Monday, January 14, 2008

Bergen, Norway

In my last post, I talked about the last British Isles port on our 12 Night British Isles / Norwegian Fjords cruise. After leaving Scotland, we had a day at sea before arriving at our next port, Bergen, Norway.

We awoke to a perfect picture postcard day. Up until this point in time, the weather had been on the cool side. You might recall it was raining in Edinburgh, just two days before. As you can see from this picture, the sky was powder blue with whisps of white clouds. What great contrast to the colorful buildings along the Bryggen (Norwegian for the wharf).

RCCL offered a shuttle bus into town for a nominal charge. It is possible to walk to town, but due to the layout of the dock area, it's actually much easier to take the shuttle bus. The first thing we did was walk to the Fløibanen Funicular where we purchased round trip tickets to ride the tram to the top of the mountain. The view from there is spectacular so we took several pictures, include this one of the Jewel OTS surrounded by the town of Bergen. You can visit as long as you like on top before your return ride.

Bergen is a city that you can easily explore on your own. We continued our self-guided tour by walking to the Bryggens Museum, a museum based on the findings of the archeological excavations of Bryggen between 1955 and 1972. A short walk from there is Bergenhus Fortress where you can tour Håkon’s Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower.


Bergen - Arrival
Bergen - Funicular
Bergen - Walking Tour 1
Bergen - Museum
Bergen - Fort
Bergen - Walking Tour 2
Bergen - Sail Away 
After doing our sightseeing, we did some shopping on the Bryggen. It is possible to do Duty-Free shopping in many of the shops. There are a number of shops that allow you to pool your purchases to meet the minimum requirements for a refund. Read my blog post "Shop Unitl You Drop" for more information about Duty-Free shopping.

We also spent some time relaxing in one of the outdoor cafes. Prices for food and beverages are quite high in Norway. If you don't want to spend alot of money for a meal, I'd suggest making a purchase in the Fish Market. If you like ice cream, you need to taste their soft serve ice cream - it's the best.

What a wonderful day we had in Bergen. We couldn't have asked for better weather. There was even a fashion show going on in the center square (which is near the shuttle bus pickup point). Make sure you have some comfortable walking shoes since you'll want to wander through the city enjoying the colorful scenery.

Up next - the Norwegian Fjords.

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