When Alice asked me if I wanted to travel to Norway’s previous capital, Bergen, with her on the weekend, I thought why not? I had no idea what to expect, but I do know that I didn’t expect mountains, sea, cobblestone streets, and cute cafes offering warm blankets and home made fish pie.
The tour of the Fjords is a must-do if your visiting Bergen. Being a student with enough debt to file for bankruptcy, I was initially skeptical of the stereotypical tourist agenda. Unlike most of my transactions, this one I don’t regret. Three hours of cliffs, valleys, and glassy water with a tour guide who is actually Ramone from The Proposal is priceless.
Alice and I were selected by Ramone to collect a bucket of water from under one of the waterfalls for the boat to taste. I initally imagined us standing on some sort of ledge with the waterfall pounding down on our heads and my arms raised to the sky in a bid to surrender my soul. But no, we dressed up as thugs on drugs just to stand on the bow and hold a bucket over the edge with a long stick. Nevertheless, the water was so tasty and pure I’m pretty sure we all reclaimed our virginity. Money well spent.
The KODE museum was also killer, with seven different buildings dedicated to Norwegian art, music, and design, KODE is a playground for the artistically enthralled. I particularly fancied works by Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup and my personal favourite, Edvard Munch. Munch is renowned for his ability to communicate mental anguish through his collections of intimate artworks – they reminded me of the fragile human condition and that it’s totally normal to be a little bit fucked up.
The highlight of our trip was undoubtedly hiking Mount Floyen, but there is a disclaimer to be made. Lonely Planet recommends 3 – 4 hours to complete the 13km journey from Ulriken to Bergen, which sounds very fair. Do yourselves a favour and visualise me scrambling down the side of the mountain whilst simultaneously eating a loaf of stale bread in a desperate attempt to make the 44 Euro flight back to Copenhagen. The terrain was definitely more treacherous than we anticipated, so more time is mandatory.
We had three days exploring Bergen, which is perfect if you’re not hiking. If you consider yourself a bit of a mountain goat, I’d recommend much more. We had immaculate weather that granted productive sightseeing, but locals say that Mother Nature is often less forgiving to tourists travelling though the Hordaland mountain ranges outside of the summer period.
Aside from the occasional banana peel, there were no dangerous wildlife encounters.