Alongside my Resolutions updates, I will be starting a Travel Diary. This is so I can have a record of the places I’ve been too and get all mushy and appreciative . But should you happen to be visiting any of the places I recall, I’ll spare some handy tips.
If a quick search of ‘Bergen’ on Google Images doesn’t entice you to book a flight (do it!) then I will certainly struggle, but you can expect to see coloured wooden houses which begin at the shore and rise up throughout the surrounding hills and nearby fjords beckon. If you’re choosing between Bergen and Oslo, which is the only city larger in Norway, I would personally recommend Bergen. Whilst Oslo is chock-a-block with museums and galleries for those who want to step inside and immerse themselves in culture (the 48 Hours in Oslo blog is coming soon) Bergen is a treat for the eyes and more distinctively Norwegian – from a patronisingly unknowing tourist’s perspective, anyway.
How I got there:
Norwegian Air is a great airline and was cheap to fly to from London. We had a lot of turbulence over the North Sea but as I sat and contemplated my death I knew that Norwegian Air was a noble airline to crash with. (I’d flown only once before ten years prior, so this nervousness is not entirely exaggerated!)
Where I stayed:
I shared a room in a youth hostel with my best friend which was super cheap and comfortable, but there are plenty of options.
What I did:
Museums: Be sure to check opening times before you go! We enjoyed the Bryggens Museum but were unable to visit others on our list.
Walked around: The best way to see Bergen is by foot. How else will you discover the winding passages lined with buildings of all colours and find hidden shops up narrow wooden staircases? The architecture itself will stun you, particularly if you’ve not visited Northern Europe before. There is plenty to do in the vicinity of Bergen but for those feeling more adventurous, nearby fjords and mountains are easy to get to for a day trip. (More on this soon!)
Get a tram and catch a stunning view from Mount Fløyen: You can choose to hike or bike it but me? Ew, using my own muscles, gross! The Fløibanen funicular is minutes from the centre of the city and it’s weirdly satisfying to watch Bergen shrink below you whilst you steadily ascent up the hill. As for the great views? During my trip it was super misty so I whipped out my super-power-positivity and ran around shouting ‘We’re in a clouuuuuddd’ to ensure my best friend wasn’t disheartened. Guys. We were in a cloud. And it was awesome.
Drink cocktails: My bestie and I LOVED ‘No Stress!’ We cosied up by an open fire and I drank the best whisky-infused cocktail I’ve ever had. In fact we loved it so much that my BBF/champion of alcoholic beverages walked 15 mins to the youth hostel and back to get more cash whilst I whatsapped my (then 2-weeks-in) boyfriend and made him send me photos of him with the flu – those early stages of a relationship are so romantic. But not as romantic as my best friend heroically returning with whisky-monies, obviously.
Highs: Honestly? Bergen itself was a high. There is something truly magical about walking the streets, particularly when night falls and the lights stretch out along the mountains and are reflected in the sea below. Plus it was my first real holiday for ten years so I would’ve been a complete plum if I hadn’t have enjoyed it.
Lows: Norway is as expensive as everyone says it is. Be prepared and incorporate that into your planning when you’re choosing how much to spend on accommodation etc. Also at one point I thought my best friend was going to begin cursing the Norse Gods if it didn’t stop raining.
Tip for vegetarians: DON’T forget to check online before you go. We had to go back to the youth hostel to use the wifi as the average restaurant will have nothing for you. DO check out Pygmalion! We ate there both nights as my omni friend also loved it.
Let’s finish with a photo of me overlooking beautiful Bergen. Much love x