Exploring Bergen on foot

Trip Start May 14, 2010
Trip End Jun 02, 2010

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Flag of Norway  , Western Fjords,
Sunday, May 30, 2010

The plan for today was for Trystan to come into town and then have him take us around to see some of the sights. He met us at our hotel late morning and we set off on foot to explore the city. Bergen is both a large city (250,000 people) and a quaint small town - and it does both very well. If you get off of the main street into side streets, you find old wood houses, very close together and very well kept along cobblestone streets. It’s also very hilly, so just strolling the neighborhoods you get a very good workout! We walked toward Floyen, which is the most “popular” mountain of the 7 mountains that surround Bergen. We decided to take the Funicular (Floybanen), which is a type of cable car system that goes nearly to the top and then walk down. It’s a very neat system that uses two cable cars that act as counterweights for each other - when one goes down the other is pulled up and vice versa. They use very little energy as a result. It’s about a 45 degree angle up the mountain and it's very scenic on the way. At 1050 feet above sea level, the views from on top are really great overlooking the city of Bergen, and from up there you really get an idea of what a sprawling city it is. Since we again were enjoying spectacular weather, we were in no hurry to head back down. The sunshine was wonderful, rivaled only by the view. It just so happened that Bergen also had their 7 mountain hike going on that day. Huge numbers of people turn out to hike all 7 mountains that surround the city enmass, almost like a marathon. While we were up on Floyen, we saw the groups start coming through. You haven’t seen anything like it, I guarantee. These people just amaze me. They literally run up and down mountains…all of the time. And I mean run. Most of the terrain is not nice little walking paths (as it is on Floyen), most are rocky, very rocky, and these people literally run them. I just can’t get over it (more on this in tomorrow’s blog). We, on the other hand, walked down Floyen, and even that was a workout. After the walk, Trystan needed to get back to his dorm for a big meal they had planned, so we had some time on our own. After a little down time - again charging our batteries and those of our camera equipment, we set out on foot exploring Bergen. Nothing monumental, just really pretty neighborhoods, statues, and some very beautiful flowers. We got back to our room around 11:00 or so, and it was STILL LIGHT OUT! Plus - bonus - in the castle next door to us there was an opera being performed with a live orchestra…so we got the great benefit of listening to this as we relaxed in our room. It ended at midnight…and it was STILL LIGHT OUT! Sorry, it was just so odd to have so much daylight!
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