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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Velkommen Til Bergen 4

Well it was one of those up really early again days as we didn’t want to miss our sail into Bergen through the Fjords.  It now also seems that when you turn on Bridge cam in the room it is always light.... It is light when we go to bed in the evening (usually around 11 – 11.30 pm ) and day light when we wake .... Our friends in balcony cabins feel like it is never dark outside.... LOL for us in an inside it feels like it is always dark!!!
The sail into Bergen was just beautiful.... in some places so lush in other quite rocky... with these gorgeous colourful homes perched on these mountains that seem to grow out of the sea...  I hung out the front on the right hand side of the ship just in case my friends from cruise critic captured a webcam as we passed under one of the many bridges you see joining one piece of land to the other......  This was a challenge as it was just so cold and windy up there....  such a stark contrast considering we were only up there a couple of weeks ago trying to keep out of the hot sun.
We missed out on the prime parking spot in the heart of Bergen and were sent out to the cargo docks, seems like the Crystal Serenity has dibs on that one.... This ended up being ok as there were free shuttle buses all day.  They dropped us off in the middle of town at a lovely park that surrounds Lungegardsv Lake.  The gardens were beautiful with many statues, fountains and a gorgeous gazebo.
We spent our day to with our cruising buddies Ros and Arnold.  We were off the ship quick smart as soon as we were cleared... Garry dinging off as No 1 (we think).  We were determined to beat those crowds heading up the Floibanen Funicular.  Very easy to walk to and once again we were one of the very first to arrive.  On the first trip of the day there were 8 of us (all from the ship ).  Just as the Funiculars doors closed we saw a mass of Japanese Tourists starting to form at the entrance gates ... we felt quite guilty as our near empty funicular started moving off but they did wave us goodbye.  We gather that the reason for this was that we had stopped at a couple of stations on the way up to pick up staff for the top of the hill....
The climb is quite steep and the photo’s do not do it justice. Once you are at the top the views of Bergen and the Surrounding area are fantastic as you are over 1000 feet above sea level.   As we stood taking pictures in awe of the beauty and serenity of Bergen, it was all suddenly interrupted as the next full load of passengers turned up....  This was our queue to head back down, once again in what seemed like our privately owned funicular..
We then walked back down to the port area in search of somewhere to have a nice hot coffee.  In the area known as the Torget (market) they were all starting to set up for their day’s trade.  There were souvenirs, fruit, vegetable and flowers stalls, but the main trade was fish.... seafood to take home or seafood that you could enjoy at the many tables set up ... There was lots of caviar, the biggest crab legs I had ever seen, fish and the blackest looking thing that was whale....eeeeewww!!  Another delicacy for sale was Moose and Reindeer sausage..... oh how sad L poor Rudolph.
Across the road in the square next to the information centre there was another market selling what seems to be what Bergen is most famous for, knitwear, Vikings and trolls.
We wound our way around some of Bergen’s streets and found a couple of churches.  We went inside the Bergen Cathedral and marvelled at the lovely interiors...  At the back there was an interesting structure where you could light candles.... There I spotted Ros taking a couple of Photos then walking over and lighting a candle placing it... then deciding to light a second.... It seemed like a very spiritual moment for her and I was feeling that I may have been intruding by snapping a couple of pictures of her in her time of solace... She stood for a moment just looking at the candles she had lit, then moved around to the position she was in before and started taking photo’s again....... Ha!! Sprung.... she wasn’t in contemplation.... she was just stylising a photograph should have twig when I saw her look over her shoulder when she picked up the candles.... When she walked back over to me I asked her if that was her motive, she looked at me very seriously and then said “yes” then we had to control ourselves and walk out of the church before we both burst out laughing.... so funny, that Ros needed a tissue as tears rolled down her cheeks ......LOL
We now started to make our way down the old Bryggen area .... these are the classic coloured buildings you will always see with any advertising of Bergen. They are all now full of shops and cafe’s but still have a lot of character.   It was now starting to sprinkle a little so we decided to stop for another coffee....  Have I mentioned how expensive it is in Bergen ...... The approximate cost of 2 lattes and a pastry set us back around $20 and don’t forget this is now coffee no 2.  We sat inside a very quaint bakery and as the rain increased the cafe became more crowded and when it turned torrential we decided to stay put and order something else...... ouch..... There goes the wallet again.... How much for a ham, cheese and lettuce roll  $15.....
Eventually the rain subsided and we were off again.... further down the road we came to a tall ship just pulling out of dock and heading off for their adventure, she looked lovely even without her sails up.  A little further along we visited the grounds of the Hakonshallen which forms part of Bergen’s Fortress .  Back up into the back streets we found St Mary’s church but were disappointed to turn the corner and find it covered in plastic whilst they are carrying out renovations. We followed the street back down into the centre of town  with lots of antique shops along the way including one that could of been owned by Steptoe and Son.
With all this inclement weather we thought the only way the combat this current rain was to find somewhere to eat again.... this time it was the fish markets...... grrr  $25 for one piece of fish and do these people live....
We were now starting to head back towards where the shuttle would take us back to the ship, stopping to make a couple of purchases along the way.....but hang on I still have 200 kroner burning a hole in my pocket, I have to buy something... now this might sound a lot but we are basically talking about $40.... but you know everything is so expensive that this can’t buy you too much....  In the end we decided to consume the leftover cash of another 4 coffee’s and 3 pastries.
This was one of the few ports that have given us a nice send off. As the last passengers boarded and the lines were dropped we were serenaded by the local brass band. When the ports make this effort I hope they realise that it really does make our departures very special.
The sail out of Bergen was just as spectacular as the sail in.  The seagulls had a field day following the ship, I had never seen so many so close to the ship.... One gentleman was holding out a piece of bread and the gulls would scoop down and take right out of his hand....  The Captain said that the day before the pilot has to manoeuvre a ship around at least 40 whales in the Fjord.... Well like usual the whales must have heard this announcement and ducked for cover as they do every other time an announcement is made and we never see them....
Another great day.....
You may notice Garry and Arnold... some how the quest has now  become “ what stupid hat can we buy to wear to dinner on port night “ need I say anymore...

1 comment:

  1. I have been absent for a while, but am wondering where is the bread roll and lobster count Jo ??? Taking me a bit to catch up on all the news ! Keep safe and happy ! Cheers, Kris