From Oslo, we headed east to Bergen, the Gateway to the Fjords. We traveled by train, which took 7 hours. I was worried that we would think it was a huge waste of time, but it turned out to be ridiculously scenic and relaxing. The train passed by ski resorts, lakes, forests, and cute towns along the way.
We arrived in Bergen in the evening, but since the days are so long in late May (the sunset was at 10PM), we still had some time to explore the city by foot. The first place we found was Lille Lungegårdsvannet, a small lake in the center of Bergen with a park around it. Kelvin took a shot at slacklining here.
The main highlight of Bergen is Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen. Here, tall, slim wooden townhouses stand shoulder to shoulder along the wharf. It’s the iconic symbol of Bergen. I imagine these buildings were once the main hub for trade in Bergen. Today, the townhouses house shops and restaurants. Behind the main historic buildings are tiny alleys with artisan shops which were fun to explore.
For sunset, hiked up Mt. Fløyen. The trail seemed to be a common hike / run for locals exercising in the evening. Everyone in Norway is so fit! At the top of the trail is a funicular observation deck. We watched the city change colors from golden to pink and finally blue.
The next morning, we visited the fish market, an outdoor market along the wharf. We tried a bunch of different types of salmon, which were all delicious!
Bergen was our last major city stop before we headed out on our road trip where we planned to camp most of the trip. We visited several stores to pick up last minute gear and supplies for our trip. We stopped by the DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) affiliate office to look for some advice on hikes. Norway has an incredible trail and public hut system set up by the DNT that I had read a ton about and been incredibly impressed with prior to visiting Norway. I imagined the DNT to be a combination of REI (where they sell gear and provide gear advice) and a National Park Visitor’s Center (where they provide helpful information on hikes). They didn’t really provide the information we needed or have all the gear we were looking for, so that was a little disappointing, but perhaps my expectations were just too high. At least we still were able to pick up a few maps.
After getting all the gear we needed, we picked up our tiny rental car and set out on our trip.
After around 10 days of exploring Norway by car, we returned to Bergen to catch our train back to Oslo. Returning to Bergen was a sad reminder that our trip was nearly over. It was finally a beautiful sunny day, and we mailed some postcards home.
On our train ride back, we stopped by the restaurant car to try some local beers. I thought it was interesting that the two beers we tried were both American style beers.