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davidx Bergen - A travel report by David
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Bergen,  Norway - flag Norway -  Hordaland
6049 readers

davidx's travel reports

Bergen - Norway's super second city.

  22 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
I’ve been in Bergen three times but only spent one night there so there’s still masses to see. Once it lived up to its umbrella image – and how! The other times the sun shone bright.


Harbour market stall
Harbour market stall
If you arrive around mid-day on a soaking wet Monday, I can only suggest you have a good book ready and head for your hotel, boat or whatever. On other days or Monday mornings you will find no shortage of museums and galleries and the aquarium will be open. I had heard good things about it and went to see how it measured up with the Oceanarium at Lisbon. It was fine but there’s no doubt aquaria have taken a major leap forward recently.

I don’t share the view that Bergen should be Norway’s capital – I love Oslo – but for the second city of a country it’s magic. Only minutes from the harbour front you can be up a funicular and looking down on it all from outside. Of course if you go in by train or bus, including the airport bus, you will see some ordinary enough areas and the bus station is a gloomy enough place but the city as a whole stands out as a happy and airy place. There is no part better than the harbour front near the market and one of those fabulous baker’s shops where you
If you are staying at Bergen for any length of time and planning to go to Grieg’s and/or Ole Bull’s house and the arboretum, it must pay to get a Bergen Card – but be careful otherwise. There are one or two important omissions to the places it covers.
Bergen is particularly well visited by people starting on or finishing boat trips. If you are in that position, do try to add on a couple of days at least. I wish I had. I d mean ‘at least.’ It would make a splendid holiday destination in its own right.

Favourite spots:
From Mount Floyen
From Mount Floyen
To me the favourite has to be Mount Floyen. I know there is what is said to be another mechanised route up a higher peak nearby but this escape from the very heart of the city to a point that can be used as the start to some excellent country walks has to be really special. Moreover they don’t, as so many funiculars do fleece you for the upward trip. It costs exactly half the return fare. Even if you only have time to walk down again, try to do it this way – you will see so much more than riding down. There’s a restaurant at the top and stands for ices or soft drinks.

What's really great:
In Fantoft Stave Church
In Fantoft Stave Church
Any stave church is special. Unless you live in Scandinavia, you won’t see any when you go home. However, as far as I know, Fantoft is the only example of a new old stave church. It’s new as it was built after the destruction by fire of the original building in the 1990s. It’s old in the style of its building, being a perfect copy. It’s set in woodland. If the bus conductor forgets the first stop and puts you off at the next one, it’s a good walk for scenery up through the woods – but expect a lot of steps.

Sights:
The museum church.
The museum church.
In a country where the whole of the west coast has towns with attractive features, Bergen’s harbour and market and the Bryggen buildings are instantly recognisable on any photo. The buildings date back to the German based Hanseatic League, which controlled supplies throughout northern Europe from the middle ages. I’m told the Hanseatic Museum is particularly interesting.

Just an extra plug too for the Gamle Bergen Museum. It consists of old buildings from Bergen, before the time when they became valuable. There are shops, houses and a church. The English Language tour was included in the price and it’s well worth a wait. You not only get to see interiors but the information is most interesting.

Accommodations:
Ole Bull's statue, a good direction finder!
Ole Bull's statue, a good direction finder!
I liked the look of Steen’s when I first saw it advertised and it has the major advantage of a relatively low price.
It’s a small hotel in a lovely early 20th century building overlooking a park. There is a stream on the park side of the road and the photo showed swans on it. They were really there too!
The breakfast room is beautifully timbered and furnished. It’s not far from the train and bus stations but, if you have heavy luggage, you may well want to take a cab to avoid one very steep, albeit short, ascent.

Restaurants:
Behind Bryggen
Behind Bryggen
I don’t remember any names but it may be worth knowing that even the more expensive restaurants don’t turn a hair if you only order a starter.

Other recommendations:
Bryggen from harbour
Bryggen from harbour
I was disappointed with the Fishing Museum. I think the one at Molde that I’ve described in another report has really spoilt more conventional ones for me.

I was particularly sorry to miss the arboretum at Milde [bus], particularly as I expected the rhododendrons to be in bloom.

Some students saw that I used a stick and warmly advised me against going to see Grieg’s house. I was short on time anyway but you may want to make careful inquiries if you have any physical problems.


Published on Thursday February 3th, 2005


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Sat, Feb 05 2005 - 03:37 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii david,
very nice and wonderful report again

Fri, Feb 04 2005 - 06:45 AM rating by gloriajames

informative report... 5*

Fri, Feb 04 2005 - 01:30 AM rating by rangutan

Amazing!

Thu, Feb 03 2005 - 09:06 PM rating by britman

Great - another super report

Thu, Feb 03 2005 - 03:53 PM rating by picasso

Wonderful report,was a pleasure for me to read-*****
Thank you for sharing your travel experiences.

Boris

Thu, Feb 03 2005 - 11:31 AM rating by madness

your report reminded me my peaceful feelings when I was in Bergen

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