We started in Oslo early this morning; rode a train to Flam, rode a catamaran ferry to Gudvangen where we caught a tour bus that took us to Voss, Norway. At Voss, we caught a train into Bergen. Long but fascinating day of beautiful Norway!
Scandic Ornen Hotel: We had selected this hotel during our trip research planning, because it was central to the downtown area, looked very comfortable, and was reasonably priced. It opened in May 2014 and is Bergen's newest and largest hotel with 368 spacious, bright and modern rooms.
All of their standard rooms are double rooms with either twin beds or a double bed, and have bathrooms with showers or baths.
If you are looking for additional information about this hotel, click here.
Just across the street from the hotel is a beautiful park (Byparken) with a lake in the center and filled with flowers. We would walk through this park to reach the center of Bergen. The statue is of Edward Grieg, a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide.
This peaceful place is Bergen’s first official park and dates back to 1855. The park used to stretch over a bigger area but after the big fire in 1855 the streets were straightened and the houses were rebuilt in another order, so that the result was a city with fewer winding roads and more uniform buildings.
We did not realize how similar Bergen is to San Francisco - Hills surrounding the town, deep harbor with the city surrounding that harbor, etc. It was a pleasant surprise!
The center of Bergen is a "pedestrian only" area, surrounded by a number of stores, shops and eateries. Street performers would frequently be present, to entertain the tourists and locals.
As we walked through the center of Bergen, we could see that we were now very close to the harbor, and there was a "Fisherman's Wharf" kind of area directly in front of us. Every type of seafood imaginable was available, and we determined that this was going to be our lunch spot after we had finished our morning's walk.
Funicular Line to top of Mount Fløyen
Our research of Bergen had revealed that the hill closest to the fish market area (Mount Fløyen)
is served by a funicular, which was within two blocks of where the seafood area was. We decided that this would
be a great way to get some elevated images of Bergen, and maybe get a bit of walking in as well.
You can see in this image how the funicular tracks ascend steeply to the top station.
Funicular Line Base Station
So after walking around the fish market, we headed over to the Fløibanen Station, got our tickets
and boarded the funicular to get to the top of the hill.
Because it was still early in the AM, we were able to get right onboard the funicular - later in the day when we came down from the top, the line went down the hill, all the way back to the fish market!
The top of Mount Fløyen was beautiful; covered in trails, trees everywhere, a herd of goats that were having fun with the tourists, and stunning views of Bergen below.
The top of Mt. Fløyen is covered with this beautiful forest, with hiking trails and great views of Bergen below. The people with the tent were setup for a little longer viewing episode!
Even though it is possible to hike from the top of Mt. Fløyen to other mountains in the area, or even to hike back down to Bergen - We decided to remain in the general area of the funicular, and use it to return to Bergen so that we could maximize our time in the city.
There is a herd of goats on Mt. Fløyen, placed there to keep the greenery trimmed. The goats were moved to Mt. Fløyen in 2016 and even though they do not require humans to feed them, they still gather around to see if anyone brought them a snack.
These 'cashmere goats' each have names, and their photos and names are displayed on a notice board at the back of the viewing platform.
You can see what a great view there is of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen. The top of Mt. Fløyen is 400 meters above sea level, enough height to provide a beautiful vista of the city, but not so high as to be uncomfortable.
2017 Europe Trip Overview & Guide
This was easily the most ambitiious trip we had ever taken; Seven
countries, 5,400 kilometers and we had a great time in each location.
Click here to read more about this trip.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen had not been a part of our original trip plans, because we
were able to obtain such a good flight deal from United Airlines, we decided
to spend a few days there to explore the city.
Click here to read more about Copenhagen.
Oslo, Norway: Although we did not have much time in Oslo, we managed to complete a whirl-wind
exploration of the city and even the surrounding area.
Click here to read more about Oslo.
Norway in a Nutshell Tour: This is easily the most scenic train ride we have ever taken; Oslo to Flam via
train, Fjord Ferry to Gudvangen, Tour Bus to Voss and a final train ride into
Click here to read more about the Norway in a Nutshell Tour.
Bergen, Norway: Many people think of Norway as "the frozen north", with year-round snow and dismal cold. In
fact, Bergen’s temperate climate is very mild.
Click here to read more about Bergen.
Amsterdam, Netherlands: The city of Amsterdam had been on our "bucket list" for a long time, we have
flown through there, but never spent any time there,
Click here to read more about Amsterdam.
Bruges, Belgium: As neither of us had ever been to Belgium, we had no idea of what to expect, but
we were nicely surprised at what an enjoyable city Bruges was.
Click here to read more about Bruges.
Lake Hallstatt, Austria: After an exciting drive from Vienna on the autobahn and then through the
Salzkammergut Mountains on back roads that we thought might
really be logging trails, we reached Obertraun tired, hungry and ready to explore!
Click here to read more about Lake Hallstatt.
Grindelwald, Switzerland: Grindelwald is 660 kilometers from Lake Hallstatt, and the route we drove took
us through some very scenic mountains; alpine meadows, steep uphills, tight
corners and steep downhills.
Click here to read more about Grindelwald.
Lake Como, Italy: Our last visit to Italy had been in 2007, and as we researched destinations for this
trip, we realized that we wanted to re-visit Italy in the Lake Como region.
Click here to read more about Lake Como.
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