I have the privilege of having my mother in law from the US visiting for three weeks and that gives us the chance to show her a bit around in Norway. This weekend we drove all the way from Oslo to Bergen and had a splendid time climbing the mountains, watching the valleys and the fjords. I will tell you about the 9 hours drive later, but now I’ll concentrate about the city of Bergen itself.

Ever since the intrepid King Olav Kyrre sailed into the harbour and founded the city in 1070, Bergen has attracted people from all quarters of the world. I became the north’s largest city, Norway’s first capital city and the seat of royalty. So important was Bergen by the 13th century that the Hansas – the German medieval guild of merchants – opened one of their four European offices on the wharf called Bryggen. Some of the Hansas chose to become Bergensers. And so have many others throughout the centuries.

But Bryggen stays the same, its contour just as it was in the 11th century, untouched by shifting times. It has become a symbol of our cultural heritage and has gained a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Bergen has become a World Heritage City. Bergensers are proud of their city and of their city’s traditions. They look after their past because it is a part of their living present. A city with its feet in the sea, its head in the skies and its heart in the right place – full of infectious enthusiasm and happy to share it with visitors.

To meet my blogger friend:
Before I go on with some tourist adventures from Bergen, I have to tell you I also met my blog friend, Charles in Bergen. On Sunday he, his friend and I had a nice little chat over a cappuccino and even if short, it was really nice to have this chit chat with both of them. He is the one who did this wonderful makeover on my blog and I was of course so happy to meet him in person to thank him for his artistic work.

Please click and visit his blog and while you’re at it, visit his ‘The Queer Chef’ blog too!

The Aquarium:
It has one of the finest and most extensive collections of marine fauna in Europe. Seals and penguins playing in the large pools and the Aquarium have as one of Europe’s largest collections of fish and invertebrates. One million litres of clean seawater are pumped up from depth of 130 meters, allowing as one of the few aquariums in the world to keep a shoal of herring. In addition, they have a number of 100,000 litre fresh water aquariums containing fish from all parts of the world.

I had my mobile phone camera ready of course and when they feed the pinguins and seals, they do all kinds of trick to get their daily meal.

Buekorps – Boy’s Brigades:
A Buekorps (literally “Bow Corps” or “Archery Brigade”) may, very superficially, be described as groups of boys who take to the streets of Bergen each spring and march to the beat of drums, flying their flags and showing their uniforms. To understand how the BUEKORPS came to be, and why they have existed in their present form for almost a century-and-a-half, it is necessary to have a look at the history of Bergen itself: Up to the 1880´s most Norwegian towns, including Bergen, had their own Citizens´ Guards. This was a “Home Defense” force to be called upon in times of crisis, and they had weekly marching exercises on suitable open parade grounds in town.

There has been a large number of Buekorps in Bergen, today only twelve remain. Among them can be found several of the very first ones to be organized, and therefore have about 140 years of uninterrupted history behind them. They all march through the months of March, April and May, and to the uninitiated observer they still have the military character of years gone by.

Mount Fløyen:
Fløibanen in Bergen is one of Norway’s most famous tourist attractions and the only cable car of its kind in Scandinavia. One say you have not really seen Bergen before you ascend to the roof of Bergen on the Fløibanen funicular.

This is a must see for all visitors who want a full experience of Bergen. We had our lunch on the top: the lovely Bergen fish soup, the best I’ve ever tasted or almost as good as I do it myself:-)

There is of course a lot more to tell about Bergen, but I’ll stop here and just tell you it is a charming town. I recommends that you come and check for yourself one day!

19 Comments

  1. I hope you took your mother-in-law to Edvard Grieg’s home at Trollhaugen. There are too many good things to do in Bergen and great restaurants as well! This makes me want to be there.

  2. LOvely pictures in the akvariet! I like the resolution of your mobile camera. It looks clearer and neat. And thank you also for the plug in! Great write up!!! I will also drop by when I am in Oslo soon!

  3. Hi

    Thanks for commenting my blog. I have leaved two years in Bergen and absolutely loved it, but I hated buekorps. They would always practice at the worst of times, typically Saturday mornings when you are trying to recuperate from last night activities

  4. Interesting facts and pictures! You should write a guide book!
    Impressive aquarium.
    What is the average temperature now?

  5. hi again renny.. hmm i cant wait to visit the Balca Area, Norway… if i will be there can you tour me around please… anyway.. it nice reading blog with those beautiful pics….
    more power, more photos..

  6. Expat Traveler

    Renny – truely unique, especially as a Unesco site! I love the first photo of the buildings! It’s always nice to meet fellow bloggers too!

  7. oh, it’s so nice to meet someone! looks like a great visit!

  8. Hello Renny,

    How nice of you to drop by at my site again :)even if you hardly understand what I wrote. That makes you more “simpatico”.

    Wow how envy you and Charles. I hope to visit Norway one of these days. I am already 24 years here in Germany but haven’t visited your place yet.

    Best greetings.

  9. sounds like a great time. as always, photos are great.

  10. Mother of Invention

    Wow! Your mother-in-law must have been very impressed! She must be in good shape to do all that climbing! How nice to meet a blogger in person. Just think if we all had a world convention somewhere! Hey, I learned how to post pictures, finally!! Check out my lilacs!

  11. It seems like the UNESCO World Heritage Sites become more and more popular among tourists!

  12. Looks like a swell place to live – fresh & clean & charming, surrounded by natural beauty.

    The steeply pitched roofs remind me of New England.

    Renny, in your posts about Norway & Europe, I am continuously struck by your references to dates that, to an American, at least this one, seem incredible, e.g. 1070??!!!

    Wow. How fascinating. I can just imagine how hard life was back then, especially in winter.

    Be well!

  13. its cool to meet bloger friends..

  14. @Barbara: Sorry, but we did not had the time. Next time for sure!

    @Chas: Thanks and hope to see you reall soon!

    @Asgeir: Yes, the drums can get on you’re nerves.

    @Sidney: Thanks. The average is around 15 Celcius or 59 Fahrenheit.

    @Neil.DC: Welcome, I’ll gladly guide you!

    @ExpatTraveler: Thanks, and yes, it was great to meet Chas:-)

    @Ana: It really was a great visit, yes!

    @Beng: You’re welcom and really, you should take a trip!

    @April: Thanks for you’re compliments!

    @MotherOfInvetion: We had a great time and she manage very well. I saw the pics in you’re blog. Congratulations!

    @Matthias: Yes, it is very popular and a lot of turist in the summer time.

    @Buddy; Thanks for you’re nice and interesting comments as always!

    @Cruise: Yes it is, especially my blog designer you know:-)

  15. I grew up in Bergen, and I join the people that hate the Buekorps. Awful, militant and noisy groups of people!

    :-)

  16. @Eirik: Interesting point of view and of course a relevant part of the fenomena too. I would not say I disagree with you.

  17. Kjekt å lese om Bergen fra folk som ikke bor her. Og i og med du skriver på engelsk, så når det jo ut til flere.
    Var det ikke Paus som kalte Bergen for verdens største grend? Han har nok litt rett i det.
    Alle mine “ABC i ord og bilder” innlegg, er fra Bergen og det kommer resten av alfabetet også til å være…. håper jeg!

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