After only two weeks we’re heading back out to Bergen again, this time taking the scenic route. The Oslo to Bergen train takes 6 hours, slicing its way through the mountains over 1000 meters above sea level. A very different view to our usual journeys. But before we start our new journey, we need to finish the old one.
We left off on a sheltered pontoon during a gale. From there (gale over), we continued our sail to Bergen via a little marina / village creatively called Littlebergen. We even got the tides right as we motored up some very narrow channels (not intentional and not that I had much to do with it as I happily made my way back to my bunk after we’d pushed off, spending the rest of the morning asleep).
The scenery was as always, pretty spectacular. Although we found it hard to photograph because everything is so massive! We see 180 degrees with our eyes and pick up the conglomerate of islands while the camera just isolates one or two.
There were a few other boats on the water. Fortunately we didn’t encounter any in the narrower channels
We had a short spell of beautiful flat water sailing.
The modern navigation system here is brilliant:
As per usual, we were very pleased to not be trying to find our way in the dark. The channel markings along most of this coastline are sparse at best. We arrived in Littlebergen around 8:30 and managed to tie alongside the marina’s private pontoon. So after climbing the fence, we went in search of dinner, choosing to use google maps as our guide. We’d identified a pizza restaurant, which we were unable to call, about 45 minutes walk away. Unfortunately we had no idea whether Google was right and as we made our way deeper and deeper into Norweigan suburbia, we became increasingly concerned that there wouldn’t be dinner waiting at the end. It also began to rain again. So tired, wet and hungry, we ambled along to the spot on the map. Turned out it was a pizza delivery place. Fortunately they took our orders and let us sit in a corner on 2 chairs watching hungrily as people came to collect their food. An hour and several wrong orders later, we finally received our pizzas only to walk 45 minutes home again in the pouring rain. Fortunately even take out pizza put us in good spirits as we we’d been eating boat food almost the entire trip.
Our final day involved just a short sail to Bergen followed by a wonder around in the rain, a quick lunch and then on to our leaving point for the next two weeks. It started beautifully!!
And we had a lovely cruise down the coast into Bergen Vågen (harbour)
Bergen is a lovely old town with lots of history (guiltily taken from the lonely planet). Capital of Norway in the 12th and 13th centuries, it’s been home to Vikings, German merchants and traders (including the powerful Hanseatic League from Lubeck, whose offices stayed open until 1899, 550 years), Dutch and English shipping companies and friendly locals. The sheltered Vågen harbour remains a major port today, for tourists, various navy boats and other commercial vessels. The most prominent and probably most important tourist site is Bryggen (‘the wharf’), where in 1962 major archeological excavations discovered over a million items dating back 800 years. These finds enabled the community to preserve their beautiful harbour as an historic landmark, now dotted with galleries, museums and local jewellery and clothing stores alongside the bustling tourist shops, bakeries and restaurants.
We wondered around Bryggen, checking out it’s nooks and crannies.
We wondered through the fish market and ate reindeer hotdogs on the pier.
This guy perched himself on a bench next to us to smoke his pipe. We thoroughly appreciated the moment with the boat in the background!
Our marina for the next two weeks was in a little village called Hjellestad, about 15 minutes from Bergen airport. We headed down there from Bergen in the pouring rain.
There’s a very wet Gareth. I stayed under cover to work on the blog 😉
Here’s a cheerful sunny photo from the morning to finish off on though… Sorry this is all a bit late – lots more to come from our next trip!