Upon exiting the train station and with hotel directions in hand, we both simultaneously agreed that we were going to like it here. Cobblestone streets, cottage like buildings, small pubs, pretty people walking around but…yikes the prices! We checked into our hotel right in the center of town. We were on the seventh floor and threw our stuff on the ground and sat for a few minutes to take in how awesome our room was. A hotel room is nice after sleeping in hostels alright?! We flipped on the tv only to find channels in English! We saw some opening credits and waited…American Pie, yes! We watched the entire movie and comfortably fell asleep. We woke up around 8:30am the next morning and were moving slow although we wanted to do some major sightseeing.
With only a few minutes left of the hotel buffet breakfast, we grabbed a table and stuffed ourselves silly. It was raining pretty hard so we got off the elevator and asked the front desk for an umbrella. Well, another hotel guest in front of us got last one. We walked outside knowing we had to brave the rain, and the gentleman graciously told us and insisted we should have the umbrella. Umbrella in hand, trying to both squish below it, we began walking around the cobblestone streets. Amazing architecture, colorful old buildings and pretty people.
We walked toward Bryggen (Brooh-gen), the oldest part of Bergen, wanting to see the quintessential harbor side cottages we’ve only seen pictures of. We walked around and up and down alleys and enjoyed the cool colors of autumn and picturesque shops. Each shop, bakery and pub has an effortless coolness factor – you want to sit, enjoy and people watch. This is one of those moments where you indulge no matter the prices.
The weather was picking up and eventually turned into a rain storm so we made our way to the Bryggen museum to learn about the town’s history. The colorful houses are rebuilt on top of the original town that burned down in a series of fires. Fire after fire, the homes were rebuilt on top of eachother – you can see the original house framing below. The museum was built around original structures. Pretty cool.
From the museum we strategically walked with our umbrella to avoid strong gusts flipping inside out, fail. Finding cover inside an the Bergenhus fortress, we warmed up and explored. The fortress had burnt down and was distroyed multiple times, with some of the buildings dating back to the 1240’s, it’s gone through a series of ownerships, from King’s to landowners who used the fortress for storage purchases in WWII. It was rediscovered and restored to its original state. It was unreal to stand in the same room that King’s had been knighted in.
It was now about 2:00 pm and we were hungry so found McDonalds en route to cable car to top of the city. $25 for a meal – aye aye aye – goodbye budget. The Floibanen cable car chugged smoothly to the top of Mt. Floyen for views of the harbor, city and the surrounding area.
There was a restaurant at the top and some awesome trail systems the meandered back to town and the backside of the mountain. The wind was gusting well over 20 mph and pushing everyone around, so we snapped some pictures and headed down. We ended up leaving since it was so stormy and opted to come back the next day. You’ll see photos from both days below and will be able to clearly see what day was stormy and what one was not. Atop the city we walked the trail system that reminded us of being on a hike back home. The trees were wet and the leaf covered trails gave us a sense of being lost. Large trolls scattered the forest, but we thought they were kind of creepy, maybe the weather influenced that. Before heading down we poked around the gift shop and Kim bought gifts and trinkets.
Back in our room we both took some time to rest and look ahead to where we might want to go next and even beyond. After planning for about two hours and booking Stockholm and Copenhagen, we headed out to grab some food.
We wanted a six pack of beer but none of the shops sold alcohol after 8pm and we were shit out of luck. We ended up uncorking the hotel room wine, pricey and not very good at all. We found an awesome gourmet hotdog shop that was surprisingly crowded, so we knew it was good, and it was awesome, free lemonade too.
Satisfied and full it was now almost 9:00 pm and the city was buzzing. We slowly walked around and couldn’t believe how natural and beautiful all the blondes were. Back to the hotel we checked in with our families and watched some nice English TV and fell asleep.
We started our next day with a gut busting buffet at our hotel. Luckily it wasn’t raining today so we walked through the city although most all shops besides restaurants (most) were closed since it was Sunday. We went to a modern museum which had a room graffiti, literally, and various pieces of local works of art.
We spent quite some time in the museum just walking through various exhibits of silver, costumes and furniture of old and new. Next, we decided to head to the famous art museum that housed the works of Edvard Munch, most notable to us, the scream. It was fun walking through his life’s work and seeing the transition of his styles.
Back to our room we kicked up our feet, dried off and did some planning for the next few weeks. We decided to walk down the street for some pizza. The place was packed full of sketchy folk at first but everyone was super nice, even though we definitely felt a little out of place. We ordered to go and went back to our room. Our pizza had no sauce and very little cheese. We were content, but back home this pizza would have been crap. It was now about 9:00 and we go into bed only for American Pie Reunion to start, so stayed up and watched, unrated version. 11:00 pm time for bed. Bergen is a amazing city – it’s beautiful, quiet, clean, zero poverty, not cheap, on the water with breathtaking scenery and easy access to the fjords of Norway. We’d like to come back to Bergen during the Summer but for now, we were off to Stockholm and Copenhagen.