Bergen Norway | Hanna Hill Photography Travel Journal
Today I share the story of Chris and I's travels to the western coast of Norway. Truly the most spectacular place we've seen. It even rained every day we were there and we still can not get this beautiful city out of our minds. Our close friends who actually traveled with us in Scandanavia for the first half just shared some big news with us this past weekend. It reminded me how I wanted and needed to get this story up on the blog and of course how much I missed them both terribly.
Bergen is one of those rare places where the architecture and charm is as equally beautiful as the natural glory all around it it. From colorful houses along the coast to fjords that will blow your mind. We started our journey in Oslo and after a few days we trained to Bergen on the western coast. We arrived pretty late in the evening on a Sunday if I remember and after walking from the train station to our house, meeting our airbnb host and settling in, it was too late to eat anywhere(things close down pretty early on Sundays in Europe) So we found this hotdog stand. But this was no ordinary hotdog stand, they served things like Reindeer bratwurst and with fried onions and mayo on top. Weirdly enough I still to this day can't stop thinking about them, maybe it was the starving from all the travel and bickering about trying to find a place to eat before the city all shut down that night or they were that good. I'll never know :)
We woke the next morning and walked a little ways down the path to this adorable coffee shop. I insist on all my travels to start each day with a cup of coffee at a local shop. Not because I'm cool but because I can be kind of a brat without coffee :P We also ate strüdle that was handmade each day by the barista(only in europe).
We then went to the boat dock and tried to buy tickets to see the fjords. It was raining and cold and nothing was open that early. So Charlie our friend literally just went up to the first boat captain he saw and asked. Turns out it was the captain who did all the tours and he knew everything about them and how we could grab tickets (though most needed to be reserved far in advance) We were incredibly lucky because those fjords may have changed all four of our lives!
So Fjords! I'd love to put into words why these things were so life changing but even with the craziest of cold wind and rainy day we all were just moved by the clear majesty. I loved the little colorful houses sprawled all among the gaps in the fjords with no signs of roads to connect them to the rest of the world. We all took turns enduring the forceable winds at the front of the boat like total tourists, but I have no shame.
The little street we stayed on was something out of a European travel book. The cobble stone streets and bikes literally parked everywhere. I have this obsession with choosing our airbnbs according to pictures :P probably because I'm a photographer but seriously high ratings are great but if you can make me feel like I'm living the culture by staying in your airbnb then I'm officially sold.
I'm pretty sure after the Fjord we went back to our house and watched Chef's Table. Yeah sometimes we are not cool and not cultured because we prefer Netflix than walking around :P but by the afternoon we were ready to get out and see more. Out host had told us about the gorgeous views from Mt. Flöyen so we thought (on a cloudy, overcast day) lets hike that mountain to see the view :p
I don't want to say i regret that hike because honestly the first part was super cool. It felt like we found a land of moss and trees straight out of a Lord of the Rings movie. But probably halfway up the mountain it started to rain, we probably should have turned back. I mean logically there was no way things would clear up enough for us to see any view while it was raining. But we kept going :P
It was crazy, it was cold and we were all drenched. there is only so much water proof winter jackets can handle. When we got to the top there was this little shack, that memory of us all sheltering from the rain under this odd little shack at the top of the mountain is very funny to me. That rain did not let up until we were back down from the mountain. We definitely all argued about that hike for all of our own reasons but it's our favorite story to tell now.
I remember coming back from that hike and thinking i'm not sure I've ever felt this drenched and never needed a glass of wine so much. I let my camera rest a bit when we went out for drinks and dinner and a little souvenir shopping. Chris and I are not much for souvenirs, it always just adds to our packs and gathers dust. But we do try to grab one little momento from each adventure.
After being filled with wine and seafood i think we were all calm enough to attempt the Mt Flöyen again. Not hiking this time, we just took the little tram up. Of course by that time it was incredibly clear, no rain and the city lights were unbelievably beautiful!
That was the perfect way to spend our last night in Bergen. Watching the city lights surrounded by the incredible fjords and coast. We woke up the next day and basked in the culture before we caught a bus and train back to Oslo. That's where our great friends Christine and Charlie headed back home while we trained up the coast to the Lofoten Islands! Hopefully that story and those photos will be blogged soon, but till then just think 60 and over Artic cruise, snow storm in a tiny two door car and me almost losing a finger set against the most beautiful snowy wonderland you can imagine!