Saturday, 23 July 2016

Norway, Weekend in Bergen

Bergen Old Town, Bryggen ©Solange Hando

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway but you'd hardly notice. Bryggen, the old district, welcomes you with brightly coloured houses, quaint alleyways and all the charm of a traditional village while along the quay, yachts bob at anchor in the soft evening light.
The market is just steps away, brimming with seafood, fresh vegetables and fruit, including an irresistible assortment of berries you can eat as you go.

Voss near Bergen ©Solange Hando

You could spend a whole day just wandering through the streets but a short train ride away, the bucolic town of Voss lures you with lush pastures, toy-like houses sprinkled here and there, snow lingering on the mountain tops, even in summer, and a lake to cool you down.
There are cycling and hiking trails and a passion for extreme sports, be it white water rafting or tandem skydiving. 

Fjord near Bergen ©Solange Hando

They call Bergen the gateway to the Norwegian fjords and it is indeed the perfect place to enjoy a half-day cruise in a magical wonderland.
Try the catamaran tour around the island of Osteroy where the scenery is for ever changing, from verdant slopes to dramatic cliffs, from boundless water and sky to waterfalls cascading wherever you turn. You might just imagine elves and trolls peeping through the trees as Grieg's haunting melodies drift from your boat.

On Top of the World ©Solange Hando

Meanwhile in Bergen, there are hills to climb all around  with fabulous views of islands and lakes and the town at your feet. Easily accessed from Bryggen is Rundemanen where a funicular takes you up to a breathtaking viewpoint and a forested trail heads for the hill top and more spectacular views on the other side. 
But on a clear day, you cannot beat Ulrike Hill with its cable car, just a bus ride from the town centre, and its enticing network of open trails with views to die for in every direction.

Bundalet in the Western Isles ©Solange Hando

But would you like a true taste of Norwegian life? Sail for a day to the western islands, catamaran, ferry and mail boat where the captain and his crew (the postman) will guide you through myriad islands untouched by time. You won't find a more genuine adventure, no tourists around except a handful of travelling companions.

Back in Bergen, Relax and Enjoy the Sunset ©Solange Hando

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