Thursday, July 31, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014 – Bergen, Norway – Sunny – 70F

Distance from Skjolden, Norway to Bergen, Norway: 159 Nautical Miles

A beautiful day in Norway’s Second City…

Port Information.  Bergen, the second largest city in Norway with a population of 392,000, was founded by the Vikings in 1070 AD.  It became a municipality in 1838.  The waterfront area boasts a World Heritage Site, the Bryggen.  The harbor area consists of restaurants – including an impressive Starbucks – souvenir shops, and plenty of haircut stores.  The Bryggen is a throwback to the period where Bergen worked with the German Hanseatic League, as an exporter of dried cod.  In the mid 19th Century, Bergen was the largest city in Scandinavia.  Medieval structures within the old city include the Bergenhus Fortress (13th Century) with its Rosenkrantz Tower (mid 16th Century).  Famous residents of Bergin include Henrik Ibsen, the noted playwright and author, and composer, Edvard Grieg.  Two suspension bridges span the waters leading to Bergen. 

No tours today – we are both a little tired.  The pier is very close to the city center so we plan to walk around the port area of Bergen.  We were here before so we know where just about everything is.

It is a gorgeous day in Bergen and the views from the back deck of the ship confirm that.

 20140718_back deck view (Small) 20140718_bay with bridge (Small) 20140718_View from back deck (Small)

Views from Deck 9 Aft

We are docked at a different pier this time but still close to the city.

20140718_Ocean Princess docked (Small)

Ocean Princess Docked

I am not sure that the weather is responsible, but the town is full of tourists – stores are crowded and there are many people on the streets.  Our first stop is a wonderful, mini-park complete with local hero statue.

 20140718_flower garden ET (Small)20140718_ET local hero (Small)

The picture below of the Bryggen was carefully chosen because it contain so few random people.  We checked out a lot of the stores – I am still searching for a cap from Norway but, at around $40 – 50 – I plan to keep searching.

20140718_Bryggen (Small)

The Bryggen

You really can’t go far in Norway without running across a troll.  The troll below was kind enough to pose with us for a picture.

20140718_with T. Roll (Small)

Local Troll Photo-Op

One of the “Strip Malls” along the main street is constructed in such a way that nothing actually appears to line up – walls are crooked – roofs slant in odd ways and everything creaks when you walk on the planks.  I know it was done on purpose but still…

20140718_scary carpentry mall (Small)

Creaky and Crooked Mall

I ducked into a nearby building housing a Health Spa and was surprised to find coin-operated tanning booths – an entire bank of them.  An easy and convenient way to increase your chances of skin cancer.

20140718_coin operated tanning booth (Small)

The streets of Bergen are quite narrow – just enough room for a single car to pass through.  On the side streets away from the main drag, cars and motorcycles are prohibited (note the sign).  There are many stores along these side streets but most of the tourists are on the main street making this street below look deserted.

20140718_Bergen side stree (Small)

Bergen is built on a hill – here’s a view up the hill showing the stacking of houses.

20140718_houses all the way up (Small)

We checked the McDonalds for the price of an ice cream cone – the cones were on special for two dollars (a buck or two less than last time we were here).  Across the street from Mickey D is an impressive building, which is home to the Starbucks.  The building is shared by some other businesses but the Coffee Shop is most likely the attraction.  I did not check out the price of a coffee – too scary to contemplate.

20140718_Starbucks complex (Small)

Starbucks – Bergen Norway

We walked across the street and passed quickly by the open air fish market – being a warm day only makes the aromas more pungent.  I did want to get a picture of the inner harbor area.  Last time we were here it was raining and photos were just a mix of grays.  Not today.

20140718_ Bergen inner harbor 1 (Small)20140718_Bergen inner harbor (Small)

The Inner Harbor – Bergen

The sail away from Bergen was very scenic complete with hills, homes, and bridges.  We watched it from the Tahitian Lounge.

20140718_Bergen sailaway (Small)20140718_ Bergen in distance (Small)

Bergen Sail Away

The ship passed under two suspension bridges as it made its way out to sea.  The first bridge was the Askoy Bridge.  I was up on Deck 10 to watch the ship pass under this spectacular bridge.  It looked like we didn’t clear it by much but that had to be an illusion.

20140718_ Bergen sailaway bridge 1 (Small) 20140718_ Bergen sailaway bridge 1a (Small) 20140718_ Bergen sailaway bridge 1b (Small)

Askoy Bridge (sequence above)

20140718_ Bergen and bridge 1 (Small)

The Askoy Bridge and Bergen in the Distance

Another bridge loomed ahead – this was the Sotra Bridge (a bit smaller than the first bridge).

20140718_ Bergen sailaway bridge 2 (Small) 20140718_Bergen sailaway bridge 2 (Small) 20140718_ Bergen sailaway bridge 2a (Small) 20140718_ Bergen sailaway bridge 2b (Small)

Sotra Bridge

We watched the rest of the sail away from the Panorama Buffet.

Showtime tonight was the final production show – “Do You Want to Dance”.  We have seen this show several times and it is always enjoyable.

 20140718_ Do You Want to Dance  1 (Small) 20140718_ Do You Want to Dance (Small)

This version of the show was a bit different with some new songs and dance routines (the dances were probably modified to work on the smaller stage).  Left intact was my favorite number – “Danny Boy” followed by an Irish Step Dance.  While they didn’t have many dancers (including missing one male dancer to an injury), the troupe still pulled off a terrific dance.  The crowd and I loved it.

20140718_ Do You Want to Dance step dance (Small) 20140718_ Do You Want to Dance step dance 1 (Small)

Irish Step Dance

20140718_Do You Want to Dance finale (Small)

“Shall We Dance” Finale

Tomorrow, a relaxing day at sea.

No comments:

Post a Comment