Bergen – Norway for weekend
In July, we went on vacation to one of our dream countries. After amazing Iceland (vol 1 i vol 2) we decided to go to Norway. We were so charmed by the first stop, which was Bergen that I decided to dedicate whole post to it. This capital of Norwegian fjords is in fact perfect for weekend adventure. Flights from the largest Polish cities are relatively cheap, take about 2 hours and trust me, you won’t spend a fortune being there. Norway is not as scary as it is painted (price-wise).
Bergen is a port city and its old town, called Bryggen, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beautiful, colorful houses facing the waterfront, wooden houses and narrow streets are definitely some of the strongest attractions. And the views certainly make walking exciting. Another place worth visiting is the Fish Market, located on the waterfront. Surprisingly a crowd of Spanish, and not Norwegians are selling fresh fish and seafood. Hence it was a big surprise for us to hear a Spanish dialect. The entry to the market is free of charge, but the fish already has Norwegian prices.
There is a very nice park in the city center, where if it is not raining (in Bergen there are over 250 rainy days a year), people come to hang out with friends on the grass. Our case was no different. After hours spent on sightseeing, it was really nice to lie on the grass and look at the blue sky.
Another attraction is the Mount Fløyen (399 m n.p.m), which can be accessed by foot, taking a three-kilometer hiking trail, or toll queue. A round trip ticket costs less than 100 NOK. We strongly recommend the hiking trail, taking first few steps through steep stairs through the residential area, and next via beautiful forest, passing mountain streams and small waterfalls.
At the top we can find a restaurant, barbecue, children’s playground and a park with the trolls. There is also an observation deck from which you can admire the whole Bergen area, the bay Vagen and beautiful fjords. For us, the most impressive was the forest itself, which we could have explored for hours. It turned out to be very picturesque, full of beautiful trees and berry bushes. After a second we knew, that it is the perfect place for the night. It was definitely one of the nicer places we slept in a tent. Also to harvest fresh berries for the morning porridge was priceless.
While preparing for the trip, I also made a list of all specialty coffee shops, which we wanted to visit having in mind, that apart of fjords, Norway is also famous for coffee, which they drink in hectoliters. Walking around the city, our legs themselves led us to a coffee shop Kafemisjonen, which was actually on the top of our To Go list. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Cafe serves delicious coffee brewed also with all alternative accessories, using beans from Jacu Coffee Roastery from Ålesund. We have chosen Kenya brewed with Aeropress.
What you may not know, Norwegians are surprisingly cheerful and friendly people, which we have seen several times during our stay. We had a great chance to experience this fairly quickly while sitting in Kafemisjonen. This Norwegian couple sitting next to us apparently noticed my great interest in coffee (as always I was asking some questions to the barista) and decided to give us a package of coffee from Jacu as a souvenir from Norway. That was a big surprise. For instance, prices in coffee shops were “normal” and comparable with Western countries. Coffee cost from a dozen or so up to twenty-odd PLN.
I strongly recommend beautiful Bergen for a weekend stay or a starting point for a longer, hiking trip to explore Norway. Even for really active people, spending 2-3 days in this lovely town will bring new experiences and pleasure, which will make you want to come back soon.