Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012 – Bergen, Norway – Rainy – 60s

Molde, Norway to Bergen, Norway: 133 Nautical Miles

Bergen Norway from Ship (Small)

Bergen from Ship 2 (Small) Bergen Norway (Small)

Bergen, Norway from Ship

Bergen. located on the far western edge of Norway, is the country’s second largest city with a population of approximately 266,000 people.  It was founded in 1007 and was originally the capital of Norway.  It is known for its wet weather and sees rain over 200 days a year.

Claim to Fame: Birthplace of composer Edvard Grieg

No tours again today, so we are off to see Bergen and its scenic downtown and wharf area.  It is, of course, drizzling, but not really enough to pose a problem.  The ship is docked conveniently next to the road to the downtown area, which is less than 10 minutes away.

On the way to town, the first structure we encounter is the Bergen Fortress

Bergen Castle (Small)  

Bergen Fortress

We don’t stop – we will visit here on the way back to the ship.  The Bergen Marina is the focal point of the City Center. 

Me and the Harbor (Small)

Me and the Bergen Marina

The row of Hanseatic Buildings on the Bryggen (Wharf) have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Bergen has suffered numerous destructive fires in its history and the Bryggen has burned several times. The colorful buildings have been rebuilt to their original appearance.

Bryggen in Bergen (Small)

The Bryggen

We walked into several of the shops along the Bryggen (also very expensive).  We also walked up to and explored the second and third levels of one of the buildings (housing businesses).  The levels have uneven wooden plank floors, very low ceilings, and very narrow stairways.  They have been restored to original specifications.  The floor creak and give under your feet – yet, there are shops on these floors and people work there.  I was happy to get down.

As you reach the end of the Marina, you enter the Torget – an open Air Fish Market, where you can get any type of seafood imaginable.  Salmon (Lox) is popular and samples were being handed out.  Proper food handling did not seem a priority so we did not sample any of the local fish (still some cruise days left).

E in the Fishmarket (Small)  

Ellen at the Torget

  Fishmarket (Small) 

The offerings at the Torget

Just behind the Torget, we spotted a Pepe’s Pizza – just as in Leknes, earlier, Pepe’s WiFi System was open.  While protecting our phones from the light rain, we were able to check our e-mail and send home some pictures.  Thanks again, Senior Pepe.

From there, we walked away from the Wharf and into the surrounding residential/business area.  Along the way, we saw the Karskirken (17th century church)

19th century church (Small)


Nearby was the Domkirken (Bergen Cathedral), which dates back to the early 12th century.  The Cathedral has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries.

Bergen Cathedral Domkirken (Small)

Domkirken (Bergen Cathedral)

Some residents live in flats off the main street.  Access is through a very narrow passage way and up several flights of steep stairs.

   Narrow Streets (Small)

Apartments of Main Street

Coming back to the pier, we found the only McDonald’s in Norway (at least where we went).  This store was pretty low key with it’s signage.  I went in and it was pretty deserted – I asked about WiFi (none) and then I asked the most important question:  How much is your Ice Cream Cone?  The answer: 18 Kr or $3.60.  I believe that settles it – Norway, based on the Cono standard, is the most expensive place we have visited on our travels.

McD in Bergen (Small)

McDonalds in Bergen

On the way back to the ship, we entered the Bergen Fortress

Rosenkrantz Tower (Small)

and got a view of the Hakonshallen (ca. 13th century).  This Ceremonial Hall was built by King Hakon in 1261 for his son’s wedding. 

Haakons Hall 1 (Small)


Also part of the fortress is Rosenkrantz Tower (1560s) which resembles a Renaissance Castle.

Haakons Hall (Small)

Rosenkrantz Tower

Some parts of the Fortress are inaccessible but we are able to see the interior court yard – now only the ruins of the old walls remain.

Castle Grounds (Small)

Bergen Fortress Wall Ruins

There is a wedding in the complex today – at least it’s not raining

Wedding in the Castle (Small)

Soon, we are back on ship just in time for a late lunch.  We find some quiet time before dinner and I spent some time in the Thalassotherapy Pool.  A good time to be in the pool since people are not back from their excursions yet.

Again, the food in the Dining Room is great.

Showtime Tonight: “Discover the World”.  We have seen this show before – about the songs and dances around the world – but it is still very enjoyable.  The best parts are the Tango segment (some of the girls are excellent) and my favorite – The Irish Step Dance (below).

 Discover the World Showtime (Small)

Discover the World 1 (Small)

Celebrate the World – Irish Step Dance Number

We caught Perry Grant’s performance in Michael’s Club

Perry Grant (Small)

Perry Working

The packing process has already begun.

Pedometer: 7020 steps; 3.33 miles; 344 Calories

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