Today I’m sharing the last of the Norwegian ports of call on our recent Holland America cruise, Bergen!
Bergen is known for being one of the rainiest cities in Europe. Everything we read about this city said to be prepared for rain, and so we were … and it didn’t rain at all. It was a bit overcast in the morning, but it cleared up after noon and was perfectly lovely.
Once again our ship was docked in the most convenient location just across the street from the Bergenhus Fortress.
We walked around the fortress and admired the grounds a bit.
Then headed out the other side to walk toward Bryggen.
Bryggen is the old Hanseatic Quarter of Bergen. The oldest wooden buildings date from the early 1700’s and were built by the German merchants and traders who established a Hanseatic trading post here.
This area continues as a ‘trading post’ and was filled with touristy shops and tourists.
Next we hopped on the Fløibanen, or the funicular, to ride up to the top of Mount Fløyen to check out the views.
I have to admit, Mr. Q and I are not big fans of the ‘view panoramica’. I guess we just prefer seeing things up close and personal rather than viewing sweeping vistas from on high.
So, after enjoying a cup of coffee with some friends from our ship, we didn’t linger long at the top. We decided we’d prefer to walk back down, but we weren’t sure just how intense a walk that was going to be, so we took some advice from our Rick Steves’ guidebook and we took the Fløibanen halfway down, got off at the mid-way point and walked the rest of the way (note: if you are ever in Bergen and want to do this, only the funiculars that leave on the hour and half hour stop at the halfway point, Promsgate, the others do not stop).
As it turned out, we could easily have walked the entire way down. It was a very lovely walk through a wooded area …
And then a really charming residential area.
By the way, Rick Steve’s calls these ‘delightful cobbled and shiplap lanes’. Huh? Shiplap lanes? Clearly the Norwegians had shiplap way before Fixer Upper came along!
I loved the profusion of flowers along these cobblestone lanes. Despite the almost total lack of garden space, there were still flowers everywhere. They were even growing out of the crevices in the rock walls …
I recognized this corydalis right away, I have these in my own garden …
After making our way back to sea level, we headed out to the fish market. I didn’t take a single photo there. It was just so touristy and honestly, kind of lame. We wandered around it for a few minutes, but then after hitting a couple of shops back in Bryggen we headed back towards our ship.
Along the way I spied this lovely azalea in front of the Domkirke, Bergen’s main church that is dedicated to St. Olav the patron saint of Norway.
We had a beautiful sunny evening for sailing out of Bergen. Mr. Q and I enjoyed it from our balcony.
And alas, this was where we had to say goodbye to Norway, the land of my ancestors. Our next stop, the Shetland Islands!
Be sure to stay tuned!
11 thoughts on “bergen.”
Why do I have the impression that you are working hard to make this stop sound more interesting than it was? When you have to post pictures of plants growing in rock outcroppings, that’s really reaching to make this place seem worth the visit. I have a rock pile in my hay field with interesting plants growing between the rocks but it’s not worth a trip to my farm to see it. 🙂 Okay, I’ll sell tickets for the fascinating walk to the back field.
I’m guessing that you are not a gardener Ruth. I really did love the way the flowers were just sprouting from every available crack along that walk in Bergen . I might actually pay for that ticket to your back field too, if you have some pretty flowering things growing back there 😉
You got me there! Farming definately does not include growing anything. Fortunately for us, the seeds plant themselves, the plants tend themselves and they grow and then somehow manage to harvest themselves.
I’m sorry you took offense that I noticed you were not as effusive about this stop as the others. I shall be more selective about future comments.
Linda!!! I so love seeing all these posts! Of course I LOVE all of your furniture posts too but your trip posts are inspiring also!! I’m showing these to Zach and this is going to be my next trip goal- and I’ll be able to refer to all your awesome information- thank you!!!😍
You should go for it Amy! If you decide to book a trip, be sure to let me know and I can give you lots of tips!
The funicular looked fun to me. I like the panoramic views. It would have been nice to walk back down the path and walk through the neighborhoods. The church and the fortress both look interesting.
You would have enjoyed every minute of it sis. Hopefully next time you can join us!
I would love to travel, but it concerns me that some places only exist for the tourists and that there isn’t much else. I did love your walk halfway down, but my mobility issues wouldn’t work doing that. So green and refreshing. I’m all for shopping for vintage at odd little shops, but it looks like it was just another tourist trap with nothing new or interesting and probably overpriced at that. Those plants in the rocks would have amused me greatly. This looks like an amazing city, so I wonder how they do as far as museums or other interesting places not so close to the port. How long were you allowed from the time you left the ship until you were due back on? Did you spend the entire time away, or was there not much you could do in the time allotted? I’ve never taken a cruise, so I don’t know about these things, and I have only traveled to Greece for my wife’s conference. I’m pretty unworldly, I guess. I’m enjoying see what you have seen, and we’re big fans of Rick Steves.
Mobility issues can be a big problem when traveling in Europe. Most of the buildings/fortresses/castles or other sights are very old and were definitely not built with accessibility in mind. Even just the amount of cobblestone can be challenging for people with mobility issues. You’re absolutely right on all counts about the shopping, typical touristy stuff. As for museums, Bergen has a Contemporary Art Center, the Bryggen Museum, the Hanseatic Museum and the Maritime Museum. All of which are very near the port. If one wanted to go further out from the city, there is Edward Grieg’s home Troldhaugen. You can travel by boat down Hardanger Fjord. Bergen also has an open air museum like the one in Oslo that we could have gotten to by bus. We were in port from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Even though we could have spent more time off the ship, Mr. Q and I find that about six hours is max for us. Especially when on a trip of this duration (two weeks), we would burn out if we tried to do more every day. We typically get off the ship right away in the morning and return to the ship between 2 and 3 pm. Visiting a city via cruise ship is a great way to just see a snippet of each place, but if you want to really explore a city in depth a cruise is not the way to do that. I’m glad you’re enjoying my Wednesday travel posts Fonda!