Monday, November 22, 2010

Bergen

Our Norwegian hero Ronny Stulen arranged for us to stay with some friends of his in Bergen.  Ronny's friends, the Vågenes, picked us up at the Bergen train station.  The Vågenes are a wonderfully kind older couple and they put us up for two nights.  They had previously run a B&B so they definitely knew how to make two weary travellers feel comfortable.  The Vågenes also arranged for us to spend an evening with their son Frank and his wife Angela, we had a great time eating caramelly brown cheese with jam and waffles.  We'll be forever grateful for their hospitality. 

Bergen is a very old and very beautiful city, surrounded by fjords and mountains on every side.  Most everything in Bergen is built out of wood and painted in solid colors.

Marijke in front of the world famous Bryggen (Norwegian for 'The Wharf')

Cooler than your average manhole cover

We took the Fløibanen rail line up the Fløyen Mountain where there is an excellent view of the city, a big goofy troll and a tacky gift shop.

Notice the colors of the buildings (click image to enlarge)


Marijke and the troll

The giftshop

Bergen was a lot of fun.  It was nice to just walk around and take it all in.

There was a stave church built by Vikings near Bergen and we really wanted to see it.  It was just a few tram stops outside of Bergen but getting there proved to be an interesting experience.  The automated ticket machine at the tram station was not very English-friendly, but thankfully there was a bilingual 6-year-old willing to help us.  When we got to the tram stop we weren't exactly sure where to go, but we followed the directions we had as closely as we could.  We actually passed an LDS church on the way, which we hadn't anticipated.  Eventually we found ourselves in a mossy, wooded area.  The sun had mostly set at this point, and the thick tree cover further diminished the light.  Being there felt a little creepy and eerie, but magical at the same time (if we were going to see a real troll, this would've been the place).  We were really impressed by the old wooden stave church.

4 comments:

Lori said...

Were you allowed to take pictures of the inside? Are those gargoyles on the outside?

Gnarmac said...

I think you might be able to go inside. It's only open during certain months for a few hours a day. It was all fenced off when we were there. The doorways looked to be about 5 feet high.

Lori said...
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Lori said...

WE SAW THE INSIDE OF THIS STAVE CHURCH ON RICK STEVES IT HAD SMALL ROUND WINDOWS WAY UP HIGH AND WAS QUITE DARK INSIDE WITH THE ARCHITECTURE DIERECTING YOUR EYE UPWARD TOWARD HEAVAN...THE FIGURES ON THE OUTSIDE ARE ACTUALLY DRAGONS AND MYTHICAL CREATURES WHICH ACT LIKE GARGOYLES.THEY ALSO PUT THOSE ON THEIR SHIPS. THE SHINGLES HAVE BLACK TAR RUBBED ON THEM IT WAS BUILT IN THE 10TH CENTURY. YOU ARE LUCKY YOU SAW THt it is one of the best examples left in norway --grandma thinks the manhole cover is very cool.