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Published: September 28th 2016
Old Bryggen, Hanseatic quarter, Bergen
It is hard to make time for daily jouraling while very busy exploring and having fun. It is long past, but I’ll update on the rest of our time in Norway. We arrived in Bergen by bus instead of train, since the rail line was washed out. Our hotel was closer to the bus station than the train station anyway. We had not thoroughly checked the location of the hotel so stopped at the info desk in the station to ask. The agent did not know the hotel and pointed us to the wrong one, but it was in the direction we needed. Fortunately we saw it a block behind us. It turned out to be right across the street (actually a major highway) from the bus station.
Bergen is the ancient capital of Norway and its second largest city. It is known for being rainy but we were very fortunate and it was sunny and relatively warm, low 60s. We walked into the old part of town about a mile away, with the castle dating from the 12th century and buildings of the Hanseatic League dating from the 15th. We toured them the next
day, and it was getting late, so we returned to our hotel area, bought dinner items at a supermarket, and ate in the hotel room. The next morning we headed back, prepared to do Rick Steves’ walking tour, said to take an hour and a half. The guided walking tours didn’t seem to be running this time of year, so we followed the book’s itinerary and descriptions. We added quite a bit of time at a military museum with a major exhibit on Bergen and the Resistace under Nazi occupation. It was very moving, and you felt the joy and relief of the citizens when the war was over.
The best part was the guided tour of one of the Hanseatic houses that had been preserved as in the 18th century, not turned into shops and cafes as all the others. It was fascinating to learn about the Hanseatic period, one which we studied only a little in world history classes. By now we had spent most of the day, and we finished the walking tour headed back to our hotel, having dinner in the room again.
The next morning we got up early and took the very convenient SAS airport bus from the station to the airport, non-stop. Gary had gone out the evening before and explored how to get there more easily than we had come. In fact it was very easy, about five minutes away. Airport procedures were greatly helped by a Norwegian Air agent helping us through their particular automated system. The security line was quick (no full body scanners), and we had plenty of time before the flight to Oslo.
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