Bryggen,Floibanen and Driving On The Wrong Side

Bergen Travel Blog

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Vagen Ferry

Up at a reasonable time, considering breakfast at the hotel was from 7-10 we made it half way. Big buffet with hot and cold food, and given the prices yesterday told everyone to stuff themselves as full as possibe, so we were there for nearly an hour.

Given my boys disappointment at not getting the ferry across the Vagen the previous night, we went back and started from there and took the boat over. There are no signs about price, but it does cost you 20NOK to go over, except for children so my sone got to go for free. The woman running the boat let him ring the bell for the ferry to start the crossing.

A short 5 minute crossing and we got off at the top end of the Bryggen. There was a great big sailing ship in the berth next to where the ferry docked, and given that we had come this far the day before, there was still some debate as to whither the ship had been there, as nobody could remember it.

UNESCO World Heritage Sign
We had been tired and cold by then, but we decided that it must have docked the previous night. The ship was the Statsraad Rehmkuhl, and I had reasd about it before we went and it is the oldest and biggest sailing ship left in Norway. 

Headed over to the Bryggen and and it was a lot clearer today and it wasn't raining. The Bryggen is a marvellous collection of old wooden buildings of different colours, built seperately but joined together to give it this higgelty piggelty look that is really cool.  Wandered up one of the wooden alleyways betweeen the buildings round the back and found a few more buildings and shops. There was a well and on the wall  in front of it is a plaque on the wall marking the Bryggen being added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

Fresco Hall
Found a staircase we could climb and went up as far as we could. Nothing really interesting up there, but we just did because we could. towards the centre of town the buildings on the Bryggen are made of stone, but most still have the same thin pointy design.

When we got to the end we crossed the road and up the next street to the Floibanen, a fencular railway that takes you up to Floyen with great views over the city. Had been worried we would miss out as the cloud had been right down over the town the previous day, but by now you could see the top station and it was clearing by the minute. There was a small queue for tickets, and we got there just as a couple of tour buses arrived, so we had to wait about 15 minutes on tickets.

Took the railcar up to the top and the views down to the port were fantastic and we could eaily pick out the various locations we had been to and knew and could pick out the wee ferry crossing the harbour.

Fenicular Train
Nice view out to the fjord  an inland to the hills. There is a small childrens play park up there which has a big troll beside it which was popular with tourists getting pictures taken beside it, so I did as well :D. Must have spent an hour up at the top, by which time I had had two phone calls as the rest of the travelling party arranged to meet later in the day.

Came out of the Floibanen and headed along to the tourist information, not because we wanted anything from them , but because it is in the Fresco Hall. Got to be one of the nicest tourist information offices around with the bright wall paintings. Went from here across the raod to look around the Fishmarket again. There were a lot more stalls this time, and at one stall there were stone slab tanks with running water keeping the fish,clams and lobsters alive until someone bought them.

Vagen And Fjord
The lobsters had their pincers bound together with elstic bands to stop them ripping each other up.

Cut up through the main Trogallmenningen street and cut left up to Christies Gate to go and see the Lille Lungegardsvann, the little lake in the middle of town. However I was distracted by what caught my eye and headed for the Ovre Ole Bulls fountain. Found out later he was a famous violinist that spent his time between Norway and the US, and there is a square named after him and another statue of him in the theatre. Went down to the lake past the museum took a few pictures and headed off as I had already clocked the next thing I wanted to see.

At the top of the hill from the fountain there was a nice looking building, and it was just marked on the map as DNS.

Troll And Me
As you got closer you could suss that it was a theatre, set in a small park with a few statues round it One of the statues had weird eyes, like in the cartoons when someone drinks or eats something really hot and their eyes start popping in and out. In front of the theatre you can see the inscription up above the door that says Den Nacionale Scene, hence DNS.

Was about lunch time and across from the theatre I saw a Deli De Luca, which looking at reviews on here I'd seen CFD saying it was a reasonably cheap place for lunch, relatively of course :D. Nice inside and eventually went for a kind of sausage roll pastry thing that had cheese and ham ( Ost & Skinke) inside instead. Time to get on our way again and we went back down to the main street and turned right and headed up to the Johanneskirken.

Lille Lungegardsvann
Very limited opening times by the look of the sign at the front of it. Round the park to the left we came to the  Sjofartsmuseum, which was running an exhibition on the 100 years of Norwegian Submariners, and it had a conning tower fixed in the road outside it.

Time to head back into town and as we were walking down the top of Christies Gate, Hanna, whose confirmation we were over for appeared out of the hairdressers she was in getting her hair done for the event, part of her present from her aunt Gertrud and her husband Haraald. Went into talk to her for a while, so now another thing,visiting a Norwegian Hairdressers to add to my list of memorable travel highlights. We did find out what had been puzzling us for the two days we were there. Everywhere you went in Bergen you came across loads of young people with red dungarees with white patterns on them, and often with the straps hanging down.

The Red Trouser Thing Going On
Turns out these are students who have finished there 3rd year at High School, and there are variations depending on what career they are going onto, but that the red ones were those that still hadn't really decided , which seemed to be most of them :D

Couldn't spend to long in there, as my son was starting to get nervous that they would have a go at his hair. Said we would get Hanna back at our hotel at 4, as she was travelling back to Oystese with us, and Haraald and Gertrud were picking us up at the hotel, to take us out to the airport to meet my cousin arriving from Heathrow and to pick up the hire cars.

Headed back down to Lille Lungegardsvann and came to whay has to be one of the ugliest fountains I have seen :D.

Den Nacionale Scene
Looked like an ugly child crying. Walked round the lake and came to the railway station and we walked back down Kaigaten with its pretty houses and shops

Parted company with my Old Dear as she went back to the hotel, but there was still one thing on my list of things to see that I hadn't come across yet, Bergens narrowest street. It was supposed to be right beside the Fishmarket, but couldn't see it, and then spotted the sign for it across the road next to Scruffy Murphys Irish Pub. It looked wider than it should, but as you go up Dyvekegangen it becomes a lot narrower half way up and becomes just 99cm wide. 

Went back to hotel and grabbed a cup of tea from the machine in the foyer and Haraald and Gertrud turned up with two cars, along with their daughter Rakel and Hanna .

Ugly Fountain
They were giving us a lift back out to the airport to make it easier for us as it was reckoned that Friday rush hour would be a difficult time to be getting out to the  airport and so it proved. May not be that many cars in Bergen, but there is not that much road space either and it was pretty well jammed all the way out to the airport, not helped by one of the lanes of the road being blocked by an accident out near the big shopping centre. Got to the airport in time though and were in Flesland as my cousin and his girlfriend arrived off a flight connection from Stavanger.

Him and I went into the Hertz office and picked up the keys for the cars and made our way over to the rentals car park.

Dyvekegangen
Haraald and Gertrud drove their cars over to there  and we transferred the luggage. They would be following on and joining us the next morning. I got a 1.6 Volvo diesel, and set off following my cousins car. Having been two and half years since I had driven abroad, and never having driven a Volvo, I found it relitavely easy driving on the 'wrong' side of the road and soon had the CD's I'd brought over with me blasting out.

Once wwe turned off the main road and started heading west, we hit a long tunnel under a hill and this was to be a common feature on this road. Some of the tunnels were over 2km long, had bends in the middle of them and not all were well lit so I didn't particularly like these bits. The drive was to take about two hours,over and through the hills, and just over half way there we came to a place called Bjorkheim where we stopped to go to the supermarket there.

Hills On The Road Out
The following day (1st of May) was a public holiday in Norway and EVERYTHING would be shut, so we had to stock up en route. Even managed to find free wifi there for my phone and got to log in and leave a message on Facebook :D

Drove on a bit from Bjorkheim and pulled off the road to look at a big waterfall at the side of the road, and then drove straight through to Oystese. Cousins ex Turid was there to meet us and she was quite emotional, as it was the first time most of us had seen her since she left Scotland. Two of her other sisters were staying in the same cabins as us and they had some food cooking for us in their cabin. Got into our cabin and sorted out who was sleeping in what room and went out and had a look about and down onto the beach and a look across the fjord.

Floating Jetty

Headed along to Cabin 1 with a few beers and some of the wine we had bought in the Bergen Duty Free shop and had a really good night. had met most of the Norwegians before when they were over in Edinburgh for a christening, so it was just a case of picking up where we left off, even if it had been a long time. Easy going company, a good laugh and a few beers in a stunning location, what more could you want:D

CFD says:
The "Red Trouser thing" is something we call "Russ". The people with red colours are the ones that have finished high school and are heading to College/University. The guys in black have finished trade school and are going to be apprentices in various crafts while the blue people are going to be economists.

Ive been living in Bergen for 10years and its a marvelous city. Even after traveling for years i always want to come back top this part of Norway
Posted on: May 17, 2010
huibdos says:
How obvious,
From point of view, in the UK you are driving on the left side and to your opinion we are driving on the wrong side.
Look to it from the positive side: We are driving on the right side AND in the UK you are driving on the right side.
Posted on: May 07, 2010
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Vagen Ferry
Vagen Ferry
UNESCO World Heritage Sign
UNESCO World Heritage Sign
Fresco Hall
Fresco Hall
Fenicular Train
Fenicular Train
Vagen And Fjord
Vagen And Fjord
Troll And Me
Troll And Me
Lille Lungegardsvann
Lille Lungegardsvann
The Red Trouser Thing Going On
The Red Trouser Thing Going On
Den Nacionale Scene
Den Nacionale Scene
Ugly Fountain
Ugly Fountain
Dyvekegangen
Dyvekegangen
Hills On The Road Out
Hills On The Road Out
Floating Jetty
Floating Jetty
Looking Back to Nykirken From Ferry
Looking Back to Nykirken From Ferry
Statsraad Rehmkuhl
Statsraad Rehmkuhl
Outside Souvenir Shop
Outside Souvenir Shop
Bryggen Wooden buildings
Bryggen Wooden buildings
Bryggen Passageway
Bryggen Passageway
Loading Bays In Bryggen
Loading Bays In Bryggen
Svensgarden
Svensgarden
Well Behind Bryggen
Well Behind Bryggen
Moosehead
Moosehead
Behind Bryggen
Behind Bryggen
Shop In Bryggen
Shop In Bryggen
Looking Down From Balcony
Looking Down From Balcony
Coats Of Arms On Building
Coats Of Arms On Building
Floibanen Station
Floibanen Station
Going Up Fenicular
Going Up Fenicular
View Inland
View Inland
Central Bergen
Central Bergen
Kong Oscars Gate
Kong Oscars Gate
Tourist Information Area
Tourist Information Area
tourist Information Office
tourist Information Office
Back At the Fishmarket
Back At the Fishmarket
Clams And Fish Kept Fresh
Clams And Fish Kept Fresh
Lobsters
Lobsters
Ole Bull Fountain
Ole Bull Fountain
Museum
Museum
Across Lille Lungegardsvann
Across Lille Lungegardsvann
Going Past Dickens
Going Past Dickens
Ovre Ole Bulls Plass
Ovre Ole Bulls Plass
Henrik Ibsen With Cartoon Eyes
Henrik Ibsen With Cartoon Eyes
Statue Of Ole Bull Inside DNS
Statue Of Ole Bull Inside DNS
Inside DNS
Inside DNS
Outside Wall Of DNS
Outside Wall Of DNS
Stairs Up To Johanneskirken
Stairs Up To Johanneskirken
Johanneskirken
Johanneskirken
House With Ivy
House With Ivy
Fred Frihet Folkestyre
Fred Frihet Folkestyre
Wall At Sjofartsmuseum
Wall At Sjofartsmuseum
Submarine Tower At Sjofartsmuseum
Submarine Tower At Sjofartsmuseum
Sjofartsmuseum Exhibition
Sjofartsmuseum Exhibition
Church At Nygardsgaten
Church At Nygardsgaten
Rowing Statue
Rowing Statue
Kaigaten On Other Side Of Lille Lu…
Kaigaten On Other Side Of Lille L…
Bergen Railway Station
Bergen Railway Station
Kaigaten
Kaigaten
View Over To Bryggen
View Over To Bryggen
Statsraad Rehmkuhl Across The Harb…
Statsraad Rehmkuhl Across The Har…
C.Sundts Gate Statue
C.Sundts Gate Statue
Hire Car
Hire Car
Bjorkheim
Bjorkheim
Supermarket At Bjorkheim
Supermarket At Bjorkheim
Waterfall by The Road
Waterfall by The Road
View On Arrival In Oystese
View On Arrival In Oystese
Cabins
Cabins
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Affordable Food In Bergen
Definately worth a mention Had picked up on this place from mellemel8's review on here and was on the look out for it that day. Came across one … read entire review
Bergen Sights & Attractions review
Great Views Of Bergen And The Fjords
The Fløibanen lower station is just up from the Fishmarket at the side of the Bryggen up a street called Vetrlidsalim.Even for the time of year there… read entire review
Bergen
photo by: CFD