My overnight cruise from Alesund docked at Bergen. I alight from the Hurtigruten and walk to the central street. “Welcome to Bergen”, as I whisper to myself. People come alive and shops are opened for business. The city square is the main area where friends congregate and buskers perform.
Surrounding the hustle and bustle of life sits an amazingly picturesque shoreline.
Behind my amateur photography reveals me as a first-timer to Bergen. What makes it more interesting is the mix of nature, food and history in a destination.
I shall elaborate in details below.
One attraction that I must strongly recommend……Bryggen. A row of colourful warehouses, with narrow alleys, quirky cafes and shops that will keep you highly intrigued.
View from far. The early merchants in the old days load and unload their spices and food such as stockfish. Now, it’s peppered with yachts.
The narrow alleys and sidewalks provide an aura of mystery. Don’t look medieval to me for sure. I wonder what’s behind these doors.
Most are small outlets selling souvenirs, apparel and hand-made items.
Tired? Don’t rush. Relax and soak into the atmosphere.
Get a drink at Bryggen……especially summer, the sky is clear and seagulls flap their wings around the wharf. Sit, idle and people-watch.
Food that you must never miss……get a decent meal at the Fish Market. It’s located at the centre of Bergen, about 5 minutes walk from Bryggen. I paid for a dish of fresh, cooked fish, potatoes and salad at NOK180.00. (SGD$32.40).
Filled with energy, it’s time for me to explore the castle. For history buffs and the curious onlookers…… take a visit to Bergenhus Fortress.
It’s home to Hakon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower. Hakon’s Hall was built between 1247 to 1261 by Hakon Hakonsson. It was the largest and most imposing building of the royal residency in the 13th century when Bergen was the political centre of Norway. This is where the King and the royals sit, as I remember the significance. I sign up for the free guided tour (as part of my entrance ticket) that commences at 2pm.
Rosenkrantz Tower was built in the 1560s by the governor of Bergen Castle (Bergenhus), Eric Rosenkrantz and served as a combined residence and fortified tower. The walls and steps signify the medieval era where cracks stood. Each step leads to a room. I shan’t divulge too much. Let your thoughts run wild.
Smacked right behind the mountains, the beautiful, lush greenery that overlooks the houses…..Mount Floyen. I start my journey at the entrance. The Floibanen ticketing booth is situated at the opposite end of the Fish Market, right at the junction where McDonald is. The return ticket to the top of Mount Floyen is about NOK170.00. (SGD30.60)
Via the Floibanen Furnicular. It takes about 7 minutes to reach the summit.
And here it is! The top view of Bergen from Mount Floyen. Stunning, isn’t it?
Can’t resist the cool climate and trees shadowing the trail. It gives me the tranquil feeling. Thus, I decide to take a stroll around Mount Floyen. Finally, I reach a large pond. The water is still and clear. The leaves are green and trees jostling for sunlight, with minimal human contact and disturbances.
Any individual who has light to medium fitness is able to take a hike since there are footpaths. However, the direction is in Norwegian language, something which I do not understand. But this does not stop me from proceeding further. I just use my own intuition. To keep track of where I go, I mark my steps using the appearance of the trees and bushes. At times, I will take photos using my camera phone.
I discover a resting point.
Including barks of trees that looks special to me.
There is a vantage point that covers the entire Bergen.
Back to the city – there are more areas to wander around Bergen. For example, I stop by the Domkirken Cathedral, located about 200m from the Leprosy Museum.
All-in, I spend 2.5 days in Bergen. I do recommend that if you visit Norway for the first time, Bergen is a “must-see” attraction during summer. Bergen is also the docking point for several vessels that make their maiden voyage to the one of the world’s famous fjords of Norway.