Tuesday, May 6, 2008
After a long 6.5 hour train ride we landed in Bergen around 10:45 pm. We were feeling weary after long day of soccer and travel but decided after looking at the map to hoof it to the Augustin Hotel. When we reached our destination we were excited that our accommodations were wonderful. Kent and David ran out to get us a midnight snack at Burger King. (The only place open late night.) Jennifer and I shared a very small bottle of white wine while KJ napped on the bed. When the kind men returned with nourishment we scarfed it down and retired for the evening.
In the morning we found ourselves eating once again in the hotel restaurant. My family loves the breakfast in the hotel. Usually European hotels offer breakfast as part of the price of your stay and it is often a large buffet.
Yum! After breakfast we headed out to explore Bergen. I read in my guidebook that it is Europe's most underrated city. I don't know much about Bergen except a lot of people have told us to come here. It is enveloped by majestic mountains, the world's most spectacular fjords and one of Europe's largest glaciers. Hmm, who wouldn't want to see this place? I also read it rains here 260 days out of the year. It isn't going to rain today as the sun is shining and the air is warm. Our first stop was the Floibanen. (or funicular) It is an amazing cable car ride up the side of the most famous of Bergen's seven hills, the Floien. I think everyone in Bergen had the same idea we did, but we timed it just right. We were reasonably early. Norwegians don't get started very early on the weekend. Once we got to the top the view was out of this world. You could see all of Bergen, the water, the mountains and some fjords. I could've stayed here all day. There are some restaurants and souvenir shops and you can hike from here too. After taking lots of photos, building a nature/fairy house, shopping, and having icecream we headed down. Kent and KJ went to the aquarium while I explored the Bryggen area with Jennifer and David. This is a row of timbered houses, rebuilt along the waterfront after a disastrous fire in 1702, is what remains of medieval Bergen. These houses are in many photos you see of the city. We also walked along the water and looked at the ships and did some more looking at souvenirs. I was a little disappointed that the fish market was closed today. It is Sunday. What a great day to be outside!
We headed back to the hotel to regroup before dinner. Later, we had Norwegian at a little place we found called Bryggeloftet and BryggeStuene. I had fish soup and everyone had some variety of fish except KJ who had pizza. We hurried back to the hotel to make waffles for dessert. In the lobby they have self serve waffles in the evening for guests.
All in all, I'd say a big thumbs up to Bergen!
Tomorrow we're off to Norway in a Nutshell.