A visit to Bergen Norway

 

This was the end goal of our "Norway in a Nutshell" Train Tour, and our great move at catching an earlier ferry from Flam, allowed us to arrive in Bergen before nightfall!

We started in Oslo early this morning; rode a train to Flam, rode a catamaran ferry to Gudvangen where we caught a tour bus that took us to Voss, Norway. At Voss, we caught a train into Bergen. Long but fascinating day of beautiful Norway!

 Quick Facts 

Bergen was founded in 1070 and is situated on inlets of the North Sea. It is Norway's second largest city and a major shipping center. Formerly a major textile and ship-building center, the city's economy is now mainly service-based, including educational, medical, technical, insurance, financial, and retailing services. A small shipyard and ship-repair facilities remain. Other manufacturing includes fish processing, steel, machinery, and electrical equipment.


 Above information extracted from Wikipedia

If you have never been to Bergen & either you are planning a trip there, or you just want to know more about it, here are some good sources of information;

Scandic Ornen Hotel: We had selected this hotel during our trip research planning, because it was central to the downtown area, looked very comfortable, and was reasonably priced. It opened in May 2014 and is Bergen's newest and largest hotel with 368 spacious, bright and modern rooms.

All of their standard rooms are double rooms with either twin beds or a double bed, and have bathrooms with showers or baths.

If you are looking for additional information about this hotel, click here.



The Scandic Ornen Hotel (or anywhere downtown) is easily reached from the airport via rail. The train station is near the center of downtown, and immediately adjacent to the Scandic Ornen Hotel.

Just across the street from the hotel is a beautiful park (Byparken) with a lake in the center and filled with flowers. We would walk through this park to reach the center of Bergen. The statue is of Edward Grieg, a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide.

This peaceful place is Bergen’s first official park and dates back to 1855. The park used to stretch over a bigger area but after the big fire in 1855 the streets were straightened and the houses were rebuilt in another order, so that the result was a city with fewer winding roads and more uniform buildings.

We did not realize how similar Bergen is to San Francisco - Hills surrounding the town, deep harbor with the city surrounding that harbor, etc. It was a pleasant surprise!

The center of Bergen is a "pedestrian only" area, surrounded by a number of stores, shops and eateries. Street performers would frequently be present, to entertain the tourists and locals.

As we walked through the center of Bergen, we could see that we were now very close to the harbor, and there was a "Fisherman's Wharf" kind of area directly in front of us. Every type of seafood imaginable was available, and we determined that this was going to be our lunch spot after we had finished our morning's walk.

Our research of Bergen had revealed that the hill closest to the fish market area (Mount Fløyen) is served by a funicular, which was within two blocks of where the seafood area was. We decided that this would be a great way to get some elevated images of Bergen, and maybe get a bit of walking in as well.

So after walking around the fish market, we headed over to the Fløibanen Station, got our tickets and boarded the funicular to get to the top of the hill.

Because it was still early in the AM, so we were able to get right onboard the funicular - later in the day when we came down from the top, the line went down the hill, all the way back to the fish market!

As shown below, the top of Mount Fløyen was beautiful; covered in trails, trees everywhere, a herd of goats that were having fun with the tourists, and stunning views of Bergen below.

The top of Mt. Fløyen is covered with this beautiful forest, with hiking trails and great views of Bergen below.

 Hiking Tips 

From the top of Mount Fløyen, the 1.8 km (1.1 mi) walk in relatively flat terrain to Brushytten (lit. "the soda cabin") is ideal, if you have kids. Brushytten is a kiosk usually open on Sundays. There are several ways to get there, if you follow the signs, you're on the safe side and will walk on dirtroads all the way (easily accessible with both a wheelchair or a pram).

From Brushytten, you can walk up the hill to Mount Rundemanen and get a beautiful view. From Mount Rundemanen, a good choice for a not-so-long hike will be to walk to Sandviksfjellet, and from there down to Sandviken, where you can get on a bus or walk back to the city center. Another possibility is to cross the Vidden plateau and walk to Mount Ulriken, the highest mountain in Bergen, a hike which takes about five hours. You should be somewhat fit to take this trip, and also be prepared for bad weather. The trip across Vidden is among Norway's most popular hiking trips.


 The above information was extracted from Wikipedia.

Even though it is possible to hike from the top of Mt. Fløyen to other mountains in the area, or even to hike back down to Bergen - We decided to remain in the general area of the funicular, and use it to return to Bergen so that we could maximize our time in the city.

There is a herd of goats on Mt. Fløyen, placed there to keep the greenery trimmed. The goats were moved to Mt. Fløyen in 2016 and even though they do not require humans to feed them, they still gather around to see if anyone brought them a snack.

You can see what a great view there is of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen. The top of Mt. Fløyen is 400 meters above sea level, enough height to provide a beautiful vista of the city, but not so high as to be uncomfortable.

We departed Bergen on KLM flight 1186 at 10:50AM and arrived in Amsterdam at 12:55PM. The route from Bergen Airport was directly over the Raunefjorden near some very pretty islands. This picture was taken as our flight was ascending after takeoff.

European Travel Tips

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To view our entire set of images from Bergen, click here

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