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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Hanging out in Bergen
Rating: (5.0) 1 Vote)

Bergen, Norway
July 2005

Pros: beautiful fjords
Cons: None

We had a few more days in Stockholm, one day wandering around the old city and the harbour eating ice creams and looking at the views. Another day we borrowed Bjorn´s (Christian´s uncle) Maserati (a very cool looking red convertible) and drove around the area, visiting Vaxholm - a holiday spot for tourists and Swedes and other nearby islands, we found a great swimming area (the water was now 19 degrees according to Christian´s new watch with a temperature feature) and spent another day hanging out in the sun. On our last day in Stockholm, we visited Bjorn´s boat he is re-fitting in order to live in. This boat has had a colourful past, having been a passenger boat, ferry, and freighter, originally built in 1888. As a general comment I am finding that I am most impressed on this trip with the unexpected and non touristy sights and in Stockholm, seeing Bjorn´s boat was one of the highlights. On a touristy note, we also checked out the Vasa Museum which is the most famous museum in Sweden, it holds a 400 year old ship which sunk on its maiden voyage. Apparently, the king insisted that the builder add another deck onto the hull to remain the biggest ship of its time, three decks with canons proved to be too much and it sunk. Boom, boom!!!

We then caught an overnight train to Oslo, this time I did not go first class which in hindsight would have been worth the extra money. We had two bunk beds in an incredibly small cabin with six beds in all, I never felt so claustraphobic before, my knee bent touched the bed above. To make matters even better there was a Spainard in the cabin with the worst smelling feet I have ever smelt.

We made it to Bergen in Norway and we are staying with Christian´s cousin and his family. Yesterday we did a day tour called `Norway in a Nutshell´which involved scenic rail journeys and a boat trip on Sognefjord which is Norway´s deepest and longest fjord, the fjord was spectular with sheer mountains directly rising to 800 plus metre peaks, it was awesome. I have been to the fjords in New Zealand and this was more impressive. The Flam Railway was over rated though, we were crammed like sardines with other tourists many of whom could not see out the windows.

Today we explored the city of Bergen: taking a steep rail to a high point to get a view of the city and looking at all the different types of fish for sale in the markets including one of Norway´s premier eating fish, a bloody ugly looking fish known as the Frog Fish, and just generally wandering around in the quaint atmosphere of Bergen. Once again, we were thoroughly spoiled by the excellent hospitality of Christian´s family.

Tomorrow another rail journey back to Oslo.

We have just had a couple of days in Oslo which I really like, it is my favourite of the Scandanavian capitals so far: there is quite a relaxed feeling here, a fairly lively city centre, the sea is close by for a swim (25 degrees the other day!) and in winter cross country skiing.

We went to the big ski jump yesterday, these people must be mad flying down that thing! Christian asked me how much money it would take for me to go down - someone couldn't pay me enough. Mostly we have been hanging out with more family and friends.

Oh and by the way, Christian's luggage has been finally located - now all those plans for new stuff with the insurance money have disappeared, bugger!

Today we are off to Bota in Southern Norway where Christian's family own cottages, I am looking forward to catching fish, getting even browner and exploring the islands. Most likely we will have limited email so you wont here much from us for the next two weeks...