Sunday, 25 August 2013

Later in the Day in Bergen

Thursday 8 August 2013. This is the second of two posts about our trip to Bergen - the first post dealt with the Bryggen UNESCO site and left us about to go looking for the famous fish market.

We crossed the road to the harbour and made our way round the edge of it. There are lots of distractions - every direction you look there are gorgeous buildings, lots of people, lots of activity and, for British tourists, the added complication of traffic being on the unfamiliar side of the road.

The first stall we came to was loaded with fruit. We quickly realise that the fish market is not just a fish market! The fish stalls are lined closest to the harbour and other food stalls, fruit, bread, fast food, woollen knitwear etc. as well as a number of cafeterias with tables set outside or under canvas cover can be found.

But there is certainly a fish market! Fish of all sizes and some strange shapes too. Some would definitely not win any beauty prizes - but that's probably not the aim... There are some formidable sizes of crab legs... Double this for two rows of legs and add a 12 inch diameter body between them!

And the knitwear is spectacular. I'd have loved one of these jumpers, but I'm a hot person (you know this, don't you, ladies...) I can't cope with jumpers in the UK, I'm instantly cooking and they have to come off (you know this, don't you, ladies...) even in years that don't have mini heat waves. Knitwear, as with reindeer skins and trolls, is one of Norway's cultural offerings. I'd never wear one of these jumpers, but they are tempting! Miss Franny offered me a hat with strings to tie under my chin... Er... thanks for the thought but...

Other bits of the city were tempting us too. It's a nice looking city is Bergen! We had to explore a bit and were in the mood for a mooch around anyway. The old buildings of the Bryggen had lifted our spirits and we were not yet ready to return to the ship.

We found cobbled streets with timbered buildings in the shopping areas too. We hadn't got as far as the city centre - which may well have been a bit more modern I don't know.

I sometimes feel that large global concerns are turning every part of the world the same anyway. You see the same shops, the same names, cars tend to be the same everywhere you go as well. We almost applauded when we saw a MacDonalds that had obviously not been allowed to have bright red plastic on the front of the shop. We avoided it none-the-less...

We saw this building at the top of a long straight street a few photos back. It's the Floibanen, a funicular railway station and there were queues of people extending out of the front door, standing in line to buy tickets to a place called Floyen which is 1000 feet above Bergen and there are spectacular views of the harbour from it.

The queues are seen from the hill at the side of the station building here, looking back down the street and across the corner to the Central Church.

We retraced our steps back down and had another look around the Bryggen area, finding a second alleyway that we had missed where the buildings on both sides were joined by staircases and walkways from the first and second storeys. We loved Bergen. We will go back someday and ride that funicular!

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