Bergen is beautiful. It’s green and situated by the sea. In a way, it reminds me of Seattle, but the geography is different. Thanks to Wikipedia I know a sound is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord or a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land. Bergen is not in a sound, it’s on a peninsula which stretches into Vågen, a bay with multiple inlets from the sea. The old town is situated in the area between the port, and the mountain Fløyen who rises quickly. Part of the town is built on the slope rising up, a forested park occupies the rest of the mountain.
We found Fløibanen, a funicular, just before its last trip for the night. A good thing too, because it’s two miles to the top and the sunset was already at its peak. The car has a glass top and panoramic windows that show off a glorious view of the bay and the islands in the distance. We watched the last of the sunset from the top, walked under tall pines onto a dirt path, past a kindergarten and found the only house on top of the mountain. The key was hidden for us and we let ourselves in. It was a long building that didn’t seem like it had always been a house, but there were bedrooms and a kitchen. The interior was like you might expect to find in Scandinavia, light and unfinished wood covered the floors and some of the walls. Animal rugs covered the great room and wood stoves were found on more than one wall. Minimalist style and neutral tones seemed to fit perfectly with the peaking view of trees and the sea.
One of the buildings on the property we were staying in housed a workshop. I was walking to another shed to see if the firewood was labeled for sale but I never reached it. Thor waved me in and asked if I’d like to see his current project. I waved T up, who couldn’t see Thor yet. T was more tickled than I was to hear Thor explain his techniques for wood working and boat making. It was fun hear him laugh when people wanted to know “how much?” If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. He makes things for fun, for his children and teaches people if they ask.
Morning sun shown through the trees and streamed into the house. I don’t know if there are better views of Bergen. We hiked around the forest and found our way down the mountain. In the old town is a fish market, bars, and shops. A park encircles a pond, children play around it. A slack line was set-up for anyone to try. A slack-line, is a moving cable stretched between two posts (usually trees but not here) turned parallel to the ground so you can [attempt to] walk on it. A low center of balance is an advantage for this, so I like to play on them.
Bergen has a nice town center, but that is not what Bergensere seem to care about. As a whole Norwegians are very active and seem more interested in their running, walking their dog, and strolling with their kids than in other urban activities. While there’s light in the sky they’re out and enjoying it. Beautiful Bergen’s days were getting colder and finally we had to make our departure from the nature wonderland. We cinched our packs on and walked down the mountain one morning before sunrise and boarded the train back Oslo.