Bergen

Bergen is one of the cities you can choose to study at through the same program I’m studying abroad in Oslo! (more info here) I had a chance to visit this beautiful city during spring break.

bergen
The city’s view from Fløyen, one of Bergen’s mountains.
ulriken2
The view of the city from the cable car ride back from Ulriken, the city’s highest mountain.

 

Bergen is the second biggest city in Norway. This country has a very small population indeed, so in fact, Bergen’s total size (including its urban and sub-urban areas) is comparable to San Jose but the population is 4 times smaller. Therefore you’ll rarely see apartment complexes but mostly colorful detached houses.

plass
The view from across Lille Lungegårdsvannet, a small lake in Bergen’s city center. The side I’m taking the pictures from is the street with Art museums and galleries.
bryggen kyle
The famous Bryggen! Bergen’s most famous old part of the city. They say it inspired Arendel, the city from Disney’s Frozen. Picture taken by Kyle 🙂

 

It’s a city surrounded by 7 mountains on one side and the sea on the other. It’s really easy to visit two most popular mountains Fløyen and Ulriken. The first has its own cable funicular (first opened in 1918!); the second can be conquered by riding a cable car to the top. You are free to hike them as well, and you feel like it, you can even hike from one to another.

ulriken1
The top of Ulriken is covered in snow during the last week of March. The dots on the photo are my camera’s fault but you can imagine they are snowflakes. Which they might as well be, as it was in fact snowing when I was there.
ulriken
Another picture in midst of Ulriken. It was very foggy so I couldn’t go far in my not-very-winter shoes. But I managed to find some running water.

 

As Bergen is also surrounded by the sea, there are many fjords around Bergen area. We went on one of the fjord tours and saw this beauty.

fjord
Tour to Ostefjord.

 

Bergen’s very suitable for active lifestyle people but it doesn’t mean that nature is the only thing that it has to offer. While I was there I saw a poster about Bergen’s own Bergenfest, which I think is a music festival. Plus it has a very pleasant 4-building art gallery as well as a modern art museum.

art
You can go here and be artsy and cultured. This picture is taken in the first (or last?) Art Gallery building, KODE 4.

 

If I was not so fond of big cities I would have definitely chosen Bergen as my study abroad city. I even think that if I were to choose Bergen I would not feel captured as it usually happens in small cities, as there are so many places to visit in such proximity to the city.

fortress kyle
Bergenhus Fortress. Some of its parts date back to 13th century. You can go inside some of the buildings but by the time we got there they were closed. You can imagine being inside though! Picture taken by Kyle.
bryggen start kyle
Follow these pretty buildings and in two seconds you’ll end up in Bryggen area. The red and yellow building on the right is Bergen’s Hanseatic museum. Photo taken by Kyle.

 

When you travel from Bergen to Oslo or vice versa make sure to ride the train at least one way. The railway is famous for its scenic views, and I tell you, the views are gorgeous.

kyle
The train goes up the mountain region and at one point it reaches 990m above the sea level. Therefore, snow in late March. PC: Kyle!
kyle1
Fjords on the way along the railroad. Or it might just be a lake but still pretty. PC: Kyle.

 

Last but not least I want to thank my roommates Kyle, Mayleen, Angie, Yurie, and Yujung who traveled from the states to visit me and made this trip to Bergen possible. And to Kyle, for donating pictures for this post. Tusen takk!

 

Another poem by Olav H. Hauge:

Your Way
Translated by Robin Fulton

 

No-one has marked out the road
you are to take
out in the unknown
out in the blue.

This is your road.
Only you
will take it. And there’s no
turning back.

And you haven’t marked your road
either.
And the wind smoothes out your tracks
on desolate hills.

Find the original here.

 

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