Bergen is Norway´s second largest city and is beautifully located between seven mountains in the scenic western part of Norway. Compared to international standards Bergen is quite a small city with its 300 000 inhabitants, but the city´s small scale feeling is part of what makes it a welcoming and unique place to visit.
Bryggen in Bergen
During the Middle Ages Bergen was an important Hanseatic city located in the area today known as Bryggen, meaning The Pier. The small wooden houses have different colours and are so picturesque that I first did not want to leave at all when I visited. Today they house small shops selling traditional Norwegian handicraft and restaurants mainly serving fish and shrimps. After all; you are on Norway’s Western coast, meaning you have an ocean full of fish just in front of you.
Bryggen has been on UNESCO´s world heritage list since 1979.
If Bryggen was the area I fell in love with in from the lower parts of Bergen, the view from mount Fløyen was what I fell in love with from the city’s higher parts! The funicular has its starting point in the middle of Bergen city and it takes about five minutes to get up. There is one red wagon and one blue wagon. The red Wagon is called Rødhette, meaning Little Red Riding Hood, and the blue one is called Blåmann, meaning blue man, after a well-known Norwegian children´s story where Blåmann is an orphaned child´s goat.
From mount Fløien you have a great view over the city, a nice restaurant and several walking trails. Fløien is one of the seven mountains surrounding the city. I actually enjoyed the view from Fløien so much that I visited twice during our two days stay in Bergen.
Bergen Fish Market
In Bergen´s harbour, right in the middle of the city, the local fish market is located. Every day fresh fish and seafood are brought in from the sea by the fish men. The fish can be brought home to cook, or be eaten at the fish market. Most of the stalls have a BBQ section, from where you can order freshly grilled fish, lobster, crayfish or why not a seafoodplatter; tasting all the delicatessen at the same time. The taste is so fresh it is hard to describe, it was just wonderful having a freshly grilled filet of fish sitting next to the water.
The area called Nordnes is located across the water from Bryggen, meaning this is the view you get if you choose to sit down at one of Bryggen´s restaurants. The area is dotted with small white houses with roses and the narrow streets and lanes are going up and down, following the natural structure of the city. I went bananas with my camera in the Nordnes area, and when I spotted a black cat stretching out between flowerpots on a porch I was totally happy.