Throwback: Bergen, Norway

Posted in Travelling
Warm coloured wooden buildings along the Bergen port.

Five years ago I went to Bergen, Norway for a work conference for a few days, but when we weren’t in the conference meeting so many people from 20 different countries and presenting our work, we had some opportunities to go visiting around the city.

If you’ve never been to Bergen in Norway, then I would highly recommend making plans to visit this beautiful city. It is, hands down, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. Though – save your money up as it is very pricey!

Weather

Prior to arriving, I did some research on Bergen and found that on average, it rains for 275 days a year. I’m not a big fan of rain, so you can imagine I was slightly gutted. But it was also important to prepare for the weather! Luckily, while browsing Pinterest, I found this blog from Anna aka The Blonde Banana on what to pack for visiting Bergen.

She was absolutely right when she said there would be a 75% chance of rain! I managed to pack clothes that were;

  • Waterproof & comfortable
  • A LOT of hills (and therefore a lot of walking)
  • Smart looking (well… it was for work too!)

Luckily, the one day it didn’t rain was beautiful sunshine, and we got to admire the views from the hill-tops at the Floyen Folkenrestaurant.

Bergen Food

Bergen’s traditional treat, is the Skillingsboller, which is a Norwegian cinnamon bun. This was offered at the conference as well as cake and fruit, and this is just delicious!! I love cinnamon used in sweet dishes, so this was definitely up my street. It’s a lot thicker and not as sticky as traditional cinnamon roll, so it wasn’t messy to eat.

I’ve found a recipe to re-create this delight which you can try here (whether this will work or not… who knows?!)

Bergen, Norway is naturally a fish city with having a large dock and it’s infamous fish market. I love fish (aside from Tuna after a horrific time eating this…) but we visited the fish market on the first day of arrival before the conference. Personally, I hadn’t seen live crab and lobsters for sale (not as common here) but it was amazing and the smell didn’t bother me in the slightest. One of the dinners we had as part of the conference was mussel soup as a starter, in the Mount Floyen restaurant. It was in a mushroom cream so it wasn’t overpowering, but was incredibly tasty!

Food in general is expensive, so it was fortunate we had food provided at the conference throughout and only had to go out a couple of times to get dinner.

The Hotel we stayed at this hotel throughout the duration of the conference sadly didn’t meet up to the standards of food… all we got for breakfast was a bag hung on your hotel room door with an awful sandwich and a bottle of watered down orange juice. Added insult was that there was no tea or coffee making facilities in the rooms! Thank goodness for Starbucks which was just round the corner!!

Site Seeing

No matter where you were, the sites were beautiful throughout. We had rain 3 out of the 4 days we were there, but I got some amazing photos regardless of the weather. Luckily, our hotel was in the centre so it was all in walking distance. As well as the fish market and the adorable buildings along the dock, we went into the Hakonshallen for the reception of the Conference, which was like walking into Game of Thrones!

A long traditional diner table with seven leather-back chairs lined along the table.

We also went up on the funicular to Mount Floyen where we had our dinner in the Floyen Folkenrestaurant with breath-taking views all around. Thankfully the sun was shining when we went up the mountain!

The view of Bergen's mountains, from the view of the restaurant. Close up to the camera is white chairs with a red blanket on one of the chairs.

Here’s some additional things I didn’t know about Bergen before I arrived

  • During the summer, it’s never dark. This threw my body clock out the window when I kept waking up with light coming through my window, thinking it was 6am when it was actually 1am!
  • They offer blankets in bars if you’re sat outside. I never got one, but it was adorable seeing various blankets everywhere.
  • I knew it was quite hilly, but I didn’t realise how steep the hills were… on that note it also showed how unfit I was when I was gasping for air at the top of a steep hill when walking to the conference every morning!
  • Christmas is all year long in some of the shops – one particular shop had a whole floor on Christmas decorations which, as much as I was excited when walking around – it also felt weird I was looking at Christmas items in June…

Looking back at the photos, despite the weather, I would love to revisit there again. Maybe I need to refer back to my travel tips again when Lockdown is over…

Have you been to Bergen, Norway before? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Until next time,

emma_signature
Pinterest graphic for Bergen, Norway
17th June 2020
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