European Delights 2009 travel blog

Th eopen air museum - Bryggen

Bryggen by the docks

Today started fairly leisurely as we were packed and organised last night. A yummy breakfast and short walk to the tram, within 10 minutes we were at the train awaiting our next adventure. haivng a few minutes to kill, I jumped on the internet... wont go into detail about the sorts that hung around here, suffice to say Dad was watching everything like an eagle.

By 8am we were on our train and ready to go. We paid a little xtra to stay in the comfort aone, and well worht it too. I had my own little lounge area, popped my feeet up, grabbed a tea and sat back to take in the views of the fjords, mountains and waterfalls. Truely spectacular 7 hours it was too.

The Bergan line as it is known connects the two most important cities in Norway, Oslo and Bergen, and the train journey is considered to be "over the roof of Norway" is and experience in a class of its own.

The Bergen Line is a unique experience and on Northern Europe's highest railway. One of the greatest challenges for the Bergen Line wass the harsh and changeable weather. The line is exposed to deep low-pressure centers from the west, which can mean strong winds and heavy snow for part of the year. Keeping the railway open demands great effort and technical expertise requiring skilled workers, effective equipment, strong tunnels and snow tunnels. This line is recognised as being one of the top 20 railway experiences in the world.

Stepping off the train a rush of wearm air greeted us and the most perfect blue sky. We instantly ripped off our jackets and scarves to let the sunshine sink deep into our bones. It took about 20 minutes to walk to our accommodation, set in the heritage listed area name Stolemuet on the hill overlooking the fjord and docks. Such a quaint little place, with wildflowers, narrow cobbled streets and wooden traditional houses butted up together.

Not wanting to miss out on the glorious day we headed straight out to look around. We firstly stumbled on the fish market with it's abundance of fish, flowers, fruit, vegetables, handicrafts and souvenirs. It seemed to be a very popular object for photographers, so I of course was right there with them snapping away like the Japanese.

This market is along the docks named Bryggen - dating back almost 900 years.

In the late Middle ages the Hanseatic League established the German Kontor in Bryggen (the waterfront), which became a thriving center of international trade. The characteristic parallel rows of buildings, with their seaward-facing gables represent a building tradition dating back almost 900 years. The old wooden buildings along the harbor front in Bergen were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1980.

If you are coming to Bergen, you have to learn at least two Norwegian words. These words are Bryggen and Vaagen. Bryggen is the name of the world famous waterfront in Bergen. If you ask someone for the waterfront, you'll probably get a diffuse answer. If you ask for Bryggen, you'll get a smile and the direction :-) Vaagen is the local name for the harbor (port). this is where all the action is and is a lovely spot to drink a beer, and people watch as the sun lowers in the sky. All in all a lovely day, and once again I sink into a deep deep sleep from uttere tiredness!

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