Visiting Bergen

My job involves travel. Lots of it, actually. This has both pros and cons, probably the worst con being the fact that you spend more time in hotels and airports than you do at home. But the pros are significant as well, since I have the chance to see many places and, more important, meet a wide variety of people and cultures. And I must confess that I absolutely like it.

The first time I went to Norway it was in Haugesund and I literally fell in love with this country. A very well developed country where the people respect their place and the human landscape is as natural as it can be. For some reasons though I did not take any pictures back then, but it was absolutely fabulous. However, this one took place a bit southwards, in the western Norwegian city of Bergen. A large city for Norway, quite wealthy and very, very pretty. I had the chance to stumble upon a wonderful host (actually the customer’s representative) who offered to take me to a tour of the city when he heard that I was going to spend the afternoon/evening at the hotel. The hotel was at the airport so there was no connection to the city, for which reason he took care of all the entire transportation part. And being mid-August, the day lasted long enough for a nice evening tour.

One thing that should illustrate quite well the standard of living in the area was that I passed by a Tesla Motors store next to one of Bergen’s main roads, and the showroom was full of Model S vehicles. And I mean FULL – about 10 such cars, next to one another. On the roads there were Model S everywhere, roughly 1 car in 30 was a Model S. Which, let’s face it, is immense. (And BTW, a Model S is around 100k EUR in Norway but it benefits of a lot of tax exemptions for being an all-electric car. And Norway’s electricity is around 85% of hydro origin, meaning exclusively renewable – hence the exempts.) Not to mention that everything is expensive (of course) so if you plan to go there for a visit make sure you prepare a reasonable budget for all the expenses.

Bergen overview
Bergen overview

The city stretches over a few hills around a rather shallow fjord. If you are used to the circulated fjord pictures… well, this is not one of them: it’s not delimited by tall rocky walls but rather gently sloped hills. And boy, did the Norwegians make ggod use of them hills!The little boat you can see departing is the Post boat which goes all the way North up to Tromsø in 6 days. The nice thing is that you can even book a trip aboard either one-way (Bergen-Tromsø or Tromsø-Bergen) or 2-ways for 11 days on board. That would be great if I didn’t have a horrible motion sickness issue that makes me need to take the window seat in absolutely any means of transportation that I travel with. This pic is taken from a nice vantage point almost at the top of one of the city’s hills, just like these other two:

Bergen south
Bergen South

Bergen_center After the vantage point we took a walk through the city. We ended up in the fish market – nothing unusual for a Norwegian city, but exciting for a newcomer. Among the most impressive products we can mention the Russian crabs:

Russian crab. Left index finger for scale...
Russian crab. Left index finger for scale…

I’d definitely prefer to avoid the business end of its claws, small as they seem. Yeah, I know, lobsters are much more dangerous, but still…

 

So, all in all, if you have the opportunity to pay a visit to Bergen, don’t hesitate. I could also add that the city has an important university, so there’s night life as well if you’re into it. I, for one, am not – hence no advices/opinions about the night attractions because I’m simply not aware of them. Have a safe and enjoyable journey!

Ave

When he's not flying his RC air models, he's more likely next to a computer - but you can sometimes find him at an airsoft game, as much as weather allows. For both outdoor activities...

2 thoughts on “Visiting Bergen

  • 25 January, 2015 at 18:03
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    Hi Ave,
    How great to get the city tour from a native. It’s a city and country that’s hard to describe, given the very different climate, history, (rags to riches), and the hardy, hardy folks.
    My husband’s family is from there, and nearby Viksoy. Our remaining relative there gave us the grand tour several years ago, and a deep look into what it means to be Norwegian. Fascinating. I wouldn’t mind living there, but the winter climate is just too oppressive!
    Thanks for your beautiful pics,
    Josie
    Josie´s last blog post ..New Trend in House Sitting: The Ultra-Short Assignment

    Reply
    • 25 January, 2015 at 23:20
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      Indeed the weather is tough even for Norwegians. All those I spoke with acknowledge that the worst part is not necessarily the cold, but the long dark days during the winter time – which is the main reason behind the high incidence of psychological problems. Also the wealth brings along another side effect as well: the drugs consumption is one of the highest and includes a significant use of high risk drugs, such as heroine. And, as my host said, “once they move to heroin it’s game over…”. 🙁

      Reply

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