I’d smashed my first solo trip to Stavanger and was full of confidence for the next leg of my Norwegian adventure that would take me to Bergen.
Never wanting to be too confident, I made sure I had plenty of time to spare for the airport transfer, check in, bag drop etc. As it turns out, my timing couldn’t have been more perfect and meant I was left with 3 hours to kill in the smallest departure lounge I’ve ever visited. The only bonus was the comfy seating area with sofas, where I settled in to watch a film until it was time for my flight.
A shaky 30 minute flight later and I landed in Bergen, where I had picked up my bag and was on my way into the city centre with 12 minutes of landing. Norway, I like your style! Sadly, I’d taken a late flight and so everything was dark as I arrived in the centre of Bergen. The horizontal rain mixed with my confusion over the location of my hotel meant there were a few worried minutes where I contemplated having to resort to switching on the 4G to access Google Maps rather than spend the night on the streets of Norway and risk being eaten by a bear. There are bears in Norway…right?
Thankfully I avoided having to wrestle with any Norwegian wildlife as I found my hotel, checked in and ventured back out in the rain to get supplies. Rookie mistake. I thought it rained bad in England, but that’s nothing compared to Bergen. After 15 minutes of trying to find somewhere to buy water and being offered a napkin by one shop owner to mop my face off, I squelched back into the hotel absolutely drenched. Room service would have to do.
The next day was my only free day in Norway, and I took full advantage of not having to work by exploring this amazing city! Before I’d left for Norway, I was full of nerves for my first solo travel experience, and the only thing that calmed me was the opportunity to explore what people had told me was a stunning part of Norway.
After sampling the breakfast in the hotel, I had a wander around the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Bryggen. Wooden buildings that look like they could topple any moment, I had a good look around, snapped a few photos and continued on my way along the harbour. Seeing Bergen in the daylight, with blue skies overhead, I could see why people thought it was pretty here. But stunning? I wasn’t sold yet.
It would be fair to say I enjoy wandering around, and being by myself meant I could go whichever way I fancied without worrying about annoying someone else or ruining their plans. And as I wandered around the city centre, I spotted the funicular train snaking its way up and down the side of the mountain. If there are two things I love, it’s mountains and amazing panoramic views. Paying about £7 for a ticket, I jumped in the near empty carriage and took the prime seat at the front. It’s a short ride up the mountain, stopping a few times along the way at a couple of stations before reaching Fløyen.
One of the perks of travelling out of season is that there are hardly any other tourists around. As I stepped out to the viewing platform, there were just a few other people, which meant I could take endless numbers of uninterrupted photos. Really wanting to have a photo that wasn’t a selfie, I plucked up the courage to ask a man if he could take a photo. Not having a point and shoot with me, I tried to preset my camera to the right settings before handing it over. It didn’t turn out too bad, but having an average photo is better than no photo at all!
After I’d taken far too many photos, I had a nose around to see what else was about. There was a fair bit of building work going on, but just behind that I spotted a sign to a lake, about a 10 minute walk away. Well, I do love a good lake, so how could I resist? It was only as I got further into the Norwegian wilderness that it struck me…no one knew I was here. What if I tripped and broke my ankle? What if someone jumped out and tried to kidnap me (good luck with that one…)? What if I got eaten by a bear – still not sure if there are bears in Norway...?
As I stood debating whether to turn back to safety I spotted some people further down the track. Feeling slightly reassured that there were in fact other people around, I carried on and at the end of the pathway, I was greeted by the sight of a stunning, half-thawed lake. So glad that I’d stuck with it, I took advantage of the amazing surroundings and snapped some photos. There’s a path that circles the lake, but not wanting to push my luck and also being slightly freaked out by the only other person at the lake, I made my way back. I was still on edge, pretty much convinced something was going to happen to me, and jumped at every tiny sound.
Shockingly, I was totally fine, and once I’d caught the train back down to the harbour I carried on exploring the city. I made a beeline for the cathedral, but sadly it was having work done to it so I couldn’t pop in to have a look around. I also managed to check out the fish market before deciding to turn in before the supposed rain hit. I had definitely learnt my lesson from yesterday, and didn’t want to get caught in it again. Grabbing a bite to eat for dinner, I relaxed in the hotel for a bit before getting an early night, ready for the work that had brought me to Bergen the next day.