Day 2,055 of Traveling the World | Bergen, Norway | September 14, 2023

What a contrast between two days in Norway. Geiranger, nestled deep in a fjord, had 250 people, period. Today’s port of Bergen has a population of 290,000 – more than 100 times that of Geiranger! Our ship’s 3,000 passengers were 1,200% of the population of Geiranger, but just 0.1% of the population of Bergen. So, not only did the cities affect us differently, we affected the two cities differently.

Outside of the downtown City Centre, with shopping, restaurants, parks, and museums, the most notable area of Bergen is called Bryggen, the area containing the remaining quays (wharves) from past times that is now a World Heritage Site. The city was a major trade partner in the Hanseatic League, and the trade was centered in Bryggen, the main city port. This area is delightful: sitting along the city fjord, the old wooden buildings facing it are colorful and well-tended.

Walking around the city was very enjoyable. It was a sunny day, in the 50s, with lots of people out and about. There were many historic buildings and statues, several lakes and parks, and as you can see in the first photo, one of the most beautiful gazebos we have seen anywhere. We didn’t use guidance or GPS to navigate – we just meandered to whatever looked interesting. It was a great day!

The spectacular Music Pavilion Gazebo in Byparken in the City Centre was lovingly landscaped and cared for, with an overkill of flowers.
The Kode 3 Art Museum, featuring works by the Norwegian artist, Edward Munch.
Not far away, this 1892 Munch painting was reproduced in a store window. It is called “Evening on Karl Johan Street.” We had never seen it, but the faces were reminiscent of “The Scream,” so we thought it must also be a Munch.
Adjacent to the park with the gazebo is this lovely lake, Lille Lungegardsvannet. You can see that houses are built high up onto the mountain.
When we are told that a city features a certain food, and it isn’t fermented or doesn’t sound unappetizing, we will try it once. So we went to this pretty bakery with a glass-domed ceiling. We ordered coffees and the famous Bergen cinnamon roll. It was rather dry, and mostly tasted like bread with a little sugar on it – not enough cinnamon to actually taste. With some butter, it was fine, but now we never have to try it again!
Though it is still summer, technically, this restaurant had fires and heating lamps along the sidewalk for its outdoor patrons. With the cool temperature of the day, it seemed warm and inviting. The restaurant name, bedecked with flowers, makes it stand out any time.
The front of Bergen National Theater, an Art Nouveau landmark.
Henrik Ibsen looks a bit wild here, but we love that it isn’t the “usual” statue of a famous person, with a serious, stern face.
A church dated 1707 (in metal work).
Looking at this building really wakes you up!
One area had cobblestone streets and these buildings of wooden construction.
This building has a lot of character. It is in Bryggen, is not made of wood, and bears dates from 1480 to 1912.
Bryggen is known more for these colorful wooden buildings and old harbor. The red building on the left, Stiftelsen Bryggen, is being renovated. Its “slipcover” has the name of the shop as well as faux windows.
This is the old harbor, across the street from the photo above.
All the restaurants had outdoor seating. The view across the street is the harbor, so it is quite nice for drinking coffee and people-watching.
Some unusual looking buildings, preserved at the Pilgrim Center.
A cute way to add square footage to your property!
More wooden buildings, preserving Norway’s past.
Mariakirken (St. Mary’s Church), built in the 12th century.
Some of the preserved buildings are built of brick.
Bergen’s old meat market from 1872, the Kjottbasaren Market, now hosting Starbucks and a few other venues. We were told to see which way the wind was blowing before eating anything here, as it is near the fish market and can be quite “odoriferous.”
Moomin – a children’s store.
We loved the shape of this tiny kiosk, which wasn’t yet opened when we passed by. “The name ends in KREM – it must be a small patisserie selling pastry with whipped cream!” When we looked it up, and looked hard at the logo, we found out that Bjornekrem means Bear Cream, and this is a……shoeshine stand!!!!
The clouds were just too beautiful as we were leaving Bergen.
An extra delight today is this video taken of Georgie and Gerald. Every morning, they offer guests different sweets such as cookies, muffins, cupcakes, or beignets. They walk through the breakfast buffet and then everywhere on board where people are relaxing, singing their sweet songs, laughing, and talking with guests. They are the best ambassadors that Norwegian Cruises has, as everyone smiles and chats with them. They are sunshine on a cloudy day! Actually, they are sunshine on a sunny day. They are both just wonderful. Thanks for your music, G&G!

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