Naturally Norway

Trip Start Mar 02, 2010
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Trip End Oct 29, 2011


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Flag of Norway  , Western Fjords,
Sunday, September 11, 2011

As we were pulling into Bergen on the train the blue sky started to show through the clouds. Our good luck again! Bergen is a "big city with the heart of a small town", as it says on the postcards, and it's true. The downtown area is quite small, although it is the second largest city in Norway.

 The most famous part of Bergen is called Bryggen, the old waterfront area that consists of a row of pretty, colourful wooden houses. We got lots of photos, of course. It also happened to be the weekend of the Bergen Food Festival (look up name), which had tons of stalls in the street full of delicious samples. I had the best cheese I’ve ever tasted, it is a brown goat’s cheese with a very strong taste and slightly grainy texture… I’m not sure what it was called but I wish I could send a block home! 

 We also visited the fish market, famous for its fresh seafood but far too rich for our blood. Norway is outrageously expensive! Everyone we met before we came here said so, so it’s not like we didn’t know, but it’s still hard to comprehend a  plate of fish and chips at an outdoor market costing $40. 

 Anyways, we took the funicular up to the top of the mountain and enjoyed a beautiful view over the whole city and surrounding fjords. There is a great network of walking trails which we enjoyed for a couple hours before making our way back down for some hot drinks at the hostel. It is quite chilly in Norway in autumn. 

 The next day we took the famous train journey from Bergen to Myrdal and then Flam, the gateway to Sognefjord, the deepest and longest fjord in Norway. The train really was beautiful, albeit full of tourists. We are very happy to be here not in the high season! 

 We decided to stay in Flam for the night in order to do a kayaking trip in the afternoon. That was definitely the highlight of the whole fjord journey. No one else had signed up so we had our guide, Ausbjorn, all to ourselves. He was full of information and obviously loves what he does, so we had a really good time. We kayaked down the fjord a ways, then pulled in for a hike to a secluded waterfall with a lovely lagoon for swimming – although it was much too cold to go for a dip. On the way back we stopped to say hello to the friendly goats Ausbjorn visits often. They ran down the steep, wet rocks with no problem to meet us, and one got so excited she jumped onto Ausbjorn’s kayak and then slipped into the water! Although Ausbjorn has done two trips a day for many seasons here, that was his first goat rescue. Luckily, Snow White (the goat) was fine, and we also spotted a harbour seal that had popped its head up to investigate. 

 As I write this we are on the boat from Flam back to Bergen, through the fjords and then down the coast. Our good luck has run out and it’s a gray and rainy day, but the views are still nice. This morning we attempted a hike to a waterfall but had to turn back because of the rain and muddy conditions. All in all, though, Bergen and the fjords have been lovely.

 -Brooke
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