"" Writer's Wanderings: Norway--Bergen

Monday, July 27, 2009


The city of Bergen was our last stop on our Norwegian fjord cruise. After such a glorious day previously, our spirits were dampened by a drizzly rain that came and went on its own whim throughout the day.

Bergen was the biggest city we had been in since leaving Amsterdam. It was once a Viking stronghold and is known as the “Gateway to the Fjords.” Many of us wished it had been a stop on the way up the coast leaving our beautiful day in Olden as our last remembrance of the cruise.

We docked near the old section of the town known as the Bryggen Waterfront. There was a large fortress area nearby that we strolled through. As we continued along the waterfront toward the Torget or Fisketorvet (Fish Square), we wandered off the main street through some side alleys and found old historic buildings that housed lots of small boutiques and craft stores. As usual we were out early and they were just getting set up.

At the Fish Square, the fishermen and farmers were all set up with their wares. There were huge plates of small shrimps ready for. . .breakfast? Lots of salmon could be found, some stands with Norwegian caviar, and even whale meat that was in huge chunks like pot roasts only a darker color. Some of the whale meat was processed with something that turned it black on the outside. We were offered a sample but it was way too early in the morning to be eating something that adventurous.

After ambling through the market area, we happened on a city train like we had taken in Alesund. We purchased tickets for a 50 minute ride that affirmed we had seen all of Bergen that we wanted to see. The homes were neat and trim and the view from halfway up the mountain was interesting.

When we were back at the starting point, we opted to retreat from the weather at the local McDonald’s where we sat for an hour using the free wifi to check email and post some more entries to this blog. You can almost always count on McD’s to give you a taste of home. We sipped Coke Lite (Diet Coke) and used the last of our kroners to buy a medium fries—ah, just like home.

That evening we pulled away with one last look at the Norwegian coast before heading back to Amsterdam and on to the Baltic Sea Cruise. Oh yes, not getting me off this ship yet!

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