Saturday, 01 October, 2016 23:51

And Now On To Bergen

On The Train Again…..  The train from Oslo to Bergen departed on time but we were informed at the station that we would have to take a bus from Voss to Bergen due to track maintenance. We arrived in Bergen around an hour behind schedule and transferred to our modern apartment on the edge of the downtown area, and walking distance of ferries, fish market and the old town.

View from train on the way to Bergen

View from our apartment in Bergen

To The Top Of The Mountain…..  Our first activity the next day was to jump on a bus to the Ulriken Cable Car.  This cable car takes you up to the top of Mt Ulriken which is 643 meters above sea level.  Whilst it was calm when we left our apartment, the wind at the top of the mountain was quite strong making it an interesting visit.  The weather is very changeable in Bergen and one minute it was sunny and the next minute dark grey skies and heavy rain.  By the time we had a coffee in the restaurant and it was time to head down the mountain, the weather was fine again. The views from the top were spectacular overlooking Bergen below.

Cable Car to Mount Ulriken 643 meters above sea level

Breathtaking view from the top of the Ulriken, 643 meters above sea level

Around The Town…..   For the rest of the day we explored the main downtown area of Bergen.   This is a quaint and beautiful town with nice architecture and a population of around 280,000 people, but it feels much bigger. There were plenty of tourists, some heading out for day trips to the fjords or continuing on their journey to many small towns as it is the gateway to the fjords.

Typical quaint buildings in Bergen downtown area

The small Fish Market in Bergen – Expensive

Up Another Mountain….  On Saturday we took the Floyen Funicular tram car to the top of the mountain overlooking the township of  Bergen. Once again spectacular views and very changeable weather.  Fine when we arrived, within 10 minutes it was raining and 10 minutes later fine again.

Floyen Funicular Railway

View of the Harbour in the centre of Bergen – Fjord Cruises all leave from here

History Revisited…..  We then walked the historic World Heritage listed area of Bryggen.   This is a very interesting historic area of old wooden buildings and cobbled streets which date back to the year 1070.  Many of the building were destroyed by fire in 1702 and were  subsequently rebuilt.  Today the area is a tourist mecca with gift shops, galleries, cafes and pubs.

World Heritage Bryggen area of Bergen

Walking through the Bryggen district

Walking through the Bryggen district

Our Full Day Tour…..  Up early on Sunday morning for our big day.  First on the ferry to travel 5 1/2 hour up to Flåm through the Songnfjord.  This trip is spectacular with the luxury ferry stopping off at a number of small villages along the way to drop off or pick up passengers.  The scenery is amazing with forests,  waterfalls cascading down the sheer rock faces to which small farms  and holiday cottages cling perilously in the middle of nowhere and the tallest mountains have a permanent covering of snow.

Boat Houses at the township of Vik

Main street of the village of Vik

One of the many waterfalls during the Fjord cruise

A hotel at Balestrand, one of the many villages on the Songne Fjord

More Gift Shops…..  We arrived in Flåm on time at 1:30 PM and had an hour to look around Flåm.  As you would expect it is mainly gift shops, cafes and restaurants and accommodation but beautifully presented and oh so clean and tidy. 

Flåm – A Tourist Shop Mecca

Flåm Visitors Centre – A Well Presented Complex With A Massive Gift Shop

On The Rails Again…..  Next it was on the famous Flåm Railway for the 20 km trip up to Myrdal.  This electric train has on of the steepest gradients of any railway using a traction engine with grades up to 1 in 18 which believe me is quite steep. In 20 km the train rises from sea level up to an elevation of 867 meters at Myrdal. At one point it zigzags up the mountain 4 times to gain elevation.  Along the way there are waterfalls, spectacular valleys and snow capped mountains. The journey takes about 1 hour and stops along the way to pick up passengers and to view the Kjosfossen Waterfall with a vertical drop of 305 feet.  We arrived in Myrdal one hour later and immediately jumped on a train back to Bergen.  The end of a very rewarding day.

One of the green valleys seen from the Flåm Railway

Flåm Railway – 20 km long rising 867 meters up to Myrdal.

Kjosfossen Waterfall – 305 ft vertical drop

Kjosfossen Waterfall on the Flåm Railway – 305 feet vertical fall

A Slower Pace On Our Last Day…..  We have set a cracking pace so far on this holiday, so on our last day in Bergen we decided to slow down a bit and get prepared for our week in Stockholm.  What has struck us most about Norway.  Well it is unbelievably expensive. Coffee in a cafe nearly double the price of Australia, a beer in a cafe is around A$14 and a glass of wine A$17. Meals in restaurants can be up to double the price of Australia. Even beer in the supermarket is expensive at nearly double the price of Australia and we have found nowhere in Bergen where we can buy a bottle of wine. Not good.

Bryggen District of Bergen – Dates back to the year 1070 AD

‘Click Here’ if you would like to see a video of our 5 days in Bergen.

‘Click Here’ if you would like to see a video of our Sognefjord & Flåm Railway tour.

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