What can you say about a day when the most memorable thing about it, other than the weather, was the hotel breakfast!
The breakfast, part of the deal at this pricey Bergen hotel, is truly outstanding. Lasted me much of the day. And the weather was outstanding too. They say Bergen has sixty clear days a year, and this was one of them. After that breakfast buffet, I set out for the tourist info place a few blocks away, on the harbor, through the pedestrian way on Torgallmenningen, past the modern monument that shows how many ways the Norwegians have used the sea. (look at those closely!)
I figured I’d get the lay of the land without exerting myself too much, and I did. Trouble is, the land isn’t very interesting. Much or most of the town has been destroyed and rebuilt, most recently in WW II. There is a string of old buildings along the waterfront that house souvenir shops (lots of trolls and elk/moose, there is confusion there, but also sweaters of the Norwegian sort.)
I took the funicular up to the top of the hill overlooking town, and spent some time there just having a coke and relaxing, along with much of Bergen. It was Sunday, and everyone was enjoying the lovely weather. I had a nice early dinner at a restaurant on the Bryggen, the Main Street that runs long the harbor and has the ancient old houses which have been burnt and restored repeatedly. I had an appetizer of “elk steak” and asparagus and cloudberry garnish, and then a small bowl of bacalao, codfish soup.
Fish soup, which is usually creamy, not tomatoey though the bacalao was, is the speciality in Bergen and is very good. I walked back to the hotel but ran into an older woman from Connecticut who is travelling with her granddaughter and whom I had met on the ferry the day before, so we visited a while.
Next morning, I walked along the Bryggen and to the Bryggen museum, which explains the history of Bergen as a center for the Hanseatic League, mostly German. I’m not sure Bergen was a Norwegian city much at all, for many years. I then went back along the Bryggen and got sweaters for Jeannette and Evelyn and Sarah.
I was supposed to leave on a night train from Bergen to Oslo and then Stockholm, but I realized that I had no reserved seat on the Bergen-Oslo leg. When I checked at the TI I was told that it was completely booked. I did manage to get a seat on the early train out the next morning, so I went back to the hotel and got a room for one more night, an outdated back side room, which cost $353!! (but that has apparently been changed) At an early breakfast before leaving I managed to make myself a lunch sandwich from the buffet.
The weather had clouded over and there was some rain last night, but today, heading back into Oslo, there are clouds one minute, sun the next. It is retracing the rail part of the Nutshell, so it has been spectacular scenery. Now on to Stockholm, only a few hours later than I’d expected!
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