Tuesday, November 30

Norway: Bergen, a Scandinavian delight | The traveler

Founded in the 11th century by a Viking king, Bergen It is the second city in Norway and one of the most beautiful in the country, as well as a port of embarkation for its most impressive fjords. With a very affordable size to explore the urban nucleus on foot – it has about 270,000 inhabitants -, it preserves important medieval monuments, classical and other very avant-garde museums and impressive natural landscapes in its surroundings that can be easily reached on foot, by funicular or by ferry. Although winter and autumn here are not as cold as you might think given its latitude, since the Gulf Stream tempers its climate quite a bit, summer is the ideal season to enjoy Bergen.

In addition, since last July 1 Norway already allows entry to tourists without the obligation of quarantine or negative PCR to those who have an EU covid passport that indicates they are vaccinated, have passed the virus in the last six months or have tested negative in an antigen test.

9.00 Mariakirken, the oldest

After a good breakfast buffet served in most accommodations, including energetic Scandinavian delicacies (such as herring, salmon, caviar paste and other fish), it is a good idea to start your route in chronological or historical order. Thus, the oldest building in the city stands at the northern end of the port: Mariakirken or the church of Santa Maria (Dreggen 15) (1), the 12th century Romanesque church inside which you can see 15th century Renaissance paintings and an exquisite Baroque pulpit. Its garden cemetery is worth exploring, where you will find the tombstones of the most distinguished families of those times, those of merchants of German origin, since the church belonged from the Middle Ages to the 18th century to the powerful League Hanseatic.

To learn more about the beginning of prosperity in what was the capital of the Kingdom of Norway, you can visit the adjacent Schøtstuene, the wooden building where the assembly of German merchants met to eat and discuss matters of relevance, and the nearby and fascinating Hanseatic Museum (hanseatiskemuseum.museumvest.no).

11.00 Back to the Middle Ages

A few steps from Mariakirken, the torre Rosenkrantz (2), one of the symbols of the town, was added by a feudal knight in 1560 to the fortress Bergenhus, much older, although both had to be restored after World War II. From its battlements, which are accessed by a stone staircase, you get a good view of the harbor inlet. Next to the tower, Håkonshallen, the Hall or Nave of King Håkon, was in the Middle Ages the political center of Norway. It is a solid stone building in the shape of a church with an interior adorned with valuable tapestries.

13.00 Between wooden buildings

Omnipresent in all Bergen tourist attractions, Bryggen (3), the old German quay, is flanked by 55 buildings, mostly made of wood, which from medieval times to the 18th century housed the warehouses of Hanseatic merchants. Of these, only 17, restored between the 16th and 18th centuries, survived the seven fires that devastated the port, the last in 1955. Behind its brightly colored facades today there are luxurious restaurants – such as the The unicorn, in the house presided over by a unicorn—, pubs, Scandinavian and Viking style jewelers, galleries and gift shops. Declared a world heritage site, its rear part is a network of alleys where wood also reigns and you can have fish, seafood or reindeer meat dishes in Bryggen Tracteursted, a beautiful tavern from 1706.

14.00 Feast of salmon and spider crab

On the pier overlooking Bryggen, the Fish market (Torget, 5014) (4) It is ideal for an aperitif or a feast outdoors and at shared tables. More Spanish than Norwegian is spoken at the stalls with delicious prawns, salmon sandwiches, portions of huge spider crabs and other delicacies from the sea, as most of the workers are Spanish or South American students. The atmosphere is assured.

16.00 A lake surrounded by art

By the lake Little Lungegard, surrounded by a pleasant park, the patronage CODE (5) brings together four interesting art and design museums, with collections that bring together works from classical Norwegian painters (Edvard Munch, JC Dahl, Werenskiold, Krohg, etc.) to foreign modernists such as Picasso, Paul Klee or Miró, and galleries that schedule exhibitions dedicated to the most avant-garde national artists. The appeal Café Smakverket, on the KODE 2, it comes in handy for a snack.

19.00 Funicular ride

Taking advantage of the long daylight hours of the Scandinavian summer, the afternoon is the time to appreciate Bergen from 320 meters above sea level. monte Fløyen (6). It is reached by a funicular that climbs from the Fløibanen station, right in the center, or from the heights of Mount Ulriken (643 meters), connected by a cable car (ulriken643.no) that are currently remodeling and are scheduled to reopen this summer.

21.00 A classic bar or a rocker one?

The restaurant 1887 (7) in a few years it has earned a reputation among the people of Berguencia. Located next to the beginning of Bryggen in a stately building that housed a market in the 19th century, its interior decoration refers to that time, while the food is mainly based on agricultural products from the fjords and fish and seafood from the sea. North. If the weather permits – in Bergen it rains about 240 days a year – you can dine al fresco on its Veranda.

For a drink, if you prefer a classic place, the café-bar Amundsen in el Grand Hotel Terminus (8) It is the most historic in the city. At the other extreme, Bergen is a vital hub for more progressive rock groups and the black metal who have their temple in the legendary Apollon (9), a bar and CD and LP store where rockers drink mostly beer that stock 35 different brand taps.

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