Saturday, May 15, 2010

Your Virtual Tour of Bergen!

Hei Hei! Velkommen til Bergen :)
Or at least Shelby's amazing virtual tour of Bergen! Aren't you excited?

Here is the main shopping street, complete with a fountain, lots of stone benches, and of course, pigeons!
Another view of the fountain. There really a lot of great shops along this stretch, so if you are wanting to purchase clothing, books, or electronics...this is the place to be.

This is a view of the harbor and Bryggen (the pier) from the fish market area of Bergen. Our hostel (YMCA , which was very nice thanks for asking) was extremely close to the fish market area and very convenient.
Bergen Harbor
Bryggen is the most famous landmark in Bergen, consisting of a long row of old wooden houses left over from the Hanseatic (German) Traders that lived and worked in Bergen.

In Bergen, the weather is always changing, so don't be discouraged if the sun is not could change in a matter of minutes.

When in Bergen, it is important to follow the viking (or it is pronounced by Norwegians) codes, which are: Be Brave and Aggressive, Be Prepared. Be a Good Merchant, and Keep the Camp in Order. These are really rules for life, don't you think?

Here we have the Bergenhus Fortress, dating back to the 1240s. Unfortunately, one cannot go inside the fortress, Haakon's Hall, or Rosenkrantz Tower in early May.

Bergen is definitely a tourist town. Look how cute their man-holes are!

When visiting Bergen, make sure you walk around as much as possible when finding various attractions, as Bergen has beautiful side streets and colorful architecture (with more similarities to Western Europe than anywhere else that I have visited in Norway).

This is the Dome Church (Domkirken), the 12th century Cathedral of Bergen. If you look closely to the left of the large window, you will see a small sphere stuck into the wall. This is actually a cannonball that hit the church during World War II.

And here are some lovely tourists by the name of Julia and Stephanie who are enjoying a nice stroll through the historic streets of Bergen.

Now, before you scroll down.....No virtual tour is complete without some trivia!

Please join me in a joyful game of "Who's that famous Norwegian?"

Here is the hint: This Bergen native's piece evoking a troll's underground festivities is one of the most famous orchestral pieces in modern music.

If you guessed Edvard Grieg.....You are right!! Ding Ding Ding! (Aren't virtual tours fun?)

Okay, next one. This Norwegian violin player also has strong ties to the U.S., with a town named after he and his mother in Pennsylvania and a Mammoth cave he used to use as a concert hall?

Got it? can scroll down now...

That's right! It was Ole Bull! And there is a lovely fountain in his honor (with his statue) in downtown Bergen. It also has stepping stones that are very fun for tourists (and locals...according to my inside sources) to hop on.

Now everyone say "Awww!!!" at the cute little outdoor kindergarten walking by. These sights are very common in Norway, but I have to say that the pink hats and bright yellow vests made this troop that much more adorable!

If you need a moment of contemplation and rest, this lovely fountain in the Festplassen.

A great place to visit in Bergen is the FREE Cultural History and Natural History Museums. On your way there, you can stop and visit the St. Paul's Kirke.

At this time, the Natural History Museum is closed, but the Cultural Museum has much to offer, including exhibits on Vikings, Norwegian Theatre (pictured above), Knitting, and Religious Artwork.

Near these museums, you can also find Johannes Kirke.

But be careful when walking in the side streets...we don't want you to get bullied by a mischievous troll!
In Bergen, they have extremely tiny side streets called "Smauts" which demonstrate how old the architecture in this city really is.

Families and the young at heart will greatly enjoy the Bergen Aquarium! With cute penguins....

Ugly wolf-fish.....
And giant crocodiles! It is quite the place to visit!

At the aquarium they also have kindly staffers who lead things like the penguin guiding (shown above) and seal show. That little penguin behind the staffer is named "Pingrid Alexandra" after the crown princess, Ingrid.

While you are in Bergen, you could take in a this Black Metal musical, showing at Den Nationale Scene. In case you weren't aware, Norway (and especially Bergen) has a very large Black Metal "scene." However, I am being sarcastic about actually seeing the show because Black Metal is a little tough on the least in my opinion.

Ooh! It's time for another "Who's that famous Norwegian?" Hint: "Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet" is his creation...

If you guessed Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, who wrote the Norwegian National Anthem, you would be right!
And our last famous Norwegian is the second most performed Dramatist in the Western World (second only to Shakespeare).

Do you know? I hope so!!

Henrik Ibsen! Congratulations! I would give you a prize...but this is a virtual tour and virtual prizes aren't so fun. So let's just continue the tour, shall we?

If you run out of things to do outside, or the weather turns sour, you can always visit the Kino (the movie theatre). These lovely ladies bought some 3D goggles and saw Alice in Wonderland.

I would have included this man in our quiz, but that would have been too hard. His name is Johan Nordahl Grieg and he is a famous Norwegian novelist, dramatist, poet, and journalist. And yes, he is related to Grieg, although not extremely closely.

In the summertime the nights go on forever in Bergen, thanks to the midnight sun. After dinner, you can always take a sunny walk down Bryggen.

And you can watch the sun come down before heading off to bed.

However, the most important thing to do when in Bergen is to take the Fløibanen, the funicular that takes you up to a majestic view of the city. Please enjoy these photos and pretend that you really there taking in this is a virtual tour after all :)

See that black piano-shaped building down there? That is the Greig Hall (Greighallen), and yes, it is supposed to be shaped like a piano.

Look at that happy girl! See, don't you want to visit Bergen for real now?

All of these people did! You can expect to hear exclamations like "Oh, bonito!" (Translates to "Oh,Pretty" from Spanish as there are many Spanish tourists in Bergen in the summertime).

And maybe once you saw the beautiful view, you would like to walk down the mountain through the mossy woods back to the city.

But regardless of what you do in Bergen, I am certain that you would enjoy a real visit much more than a virtual one!

Thanks for joining me :)

Ha det bra,

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