Hello, pals! Please accept my apologies for the radio silence this week. I was enjoying my final days in Norway and opted to take the opportunity to rest and recharge rather than using my laptop.
I just got back last night from an incredible 8-day trip in Norway. I stayed in Oslo for a few days, a city I’ve been to previously. Since the weather wasn’t terrific, I did more relaxing within and less touring outside. I especially enjoyed hanging around in Grnerlkka, a trendy district with a variety of stylish cafes, restaurants, and breweries. If you ever visit Oslo, I highly recommend spending an evening or two there.
I spent the last few days in Bergen, the second-largest city in Norway. Because traveling by train throughout Europe is one of my favorite pastimes, I elected to take the six-hour train from Oslo to my destination rather than taking a one-hour flight. I could spend hours quietly gazing out the window and watching the landscape go by. Getting on a train is also easier in my opinion than getting through airport security!
Bergen exhibits a significant Danish influence simply because Norway was a part of Denmark from the 1500s until 1814. This charming postcard image of Bryggen (the dock) depicts the business structures that surround Bergen’s waterfront; it reminded me a little of Copenhagen’s Nyhavn neighborhood.
As a port city, there are constantly a large number of commercial boats entering and exiting the harbor. They also do coastal and fjord tours, which I’m sure are excellent in warmer weather.
The weather was gloomy and rainy during my visit (as would be expected in January), but I did manage to take a few pictures while there was a little window of clear skies. I always look forward to going about a new city, slipping into corners, and meandering the streets as I let the city slowly reveal itself. I prefer to wander about for hours without having a specific objective because you may easily miss the subtleties when you’re biking or taking public transportation.
Despite the persistent sprinkle of rain, the cobblestone streets were damp, but I always go on foot explorations regardless of the weather. Simply by strolling through neighborhoods, I feel that’s the easiest way to find nice eateries or fascinating shops.
When I recently visited Norway, I noted that the brick red, white, and mustard yellow color scheme was frequently used on the business and home exteriors.
I came across these crocheted trees in a park close to the funicular, which was one very unexpected sighting. It’s a type of street art that uses yarn rather than paint and is frequently referred to as “yarn bombing.”
The trees were all dormant because it was the midst of winter, but I can just picture how lovely this city would be in the summer. The facade and graveyard of the Romanesque-style St. Mary’s Church struck me as something out of a movie, so I slipped inside for a while. Cobblestones in various shades of bright and dark were used to make the crosswalks for pedestrians across the city. I adored the idea of patiently constructed paths made out of stones with different colors rather than painted crosswalks.
Mount Floyen may be reached from the city’s center via a funicular, known as the Flibanen. The trip should take a few hours because there is a cafe, playground, bicycling and walking trail, and a goat petting zoo at the top (in summer).
At the higher elevations, it was snowing, but from here, you can enjoy a broad view of the city below.
In the spring or summer, the vista is more like this on clear days. (Inspiration to go back one day)
Although Bergen has a fantastic shopping district, I really suggest visiting the fishmarket on the waterfront. Wow, the fish selection here is incredible! You can either take it back to your Airbnb, like we did, or you can sit by the water and take in the beauty while they prepare a selection of food for you to eat. Miss it not!
Exploring Bergen at night is equally as enjoyable as it is during the day, if not more so. I was reminded of Pacific Heights in San Francisco by this particular neighborhood. It’s funny how traveling can make locations you’ve been in the past seem familiar when you put yourself out there enough. We took a long stroll across the entire city that evening while wearing parkas, peering into windows along lantern-lit streets before arriving at a quaint wine bar to sip a bottle of Chianti by candlelight.
Bergen was one of the most charming and enjoyable cities I’ve ever visited, and it really gave me a nice time. If you wish to visit Norway someday, add its convenient international airport on your list of places to visit.
Next week is business as usual, so have a great weekend, folks!