2017 was a quiet year for us in terms of travel. Other than a few small local getaways over the summer, we didn’t go anywhere. So at the end of October, we kick-started our travelling again with a quick trip to Bergen, Norway.
I knew before we got there that Bergen is one of the rainiest places in all of Europe. And of course, everything I wanted to do involved being outside! So instead of changing my plans, I packed wet weather gear, crossed my fingers and kept an eye on the weather forecast. Luckily the weather gods were on my side. It did rain two out of the three days we were there, but we managed to time our activities perfectly and only got rained on a few times.
As Bergen is known as the ‘Gateway to the Norwegian Fjords’, we booked a Fjord tour for our first full day there. The tour takes about 8 hours and sets off by train from Central Station a little before 8am. Travelling by train is one of my favourite ways to travel. Firstly I love not being up in the air on a plane, but secondly, I love to watch the changing scenery. And the scenery was spectacular. We then swapped to a bus before getting on the ferry. Seeing the Fjords by boat was beautiful and definitely worth it. Even if it did rain for most of the ferry ride. Unfortunately, my amateur photography skills let me down and I don’t have any great photos to show you. You’ll just have to head there yourself to see what I’m talking about 🙂
After checking the weather forecast again I could see that our second day was set to be a wet one but the day after that was meant to be clear and sunny. A hike was at the top of my Norway to do list, so we scheduled that for our last day and decided to spend day two exploring Bergen itself.
Although Bergen is small it has plenty to offer. A beautiful harbour with many restaurants and bars and of course the famous Fish Market. Bryggen, the old part of the town which was built around 1702 and is Unesco listed. Plus, plenty of really cute little laneways twisting through the city. There are lots of shops if that’s something you’re interested in, and very few tourists. Naturally, the only shop I was interested in was the bookstore!
But for me, the highlight of the city of Bergen was all the street art. The contrast between the classic old buildings and the new street art made me really fall in love with the area.
Before leaving we even stopped off at a little art gallery we had walked past a few times and bought some art to take home with us.
We woke up early on our last full day to clear skies, yay! Bergen is surrounded by 7 mountains fo there is plenty of hiking that you can do. We found a route that would take us approximately 15kms from Mount Floyen to Mount Ulriken. We did cheat a little though and caught the funicular from the centre of town up to the top before we started and then the cable car back down on the other side. The hike was amazing, definitely the highlight of the whole trip for me. It was fairly challenging in some places and we had to climb up and down a few sections. It was also pretty muddy after all the rain from the previous days. I love being outdoors and breathing in all the fresh air, and it doesn’t get much fresher than in Norway.
Overall, I think it was a pretty successful first trip to Norway. Although short, I feel like we still managed to fit a lot in and still have the evenings for relaxing. We chose to stay in an Airbnb which was perfect and the lovely host gave us some great tips about the city. Including which direction to do the hike (which we accidentally ignored) and some restaurant tips. Bergen was on the pricey side of things so plan well and don’t let the rain put you off! It’s still a must visit in my opinion and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Norway in the future.
Cheers, Jess 🙂