My trip to Bergen Norway was another short solo mission over a weekend in early November. My objective was to go hiking and take in the Scandinavian beauty. While the Fjords are high on my list I thought I would check out the less talked about city of Bergen which is home to several majestic mountains and scenic hikes.
I arrived in the brisk city of Bergen a lot later than anticipated due to delays on my flight out of London. Nonetheless I hit the sack early on the Friday evening, which meant I was ready for some exploring the next day.
When I walked out of our the hostel on Saturday morning I got my first taste (not literally) of European snow. Given the down pour of snow and limited visibility, I decided hiking up a mountain I had no clue about probably wasn't a good idea. I reconsidered for a minute, I was being a wimp? As I walked out of shelter the 30 mph winds made my mind up for me. So I decided to walk down into the town from my hostel; Montana Vandrerhjem Hostel which is situated at the foot of Mount Ulriken. The 30 minute walk was a pleasant one considering the wind, there was loads of great photo ops and plenty of liveliness with the locals enjoying the snow.
The town of Bergen was everything I expected from a Scandinavian country, trendy people with great transport, lush greenery juxtaposed against grey office buildings and colorful houses. While the town felt modern and progressive there was definitely a quaint and rustic feel that comes with fishing town. After grabbing breakfast I spent the afternoon in the harbor area called Bryggen. The old Hanseatic sea league buildings are an architectural marvel with shipping history dating back over 400 hundred years. I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost wondering the small streets and ally ways surrounding the harbour. In the afternoon I had a few beers at a eclectic watering hole called BarBarista and before long the sun started setting and I headed back to the waterfront to take in the romance of the town as the houses lit up a tranquil harbor and shadowing mountains.
It was the kind picture that makes your heart swell up.
On my last day in Bergen the weather came to the party, bluebird skies and little to no wind, the perfect hiking conditions. I thought I would be able to tackle climb to the top in under an hour, I was one hundred percent wrong. The summit 643 meters above sea level seemed to never get closer of the course of the two hour journey. It didn't help that my boots didn't have sufficient grip for the snow and ice that had formed over night.
It was an arduous trek and at times it felt like I was trying to ice skate up hill, one element that remained throughout the struggle were the picturesque views. Each snap I took along the way felt like it belonged on a postcard, the atmosphere matched with peaceful silence aside from the occasional hiker and birds singing in the trees. In the end the view made everything worth it, the town of Bergen thousands of feet below, the city just seemed so at ease and calm from my vantage point.
By the time I made way down the mountain I was ready to head home weary from a weekend that featured a lot of walking, hiking, climbing, skating and a couple of falls! My trip to Bergen was one of the most soul satisfying trips to date.