Norway (Day 4, Part 2)

June 21

Bergen

When last we left you, we had just completed our boat ride through the Flam fjords.  On this part of the journey we took a bus from Gudvangen, then a train from Voss, enroute to Bergen.  Here’s what we subsequently learned in Bergen: The phrase “stick it where the sun don’t shine” refers to Bergen. Bergenites don’t know how folks in Seattle can slather on enough sunblock to protect themselves. Two, one comes to Bergen for ART – it says so right on a building. Three, our server the first night was a Ricky Rubio look alike from Barcelona. Four, four young folks from Spain, working here, were sitting at the next table talking in English. Our last three servers in country have been from Poland, Italy, and Spain. Our meal was one entree and two glasses of wine – for about $60. Welcome to Norway. Oh, then we had ice cream. We stayed at the Clarion Admiral Hotel.  I think I’m done?

[Starting the bus ride from Gudvangen to Voss where we would catch the train to Bergen.  It was all up hill with many swtichbacks . . . ]

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[And the sights along the way . . . ]

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[We started from down there . . . ]

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[And ran into a few waterfalls along the way . . . ]

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[Kinda looks like Yosemite?]

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[Do I detect sunshine?]

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[A place to stop and catch our breaths . . . ]

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[You never have to replace the shingles – though you may have to do some weed whacking . . . ]

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[The Super finds another troll friend (but Ole looks scared) . . . ]

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[Back on board again . . . ]

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[By the end, we had completed 13 hairpin turns on the Stalheim Road . . . ]

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[And then somehow we missed photographing the transfer to train in Voss, as here we are arriving in Bergen.  So, a shot out to Voss, where Bill and Anne would spend the next night before joining us.  The Voss Hotel was right at the train station – it was cold and windy, so we just hunkered down until the train came . . . ]

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[Ole led us to our hotel room and immediately posed for pictures . . . ]

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[After a brief respite, it was time to hit the streets of Bergen . . . ]

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[Our Viking ship – we would board the following afternoon . . . ]

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[The historic district and environs . . . ]

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[Easy walking distance from our hotel . . . ]

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[Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg (3 December 1684 – 28 January 1754) was a writer, essayist, philosopher, historian and playwright born in Bergen, during the time of the Dano-Norwegian dual monarchy.  He was influenced by Humanism, the Enlightenment and the Baroque.  Holberg is considered the founder of modern Danish and Norwegian literature, and is best known for the comedies he wrote in 1722–1723 for the Lille Gronnegade Theatre in Copenhagen.  Holberg’s works about natural and common law were widely read by many Danish law students over two hundred years, from 1736 to 1936 (Wikipedia).]

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[Hmmm, I wonder what’s in there?]

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[The Fløibanen is a funicular railway.  It connects the city centre with the mountain of Floyen, with its mountain walks and magnificent views of the city.  It is one of Bergen’s major tourist attractions and one of Norway’s most visited attractions.  The line is 844 m (2,769 ft) long, covers a height difference of 302 m (991 ft), and carries over 1 million passengers a year. The line is owned by Fløibanen SA, a company with a number of shareholders, the biggest being the municipality of Bergen (Wikipedia).]

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[We would do this the next day . . . ]

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[Bryggen, also known as Tyskebryggen, is a series of Hanseatic heritage commercial buildings lining up the eastern side of the Vågen harbour in the city of Bergen, Norway. Bryggen has been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites since 1979 (Wikipedia).]

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[We walked Bryggen on our own, even knowing we would be taking a formal tour through here the following day.  Were we cheating?]

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[There’s a formal tour down there . . . ]

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[This will be us soon . . . ]

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[The Super finds a dried cod . . . ]

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[Photo of a tourist taking a photo . . . ]

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[Bryggens Museum was established during 1976.  The architect behind the design work was Oivind Maurseth, who also designed the nearby Radisson SAS Hotel.  Bryggens Museum has been part of Bergen City Museum since 2005.  During 1955, parts of the historic district of Bryggen were ravaged by a fire.  During subsequent archaeological excavations a number of objects were uncovered, providing an insight into commerce, shipping, handicrafts and everyday life during the Medieval Period.  Many of these artifacts now form the basis of the modern museum and are permanently exhibited (Wikipedia).]

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[Our Bergen neighborhood . . . ]

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[You can see part of our Viking ship behind the black ship in the foreground . . . ]

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[Cabin cruiser last seen on Lake Carlos . . . ]

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[I believe the nautical term for this is “anchor” . . . ]

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[That’s our hotel . . . ]

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[Here among its neighbors . . . ]

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[Boat last seen on beautiful Lake Darling?]

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[Apparently a normal day in Bergen . . . ]

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[We may have mentioned (and likely will again) that Norway has restricted the number of cruise ships that can visit the country.  Internet travel sites note Bergen gets thousands of visitors.  How much they don’t seem to say – likely thinking the numbers would be a turnoff for prospective visitors . . . ]

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[The Super leading the way as we’re looking for a place of fine dining . . . ]

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[Maybe in here?]

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[Why Bergen is famous for ART?]

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[Again, our Clarion Admiral Hotel . . . ]

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[A nice and handy place to stay . . . ]

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[ART, for its own sake . . . ]

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[Young Barcelonans to the front of me . . . ]

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[The aforementioned $60 split meal – but it was good!]

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[Young Barcelonans to the front of me add more to their number . . . ]

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[Where we were, above and below . . . ]

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[And we all scream . . . ]

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[For ICE CREAM!]

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[The required last photo attention grabber – in our hotel . . . ]

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Really to sin you have to be serious about it.  ~  Henrik Ibsen

Up Next:  Touring Bergen . . .

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