A New Day and a New Country
The sun was shining brightly when when we left Stockholm this morning. Unlike when my parents were here in 1963, there are so many options for airplane flights at rates unheard of in the United States. Our flight on Finnair to Bergen, Norway was only $50. When my parents flew out of Stockholm so many years ago, I learned from my sister that they flew through Amsterdam and that nation's Crown Princess Beatrix flew on their flight on the way to JFK's funeral.
Bergen, Norway is on the western coast of Norway and is so picturesque. The city of Bergen is quite modern, but the historic area where we are staying is charming and retains an old world flavor. Only 10 minutes from the waterfront, some of the wooden houses here date back to the 1600s. We are on a small lane too narrow for cars so it's very private. Our accommodatiom, the Bergen Guesthouse, is really nice and very affordable for this area. Homes have flower boxes and small container gardens bursting with flowers.
Once we unpacked we headed down hill to the Bryggen which was once an old German trading center. At the Hanseatic Museum which was an old merchant 's house, we leaned about the fishing trade back in the 1700s. Because the merchants living in the house were from Germany, they were not allowed to marry any of the local girls. Most of the house is original made from pine. With age, the floors with all of their original knots, have become very creaky. The sleeping areas were enclosed inside walls and looked uncomfortable. In the exhibition area, 100 year old dried cod hangs from the walls and ceiling.
Along the waterfront, the stores are for the tourists, but fun to explore. Many sell hand knitted nordic sweaters which I learned years ago often means hand knitted in China if you're not careful. My favorite stores sold items of Scandinavian design. They had plastic picnic dishes and containers in colors of sherbet which I wished I could buy, but it cost $25 just for a child's set of plastic spoons.
Down the street is a lively fish market. A fish market has been there since the 1500s, but today it's mainly for the tourists who eagerly gathered around grills cooking fresh salmon and shrimp kabobs.
Just a short walk from our accommodation is the Floibanen. It's a funicular that travels 1000 feet to the top of Mount Floyen.
From the top, all of Bergen and surrounding towns, islands, and distant fjords lie majestically before you.
We thought the view was stunning, but it was also very chilly so we scurried inside to a cafe with panoramic windows.
Before heading back down, loud music drifting up from the waterfront. Bergen is a popular concert venue and tonight American rapper Kanye West is performing. The cheers from the crowd echo throughout the old town.
Due to a rainy forecast, our plans to tour the fjords have been put on hold for now. Cross your fingers for good weather for us in Oslo where we can try for a fjord tour again.