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A morning in Bergen

Today we’re in Bergen. We docked at about 8am. For those interested we’re at the Bontelaboo quay, just to the west of the Vågen. Last year we were at the Docken quay, which is further out and which meant a trek through the city centre to get to the good stuff. (I think it also featured a very, very short shuttle bus ride – 200 yards or so, just to get passengers off the dock.

We were off the ship well before 9 o’clock and heading round to the Floybanen station. I’d bought a couple of tickets online for the Floybanen, the funicular railway that climbs the Fløyen mountain just to the north of Vågen in Bergen. This worked really well – I’d printed the ‘tickets’, which were actually plain sheets with QR codes, and had even remembered to bring them with me. A scanner mounted on the platform entrance barriers looked at the QR codes and let us through, so we pretty much walked straight onto the train which arrived soon afterwards. It’s pretty much standing room only; there are a few seats, but most of the 76 passengers (max. capacity) have to stand. It’s not too much of an imposition as the journey doesn’t take long – less than the advertised 6 to 8 minutes, it seemed to me.

So we arrived at the top station and the first job was to admire the view. Even on a grey cloudy day it was spectacular, and of course we and everyone else there were busy taking pictures. We left shortly and walked up to a lake, and then around the lake. Further paths beckoned and we walked along them, generally upwards. We found another lake that had something to do with Grieg (I think – was it a place that he especially liked?) and then a refreshment hut that was closed, and then it was back down to the station. Altogether we walked around for a good 90 minutes, so we were well exercised. It was also wonderfully peaceful and beautiful up there, surrounded by the pine forests and with constantly-glimpsed views of the city and the harbour.

By 11 am we were feeling a bit tired so we decided it was time to descend. We had to queue for five minutes or so for the train back down, but emerged back in the old harbour area by 11:30. At the bottom the queues for the trains up were quite long so we were glad that we’d left the ship early and got up there quickly.

Then we raided an ATM for 200 NKR which we immediately spent most of on a couple of cappuccinos and apple muffins at a bakery on the harbour. Fortified with that we decided to walk around the town. We ducked into a couple of woollen goods shops but quickly ducked back out; in any case, Val said that she wasn’t sure about the design of the traditional styles. Then we walked round to a modern park and fountain but by this time it had started to rain so we decided to stop exploring and go back to the ship. It was nearly 12:30 by this time and we felt that we’d given Bergen a fair go, and we’d enjoyed it.

Now it’s mid afternoon. Lunch has been had, some snoozing has been done, there’s a cup of tea to be drunk – and after that I think we’ll hear the Glasshouse calling. Tomorrow we’ll be in Ålesund.


  • The Floybanen tickets were 90NKR each, for Returns;
  • The coffee and muffins were 154NKR, to eat outside – eating inside the shop would have been cheaper. They were bought from Baker Brun, Bryggen.

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