It all started here...

It all started here...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Last Port in Norway, Bergen

HAL Zuiderdam 12-Day Fjords and Highlands Cruise, Day 6
Monday, May 22, 2017 -- Bergen, Norway (8:00~5:00)
Weather: Partly cloudy, fresh breeze (9~48F)

Bergen was our last port in Norway before the ship sail over to Scotland. So far, we have enjoyed all the ports in Norway and really appreciated the fact that we had a chance to visit this beautiful country. I know we have barely scratched the surface of what's there to see and maybe we will be able to come back for more in the future.

Bergen, Norway
Bergen was rated by Frommers as more scenic than Oslo and was the base of the medieval Hanseatic merchants. Today, the medieval flavor remains around the city and the harbor which should make it an interesting stop at this ancient Viking port.

Our ship docked at the Bontelabo terminal, one of the nine cruise docks in the city, at 7:15. From there it should only be around 1 km to the city center where the fish market is. I read that Bergen is an easy port to explore on foot, and there was no need for us to get off too early so we decided to meet up at 9:00 to go ashore. It was an easy walk off from the ship. When we reached the gate, a cute pulled train came by and the driver called out that it was a free train ride to the city center. Free?! That was a first, and no one believed him. This is also the first stop for the HOHO bus so we didn't know if this was a trick to get us on. After looking at each others, those who dare boarded his train for the short ride. This actually saved us from the 1 km walk and got us to the city center and the funicular before a lot of the other passengers. And yes, it was totally free!

Bless his heart! This gentleman was trying to get people on his free train but many people didn't believe him.

Still kind of quiet in the city.

We got off the train near the fish market then walked up to the funicular station.

Funicular up Mount Floyen

The station for the Mount Floibanen Funicular was just two blocks up. Notice there was a short line at that hour and people were still tracking up that way.

Ticket counter
Tickets were 90NOK pp round trip, seniors at half price, but you have to ask for it. I don't think it was posted. There was only one line when we were there, for tickets and then the ride. Later on when it got crowded there were two lines. One for the tickets, and after you purchased the tickets you have to get to the end of the long line outside for the ride up.

Waiting for our turn as we watched this one goes up.

There was a big HAL excursion group right in front of us but we all got in on that one funicular.

This reminded me so much of Wellington, New Zealand.

The ride took about 7 minutes from the bottom to the top.

Almost there!

Our ship docked safely in port.

There were other cruise ships docked at the other terminals which means it was a busy day in town.

Upper station at the top.

A great viewing platform.

The harbor with the fish market near the white buildings. The HOHO bus and the little tram near the bottom of this photo will give you an idea where everything is.

The restaurant at the top. 

As we walked around the back of the restaurant we found some goats enjoying their morning walks there.

No fights, please!

There were some trails for hiking.

Walking down from where we met the goats.

Like a forest.

This made for a nice walk.

Good signage showing the different directions.

This was a clean toilet behind the funicular station. Everything inside each stall...well, at least in the women's restrooms. 

The clean toilets were right across from the Trollgarden.

There are toilets near the funicular station and the souvenir store also, on the right of this picture, but there was a short line. Just go up a little around the back to the Trollgarden to the newer ones.
We spent about an hour up at the top and by 11:50 we were ready to go back down to town.

on the way down

As we were getting off, many more tourists were waiting to get on.

Now, the line went all the way out to the street. So, my suggestion is, go as early as you can or later in the afternoon.

McDonald's on the same street.

Fish Market

Freshest seafood, but not cheap!

Interesting sausages.

Waiting for our food.

$30 plate of king crab legs. You can count the pieces.

These reindeer hot dogs (60NOK each) were delicious! This was covered with sriracha, lingoberries, fried onions, etc. It had a very complex taste. Worth a try.

The Bryggen is the old warehouse district along the harbor. There are lots of little shops and restaurants around the streets here. There are a lot of history behind these colorful wooden houses that are now mostly souvenir shops. It's a UNESCO Heritage site, and if you are in town you won't miss it.

The Hanseatic Museum right around the corner.

These colorful wooden houses must be photographed millions of times by tourists around the world.

Some of the narrow alleys.

The most photographed ugly fish.

St. Mary's Church which was closed when we were there.

We went inside a building and saw this. Looked like some excavated site just left opened for people to see. We were the only ones in there so not sure what this is about.

Then we walked down towards the cruise terminal but cut through the Bergenhus Castle and Fortress for a short visit before going back to the ship.

Nice, clean restrooms in the souvenir shop there.

Right outside this wall...

is the cruise terminal across the street.

At 4:11 Zuiderdam sailed out from Bergen port towards Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland. The weather was great and the sight was beautiful.

Leaving port.

the fortress across the street

houses on stilts near the port

cruise terminal

zooming in on Mount Floyen

Going under a bridge as we sailed out. Almost like sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

I think this was the Askoy Bridge.

Crispy Crab Roll

Cream of White Asparagus

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Foam

Penang Red Curry Coconut Chicken

More origami by Nick.

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