The B-Side of Bergen and 50 Shades of Grey

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Nice. Back in Bergen for a weekend; a work weekend that is, if you can call group exercise instructor instruction work?
Sailing into Bergen harbour, excitement is building; interesting views of mixed old and new buildings and ships complete with a mountainous  backdrop.

Norway Bergen port. Photo: Marina Aagaard

Bergen and Ulriken at a distance Photo: Marina Aagaard

Bergen, the city of the seven mountains, is the second-largest city in Norway, an international aquaculture, subsea tech, shipping and petroleum industry centre and the street-art capital of the country. The city has a population of approx. 270,100; a population, that looks outgoing, easygoing, arty and fit.

Bergen old city houses Photo: Marina Aagaard

Bergen is flooded, not only by rain – it rains during 235 out of 365 days the year, e.g. around New Year 2007 Bergen received 85 consecutive days of rain (!) – but also by tourists from all over the world.

This is only natural: It really is an exciting city, not only Bryggen, the Hanseatic Warf, a UNESCO World Heritage site, but the rest of the city, too, is well worth a visit; the port (Norway’s busiest), the old parts of the city and the mountains, too.

Bergen Bryggen view Photo: Henrik Elstrup

Norway Norge Bergen Bryggen Foto: Henrik Elstrup

A fraction of the photogenic Bryggen, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bergen B side

Bergen photos usually means Bryggen photos. For balance here is the ‘B-side’,
the other side: Your harbour view, when you stand on the Bryggen side.

Norge Bergen architecture Photo: Marina Aagaard

Bergen boasts buildings of more modern achitecture, too.

Bergen fish market

Healthy fast food dinner at one of the numerous stalls at the popular Fish Market.

From the city centre you can go to the top of Fløyen (425 m) with a funicular and a little farther away you can take the aerial tramway to Ulriken (643 m). On the top there are several hiking routes, from easy to challenging.
The view, the mountains, sea and city, is impressive when the weather is bright, so say a prayer. Rain is one thing, but fog frequently spoils the fun.

Norge Ulriken tåge sti

A fierce and foggy Ulriken path; hard to find and not made to please tourists;
pay attention or get lost.

Norway Bergen Ulriken Photo: Henrik Elstrup

Summer in Bergen. 50 shades of grey (at least)
You a tourist? Bring a dictionary.
For starters: Fare means Danger!

Hungry? That’s just too bad. If you want to dine at the Ulriken restaurant, sky:skraperen, you have to book a day in advance. In spite of their poster at street level saying you can have something to eat, even if you have not booked, they won’t even serve coffee, beverages or snacks, when you get to the top/restaurant … how about that?

Stay ‘low’ for dinner. If you have money (lots of money) to spare, you can dine in one of the many nice restaurants.
I can say only one bad thing about Bergen, but it is bad; (Norwegian) prices are horrendous, and this is coming from a native of a country, where the prices are horrendous, too: Bergen price: A salat NOK 160-170 (USD 30).

Maybe the solution:

Norge McDonalds

McDonald’s restaurant design Scandinavian style (anno 1710).

Norge Bergen fortovskunst

Pavement art about the power of thought, more powerful than medicine:
If you think you are well, you will be.

To your health.

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