Earlier this month, I was in Norway for the first time, in the beautiful town of Bergen.
Unfortunately, I was there for work, and had very little free time to explore the time. Out of fairness, the winter squalls – of snow, hail and rain didn’t provide the ideal atmosphere for exploring. But still, I was impressed with my short glimpse of this charming Scandinavian coastal town.
Pretty Bergen, with its colorful wooden buildings, was at the height of its power in 1070, under the reign of King Olav Kyrre, when it was the capital of Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and part of Scotland.
Its power began to wane when the capital moved to Oslo, in 1299. But the port city of Bergen remained an important commercial capital, particularly important during the era of the powerful Hanseatic League.
Maritime commerce helped to keep this town vibrant, even as political power shifted inland and southward. Even today, Bergen remains an important city for the seafood industry – as its vibrant daily fish market attests – and I admit to eating my weight in delicious Norwegian salmon during my stay here. Can you blame me?
I’ll be back soon to enjoy the splendors of Norway’s nature … but in the summer months.
A Bergen waitress joked with me that you should carry your umbrella, a wool hat, and sunglasses with you every day during your Bergen stay, since you never knew what nature will have in store for you.
My visit in March proved this to be true. I experienced snow, hail, rain, and sunny blue skies … all in a single day.
I loved wandering its pretty, cobblestoned streets, and admiring its colorful wooden buildings.
Opening hours are, well, rather stingy, so I missed the erratic hours of the Hanseatic museum, and I raced to get to the sweater shops before they closed early in the afternoon. Although the warm, Norwegian wool knit into pretty patterns was well worth the effort.
Despite the less than idyllic weather, I loved my short stay in this pretty, Norwegian town. Can’t wait to return — in summertime, to explore more!