Wednesday, 22 August 2012

It rains in Bergen

One of the fish stalls selling food from the sea.
I once read that the slogan that Bergen uses is: 'It rains in Bergen'. And day two showed me that was true: it rained today. Fortunately not all day long though, there were plenty of dry spells and there were plenty of places to go in case of rain. 

Bryggen seen from across the harbour
After breakfast this morning I made my way first to the Tourist Information. There I booked myself a seat on a boat (don't forget to get some anti seasickness pills) and on a train. Both on the same day: Saturday. I really wanted to see Flam and had planned to go by train on Saturday and then by boat on Sunday. But money is going fast and this option was also available: boat in the morning, train back during the afternoon/evening. 

My evening meal: salmon with potatoes and vegetables
After that I started walking and seeing what I wanted to do. I went to the Fish market, which is really hard to miss: if you do, you have got no olfactory or visual senses anymore. On that market you can get anything from sardines and herring to lobster and whale. I actually had some fish dinner tonight: it is definitely cheaper and it tastes great. I was thinking of doing a Betsy (not getting a hot dinner, just going to the supermarket and getting some salads and such), but I got tempted by all the fish. I might have to go back tomorrow!

The Hanseatic headquarters run by the Germans
(later by the Norwegians)
During the afternoon I went on a guided tour. I had decided I would follow a Norwegian tour instead of a German or English tour, just to give myself a chance of hopefully picking something up. In the end, I had a completely private tour, since I was the only one! She did propose to do it in English, but we decided she would do it in Norwegian and if I didn't understand, I could ask in English. I admit, I didn't understand everything, but she really made an effort of not speaking too fast and I think I got about 75% of it. I occasionally had to ask and I tried to do that in Norwegian as well. She told me I spoke very well Norwegian (wasn't she sweet). 

Fish was the main reason the Hansa was there,
hence the fish hanging from the ceiling: decoration
Anyroad, she showed me the Bryggen area of Bergen and told me all about its Hanseatic history (which basically is the medieval version of the current EU) and about fires and customs. I think our tour took close to two hours, by which time she had explained an awful lot about fish as well, the main reason the Hansa took up residence in Bergen.

A big fire in 1703 burnt down the whole town basically.
After it was rebuilt and the Germans took over that quarter
they said: no fires or lights (candles) were allowed in any
of the buildings, bar a few at the very back, where meals,
parties and heat and light during the winter took place.
The day was a good day, despite the occasional shower. Whether my feet agree is another matter: they feel as if they have been locked up, especially after several weeks of bare footedness and sandals! I made it back to my room early and now they're enjoying their freedom again. 

Tomorrow I will try to get on the bus. Just see how it all works, see some of the routes and perhaps even chat to some drivers. Just so I know what I am talking about on Friday.


  1. Really interesting and how nice to have an individual and kind tour guide:-)

  2. Sounds like a lovely day to me. And I've learned something very special through your blog today: I do a Betsy very, very often, when I'm on holiday. Well, well, why would that be?

  3. A "betsy"; I like that phrase! Looks like a lovely day, and a private tour is hard to beat.

  4. Travelling is very expensive, so doing a Betsy is a good option. It looks like you are having an interesting time.

  5. Sorry about the rain. The town looks charming. Sounds like your having some fun.


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