend this place to all those looking into visiting Bergen. We got a very spacious apartment for a reasonable price, at least for Norway. We had all facilities we could have needed and when there seemed to be an issue with a leak in our bathroom, the staff jumped to help us.

For breakfast there aren’t that many option in the area. We found out that there doesn’t seem to be a big breakfast culture in Norway. Bummer. So we followed the advice of our hotel’s reception and went next door to the Hotel Oleana to enjoy their breakfast buffet. Quite pricey, but there is a wide variety of choices. It wasn’t like the breakfast buffet at Thon hotel – I feel like I’ll never havee were bound to see at least some rain in this place. another breakfast like that ever again – but it was still a very good breakfast option. And the fact that it was right next door was also pretty damn handy considering it was raining cats and dogs as we were leaving our apartment. I guess with its 240 rain days per year, we were bound to get some rain in this place.

Bellies full, we left the city of Bergen behind us, and then it was really time to enter the Fjords. Exciting!

♡ Ellen

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