Oh my, it is going to be a beautiful day! I stepped out onto the balcony at 6 AM to a bright, sunny, warm day. We were cruising along at a slow steady speed hardly making a ripple in the water as we made our way to our next port-of-call Bergen, Norway.
Founded by King Olav Kyrre in the year 1070, Bergen has a population of 250,000 and is Norway’s second largest city.
Today the plan is meet everyone on the pier and board a Hop On – Hop Off bus to tour the city and then get off down by the wharf.
Our morning started out on a crazy note. Randy and I went up to the Solarium for a quick breakfast then off to the Windjammer for eggs and bacon, then up to the Diamond Lounge for a second cup of coffee. As we walked through the pool area we notice a funny blue towel alligator at the towel desk. Very funny!
We did not see Doug and Sue so I called their room and asked, “Where are you?”Sue started to laugh and replied, “You called us in our cabin, and we’re in the cabin!” When I realized how silly that sounded, I started to laugh too. They came up and joined us for coffee. While we were enjoying our coffee we spotted Vilma walking around the track on deck 12.
Vilma and Mickey were the most dedicated about keeping up their exercise on this trip going to the gym every morning and then Vilma getting her 10,000 steps in walking around the deck or an inside deck when the weather was bad.
We all met down on the pier then made our way to the area to catch the tour bus. Jim was not feeling well and decided to stay on board. Once settled on the bus we asked Mickey and Betty what stop they wanted to get off at. They said they wanted to get off at the fish and flower market. We all thought that was perfect because it would be an easy walk from there to go to the funicular station and then on to Bryggen for a bit lunch.
As we made our way to the wharf we passed beautiful neighborhoods lined with charming, coloful wooden homes along cobblestone streets, the Fredriksberg Fortress, the Bergen Aquarium finally, St. Mary’s Church, Bryggen, the Bergenhaus Fortress and arriving at the wharf which, from what I could see, was a hub of activity for this charming city.
Listening to the information on the tour bus we learned that, “For over 400 years, the Hanseatic wharf at Bryggen was home to the offices of the Hanseatic League, which dominated trade in Northern Europe. Today, Bryggen and its unique architecture is listed on UNESCOs world Heritage List”.
The fish market was amazing with outside eating areas, many, many fish and seafood stalls and views of beautiful sailing vessels tied up to the dock. It was lovely. We walked around stopping here and there looking at all the amazing seafood.
Our next stop was the Mount Floyen Funicular Station. By the time we arrived at the station the line for tickets was already very long. But, we were in luck because part of our ticket price on the Hop On – Hop Bus was the cost of a funicular ticket was included so we walked to the head of the line.
The ride up the mountain took only 8 minutes but once there the views from atop Mount Floyen were spectacular. The viewpoint atop this mountain is 1050’ above sea level and you can see for miles.
Randy, me, Doug, Sue, Mickey and Betty walked around, took many photographs and then sat for just a while so we could enjoy what we were seeing. I stood for quite a while enjoying this breathtaking view. We could see the city, ports, the fish market, Bryggen, cruise ships in the harbor, and the fjords surrounding Bergen. Amazing!
I must admit that the ride down was as exciting as the ride up. We met Vilma sitting on a bench outside the ticket office and talked about what to do next. Randy, I, Doug and Sue wanted to visit Bryggen and find a nice restaurant to taste the local cuisine.
The others decided they only wanted a beer so they started off to find a small sidewalk cafe and enjoy a local beer before setting off to walk around the wharf area.
After looking at a number of menus we finally settled on a restaurant called Bryggeloftet & Stuene. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful. We watched as the server brought several dishes out from the kitchen and knew we would have a wonderful lunch. Of course, the first question was, “What is the local beer”. The local beer is called Hansa. It was very good. The menu included dishes like filet of reindeer, pickled herring, Minki whale steak but also included hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and a lot more. I saw a dish on the menu that I was anxious to try. It was a Pavlova with Cloudberries. Evidently, Cloudberries grow wild in Norway and are a delicacy. Unfortunately, it was they were not in season.
On our walk we saw a beautiful building that houses a Starbucks and one that houses a McDonald’s. It is so nice to see a little piece of home while traveling abroad, I thought.
As soon as we returned to the ship we prepared for the evening cocktails, dinner and entertainment. After eating such a wonderful and filling lunch ashore, I decided to order a small appetizer for dinner. It was just perfect.
Tonight’s entertainment was headliner, The Revolvers! The show was billed as a, “Theatrical experience featuring the very best songs from the most creative music decade of all time!” The decade they were referring to was the 60’s. They played a variety of top tunes from The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who and much more. They were great fun. All through the show people were clapping, singing along and a few dancing in the aisles. The guitarist was by far my favorite playing the 1960’s instrumental Apache to perfection.
Tomorrow we are at sea.