I know the headline is a little bit strange but chronologically correct. Our first time to Norway started with a ship cruise from Hirtshals in Denmark to Bergen.
Bergen is one of the rainiest city on this planet though one of the prettiest. From here we started our Norway road trip.
If you have enough coin, you can have a really good time in Bergen. It’s a student town with a lot of bars and restaurants. In contrast to the rural parts of Norway there’s a lot of traffic here.
We spent a few hours in Bergen before we left the city. Full of hope we headed to the probably less rainy Hardanger Fjord. In general the ‘Jack Wolfskin’- and ‘The North Face’ rate was high. And you should be prepared as well. A German proverb says: ‘There is no bad weather, there’s only the wrong outfit’.
Ship Cruise from Hirtshals to Bergen with MS Stavangerfjord
This is probably the most beautiful start one could have in Norway. The ship is some kind of cruise ship, but drives the same itinerary every day.
We booked the standard room which was small but ok. We could sleep very well despite the rough North Sea.
The ship itself is huge with a large deck and some catering facilities. You can choose from luxury to low budget and everyone’s going to be fine here. Well, low budget in Scandinavia is different than in the rest of the world.
The next morning, we enjoyed the famous and wonderful fjord landscape of Western Norway before we arrived in Bergen.
History of Bergen
The city was founded in 1070 and is Norway’s second largest city. It’s of important meaning for Germany as it was ruled by traders from Lubeck between the 14th century until the middle of the 18th century. Which you can obviously see in the city’s architecture. Bergen was the largest city in Northern Europe during the Middle Ages and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage today.
Fisketorget / Fish Market
Good quality with high prices (at least for us). While other travellers and tourist were buying and eating a lot here, we were kind of speechless and felt very poor. On the one hand everything looked so delicious. On the other hand, we planned to make this a budget trip and were way too stingy. At the end, we bought a shrimp baguette and half a bun with salmon for 6€ each. Yes, they sell half buns.
But there isn’t only fish. You can also buy fruits, vegetables, moose or whale meat. Everything the usual tourist loves to buy.
You have to know that not everyone working here is friendly. First we thought it’s just some kind of sea man manner. Then we realized, it were only the three young women that were serving us right before they knocked it off. Well, this stuff happens.
If you don’t like the rain: The glassy Mathalle is not far from the fish market. You’re sheltered and the food looks as the delicious as on the market.
View Point Fløyen and museums
The rain was too strong and the view too bad. Unfortunately. In our case it was just not worth going up there. If the weather is better during your stay, you should definitely take the Fløiban up to the view point. The view over the city must be amazing.
There are a few museums in the city which we couldn’t see due to time issues. Just inform yourself via visitbergen. They can give you a lot more information to the city.
Brygge – The most beautiful quarter in Northern Europe
The main attraction of the city is Brygge, the Old Town of Bergen. The former Hansa quarter was rebuilt after the great fire in 1702.
To everyone’s pleasure today. The wooden houses are colourful and perfect for pictures. In some you’ll find coffee places, in others hotels and again in others there are souvenir shops. Local’s houses pile over the pretty row of houses. Brygge looks somehow toy-like and that’s what we love about it.
Despite the ugly weather, we definitely wanted to see the wooden quarter and so we did. It was amazing and I have still the wood smell in my nose.
Stave Church Fantoft
When we saw pictures of Norway’s stave churches for the first time ever, we knew we had to see one of them in real live. Too bad there wasn’t even one on our route.
Luckily, there’s one in the southern part of Bergen called Stave Church Fantoft. It’s a replica of the former stave church of Fortun, which was built in the 12th century. At the end of the 19th century it was relocated to Fantoft. In 1992 it burned down completely but was rebuilt in its original form in Bergen.
You definitely have to see this one when in Bergen. The way up there leads you through the student’s quarter and you get to see some of the not so noble Norway life.
We really loved Bergen and would come back any time.
Have you ever been to Bergen? Do you think it might be worth staying longer?