After a flight just over an hour Friday evening, we arrived in Bergen and hopped on the bus from the airport to the city. Even the flight in was gorgeous and the view from the bus was equally so. It's never occurred to me that Sweden has a relatively flat landscape (similar to what I grew up with in north eastern Massachusetts), and suddenly being surrounded by huge hills and some mountains was a big change. The little houses scattered down the sides of the hills were so beautiful, though I couldn't help but wonder if the beauty would be worth the impracticality of living way up there.
As we entered town, the sun was just starting to go down (sometime after 9pm). We quickly checked in at our hotel, dropped off our stuff, and headed out, walking as quickly as we could towards where we hoped to find the water. We passed some gorgeous little neighborhoods along the way, observing that the buildings were a lot more similar to what I'd expect to see in Tallinn than Stockholm -- many more wood homes and cute little streets. Soon after, we found the sea and the sunset!
We got a bunch of photos of the sunset just before a light rain started. We walked around a bit more and got back to our hotel sometime before midnight. The next morning, able to sleep in knowing that sunset wouldn't be until after 10pm that night and we had plenty of time during the day, we headed out around 11am.
Downtown Bergen is gorgeous. The sun was so bright and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. We laid out in the sun at Lille Lungegårdsvannet for a few hours in the later afternoon and ended up getting sunburns, of which I was not expecting after seeing the forecasted 15-17º temperature for our time there. For the most part though, we spent the day exploring streets that looked interesting, seeing the sights and getting a feel for the town.
The two above and below photos are of market areas selling all kinds of things -- especially seafood. Notable things sold were whale meat and from my calculation, king crab legs at just over $50 per pound (690kr/kg). Yikes!
Walking around the harbor, we walked through the carnival (playing all kinds of bad American country music), along the docks, and then back up through a beautiful neighborhood full of houses on the hills.
Later that evening, we had unexpected dinner plans. Upon arriving in Bergen, I discovered an internet acquaintance of mine lived there as well when she commented one of my photos posted online. Loving the idea of seeing the city through the eyes of a local, Anita and I arranged to meet up with our new friend, Amanda, for dinner at one of her favorite places Saturday night. It was awesome. Amanda is super cool and was a blast. We discovered a whole lot of unexpected common interests. After dinner, we headed to her favorite bar for a few drinks and then later, she came along with us up the closest mountain on the Fløibanen. I figured the view from the top would be wonderful, but I had no idea just how much. It was spectacular and we timed it to arrive shortly before sunset.
|The fountain we hung out by earlier in the day|
After braving the freezing (ok, well not quite) temperatures after the sunset, we parted ways with our new friend and headed back to our hotel, grabbing some snacks for the next morning's breakfast along the way as well as a bag of these strange chocolate things that, when I first saw them thought, "Those look like Bugles..." and then after buying and trying it realized they are precisely that -- chocolate covered ones! They were pretty delicious and though I haven't seen them in Sweden, given that some of the writing on the bag was in Swedish, I think I'll just have to keep a better eye out.
Sunday, our last day, was a pretty lazy one. The weather wasn't quite as good and it felt a lot colder out. We slept in, checked out of the hotel at noon, walked around a bit, grumbled about our sunburns, laid (under a tree) in a park for a bit, got cold, went back to the hotel, got our things, and headed to the airport to enjoy the warmth, electrical outlets and free wifi (though we were annoyed to find that the Bergen airport runs its wifi off what we can only assume is a dial-up connection).
See here for all my photos from the trip!