BERGEN, NORWAY


Located on the southwestern coast, Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the second largest city in the Norway with a 2010 population of nearly 260,000. The city centre and northern neighbourhoods are located in Byfjorden however many of the extra municipal suburbs are located on islands. Four large bridges connect Bergen to its suburban municipalities.

Ringed by forested peaks that tower over the town and exceed 2,000 ft, charming and colorful homes hug the the slopes in all directions. For this reason, Bergen is known as the city of seven mountains. The harbour area is the town center, and the old waterfront is lined with historic buildings that today contains dozens of specialty shops and a wide assortment of restaurants.

The economy is still based on the sea and Bergen's central fish market is a popular place for locals and visitors alike. The city is an international centre for aquaculture, shipping, offshore petroleum industry and subsea technology, and a national centre for higher education, tourism and finance. The port is Norway's busiest.

The weather for most of the day was overcast, with a gentle breeze and a temperature of 17 C / 63 F.
 

The old city centre of Bergen consists mainly of wooden houses which slope down to the harbour's edge. Much like San Francisco, the city streets are severely sloped and I imagine they would be a bit difficult to drive on, especially in winter. 
 

A car ferry making its early morning run.


Some of the mountains giving the city it's nickname.
 

One of the span bridges used to connect the island communities to the city centre.
   




While the ship was in port, the lifeboat crew were tested on getting a lifeboat ready for launch.
 

A typical street in the harbour area of town.
 

We didn't take a tour in Bergen, opting instead to take a cab to the Floibanen,
The Floibanen funicular is a tram going up the Floyen mountain  and is one of Norway's best known attractions. The journey takes 5–8 minutes, and provides a fantastic view of Bergen from the top.


The pedestrian walkway beside the Floibanen station, consisting
primarily of stairs.


Dina checking out a plaque about John Lund, who came up with the
idea in 1895.
The sign above reading "Closed - Please wait" is used to count the
number of people passing through the turnstiles. Once the maximum
number allowed on the train is reach, the turnstiles lock and the "Closed"
sign appears. Once thetrain pulls out of the station, the turnstiles unlock
and it begins all over again. Quite effective actually.


The view from the top of the harbour area. That is our ship on the right.



The Grand Princess was also in port that day.



The Eurodam in port.



Panning to the left of the harbour area. Three of the seven mountains are visible in the background.



Further to the left, more urban sprawl and mountains.



The restaurant at the observation area.



Taking pictures.



Dina and I.

 




Rush hour in Bergen?



Y
ou can see how the city sprawls between the mountains.


If you look at the low lying areas between the mountains in the distance,
you'll see what look like lakes. They are some of the fjords that Norway is
famous for.

 

Izak and I decided to take one of the walking paths through the Floyen forest. At the entrance we came across this stylized sculpture of a bird.

 

The pathway into the forest.

 

An "off-road" through the forest. We decided to stick to the tried and true.



Out of the forest we came across this fellow - a large statue of a
troll, guarding the children's playground.

 

The playground. As you can see, the Troll enjoys posing with tourists for photographs.

   
Coming back down the mountain.

 

The view from the interior of the train.



I was fortunate enough to stand by the door to take photographs.

     
We decided to take our time and walk back to the ship.

 

If Stavanger can have a Burger King, then it's only fair that Bergen have a McDonalds.



Examples of Hanseatic architecture along the harbour in Bergen.



These structures in the background were originally built in the
1700s and are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
They are now home to dozens of specialty shops and a wide
variety of restaurants.



 Rosenkrantz Tower in the background on the left. The Tower is a
dramantic 13th century royal residence which was also used as a fort.
The tower derives its name from the man generally credited with its
present size and scope, Erik Rosenkrantz, governor of Bergen Castle
during the construction in the 1560's. 



We came across this alleyway lined with wooden structures while
walking along the harbour.



At the end we found a series of little shops selling local handicrafts.






Slooping streets.


Ancient walls with doors in them can be seen throughout the
harbour area.



On arriving back at the ship we found a man fishing near the bow.



Of course the sky decided to clear and the sun came out just as we got back on the ship, so here's a few pictures of what the city looks like when it's not overcast.





 









A Fred Olsen cruise ship was also in port that day..



And now we bid adieu to Bergen.



Leaving the harbour.



Another rich man's toy.



One of the many bridges connecting the outlying islands to the mainland.





A fish farm
outside of the city. 


The fjords.


 
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