If you have been following our Instagram updates from the last week, you would have noticed that we had a marvellous opportunity to visit Bergen, Norway, which was a dream come true! Bergen has been on our lists of city-lust list for quite some time…. And it is with no surprise that I was happy to gleefully skip my way onto a flight to finally visit.
Bergen is only a two hour flight from London, but it feels like such an out-of-this-world different and unique city…. The first thing that struck me after getting off our flight was the sheer warmth of Bergonians…Bergans…Berg people (ahhhhh, which is it?). Every time I spoke to someone, it felt like a figurative warm hug. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is friendly and accommodating, which is always a great welcome to any city! Secondly, the weather was unbelievably great! Blue, crisp sunny skies that basked the whole city in golden sunshine from dusk till dawn.
So at this point I should probably mention it was pretty gloomy and grey when we left London – so you can imagine the excitement in my eyes when we landed! I don’t know if it’s a good thing, or a bad thing… But recently I have got into the habit of living on the edge a little when we travel….
…and before your think it’s me BASE jumping, choreographed parachuting, or ice-road trucking… My living on the edge has involved me not checking the weather before we leave. Not out of laziness or lack of preparedness… But I kind of like the surprise of what weather will await our travels, once we land. Crazy, I know! 😉 I never get disappointed if it rains/snows/sunny/hails… I think it has much more to do with the excitement and anticipation of the unknown!
Anyway, back to arriving in beautiful Bergen and as soon as we arrived I could see why so many people fall in love with this place! The city with all its charm and beauty seems to intertwine so happily with the awe-inspiring nature that envelopes. I don’t think I have ever travelled to a city that has such a wild, protected, and diverse natural environment that is literally minutes from the town centre. As a coastal city, Bergen is blessed with the crisp deep blues of the North Sea… But what attracted me most was the sprawling mountains and forests that I could see at every opportunity once we arrived. It was as if the trees were waiving me to visit them… Ok, that sounds a little creepy, but you get my thinking!
One great thing about the mountains and forests that embrace Bergen is their accessibility. There are lots of marked (and very safe) hiking trails that ribbon across the mountains and with a good pair of walking boots and a little time, there is no doubt that it would make for an unforgettable climb! As It was getting dark in a few hours (and we had just eaten our weight in fresh fish and chocolate deserts) I thought it would be wise to take the funicular to the peak of one of the mountains.
Unlike many other cliff railways, locals and tourist use this service. It is an essential service for residents of Bergen that live upon the mountains, rather steep, gradients and a perfect way for us tourists to enjoy the view when you have little time… or are still full from chocolate! . The funicular should be rebranded as the FUN-icular… Terrible joke, I know… But it really was fun! It was great to emerge from underground and be whisked up the side of the mountain at a speed I can only describe as a “horse gallop”.
Once we reached the top, we soon realised come to appreciate how beautiful Bergen is! The city and the sea glistened in the glow of the sun. We decided to join one of the trails at the top of the peak, heading though the forests to experience much more of the nature in Bergen. It seems like s very peculiar reference, but the forest was so beautiful in its colours and ecosystem that it almost felt as though we had been dropped in an Alice in wonderland make-believe place.
It’s really hard to describe in words how beautiful the nature is in Bergen. There are very little cities that have such enchanting natural non-man made wonders that are literally part of the city. You can tell from the way everyone in Bergen talks about their surroundings that they are not only very proud of their landscape, but also very protective, and rightly so! Who wouldn’t want to preserve such a beautiful natural wilderness that seems to live so happily around Bergen.
Before we traveled back down the Funicular to our hotel. We decided to watch the sunset from the peak. As the city sparkled and the town turned a deep shade of orange, I realised why Bergen was never going to disappoint me! The only thing that would have made my sunset even more better would have been some more warm and sticky chocolate cake!