Bergen : Between Fjords and Mountains

If you have ever landed amongst snow white mountain peaks and a deep blue valley then you’d know how it feels because there is no way to define the exact feeling I had in my heart. If I had been sleeping and somebody has woken me up and told me to look outside the window, my first guess would have been that we were over the north pole.

Think of Norway and you probably picture sailing through the deep blue waters of the nordic fjords, hiking through the ice capped mountains or watching the Northern Lights from a husky sled in the Arctic. Or maybe the cosmopolitan cities, with their sleek architecture and great nightlife, are more your thing. Either way Norway is overflowing with riches – but there’s one big problem, and that’s that you need your own riches to pay for it. Yes you can’t mention visiting Norway without the issue of price coming up.

Once I came out of the airport all I saw were glistening roads, oil tankers, cargo ships, swanky cars and all around prosperity. I didn’t get to see any of the usual sights except some beautiful green mountains. A stroll around the harbour had made me very hungry and soon I snuck into a local Pizzeria for a bite. I wanted to sample some Norwegian food but I was too hungry to look for a place serving authentic Norwegian food.

After lunch I took a long walk around Bryggen Wharf, it is the oldest trading point in Bergen and has been participating in trade since the late 1300s. All the buildings in Bryggen are wooden houses that have been maintained quite well. It gives a wholesome medieval feeling with the wooden houses, narrow alleyways and wide open main streets.

I heard from the locals about a funicular ride that takes one to the top of the wonderful green mountains and I decided to give it a shot. The funicular car is better known as Fløibanen, it is a tram car with windows all around giving beautiful 360 degree views specially from the top. I spent the rest of my day on the top of the mountain, enjoying the view, eating ice-cream and chatting up with the few english speaking locals I met. The Fløibanen is a must do when visiting Bergen.

I had decided to go towards Oslo the next morning but instead of going directly from Bergen I decided to take a major detour. After a light breakfast I headed out on a bus to the port of Gudvangen, from there I took a ferry to Flam. These ferries run multiple times a day and give you a good idea of what sailing on a Norwegian Fjord would feel like. Both Gudvangen and Flam are typical tourist destinations with souvenir shops but thankfully also a few coffee shops. Next I headed from Flam to Myrdall via the Legendary Flamsbana which is one of the most scenic train rides I have ever taken, it also has a stop midway near a waterfall. From Myrdal I took a train to Vikersund and from there a bus to Oslo. I reached Oslo quite late in the evening so I settled for a quick dinner and then check in to my hotel.

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