I don’t think I’ll be going back to Bergen before the end of my Fulbright so I thought I’d go ahead and summarize what I’ve learned about Bergen thus far:
- An umbrella is crucial. Also, be prepared to encounter multiple types of weather.
- Most things in Bergen and in the wider Bergen area shut down after August/September or have reduced hours. So, if you’re planning a trip to either Bergen or the surrounding area make sure that everything you want to see is actually open.
- If you plan on doing any driving check the road conditions. If you cross over Bergen’s mountains you’ll encounter a significant temperature drop and, depending on the time of year, snow and icy conditions.
- As for things to do in Bergen, I highly enjoyed Pepperkakebyen (which runs from the end of November to the end of December), Bryggen is nice to walk around, the funicular provides a great view of the city on a clear day, and I’ve heard that the Kode is an amazing art museum.
Our first stop today was Bryggen, or the historic part of Bergen. Bryggen used to be the site of warehouses, businesses, and homes. Today it is a tourist attraction with stores selling things ranging from stuffed bears to embroidery.
Because Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains it comes as no surprise that one of the most popular things to do here is hike. Thus we duly headed to the nearest mountain, Mount Fløyen, and took the lazy way up, the funicular railway. Luckily we were blessed with a sunny day and the view at the top was spectacular.
From what I’ve learned so far hiking is a huge Norwegian pastime so once we reached the top we saw plenty of hikers coming up and down the mountain. Instead of taking the funicular back down the mountain we decided to be slightly more active and walk down. One perk of walking was being able to picking and eating the wild raspberries on the way down.
After walking down we spent the rest of our time walking around Bergen. Funnily enough I got a strange reminder of home when we stumbled upon an American car show. Most of the cars were quite old, but all of them were in excellent condition and it was nice to walk around and admire old Ford Mustangs.