Misty mornings, fabulous fjords and beautiful Bergen
Greetings blogaholics! We woke very early this morning after a seriously crap nights’ sleep – I mean, I know they say the Hurtigruten ferry is a “working ship”, and I get that this means it will make regular stops at all sorts of little towns, all through the night. But what I didn’t realise is that when you have a cabin right at the front of the ship near the anchors and mooring equipment, you WILL get woken up EVERY time the ships pulls in to harbour – EVERY time… Like, at 1:00am, 3:00am and 5:00am. *SIGH* I seriously don’t know how people with young kids do it man; getting woken up every 2 hours is a sure recipe for threatened homicide (i.e. I get so cranky I threaten to kill people). On the up side, being woken up at 5:00am (I’m on HOLIDAY people – NO ONE should be woken up at 5:00am when they’re on holiday! Sorry, end of rant), is that we got to see more of the epic Norwegian fjords. Like this one…
To start with it was really misty and absolutely glassy. It made for an eerie early morning, with the ship barely causing a ripple in the water and the mist blanketing all sounds. As we silently swept past the rocky shores of the fjord, the occasional pier or house appeared out of the mist. Very cool (EARLY) start to the day.
Gradually the sun started to warm things up and the mist began to lift, revealing cute little fishing villages, massive mountains and craggy islands on either side of the ship. Occasionally the passage through the islands was so narrow that it felt like we could almost touch them.
Once the sun came out in full, the glory of the fjords was truly revealed – made all the better by the fact that it was only 6:00am and everyone else was still in bed. It was just marvellous. It’s always hard to capture the essence of what you experience in a photo, but hopefully these will help you understand why we so enjoyed cruising the fjords today.
Unfortunately the sun disappeared around mid-morning, never to re-emerge. The skies stayed cloudy all the way to Bergen, our final destination. we’re staying in Bergen for a few days, using it as a base to explore this most scenic part of Norway. Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, with a population of just over 270,000. Built along seven hillsides facing Vågen Bay, Bergen is often referred to a “the City of 7 Hills”. Originally a Viking settlement, Bergen is today a busy commercial hub. It’s the main base for the Norwegian navy and is home to thousands of workers who fly-in/fly-out to off-shore oil and gas rigs in the North Sea. There’s also a big university here and a thriving tourist trade. Tourists in there hundreds of thousands flock here every year because Bergen is the gateway to some of Southern Norway’s most glorious fjords, mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers. Which is exactly why we’re here too!
The town itself is very pretty, with lots of quaint wooden houses perched precariously along the hills. We’re actually staying in one of the 19th century houses in the Old Town – it’s a private residence but there’s downstairs room with its own entry that has been converted into a small guest room with an ensuite bathroom. It’s just so great to be right in the middle of this old part of Bergen! The streets are narrow, winding, cobbled and all higgelty-piggelty; the houses are all painted bright colours and have summer flowers planted in pots around them. A great home base for next few days, to be sure!