Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back to Bergen!

November 9th and 10th
Darrell, Lindsey and I lived in Bergen for 6 months in 1992 - when Lindsey was only 3 to 9 months old.  It is so wonderful to come back again!  And we had beautiful weather for our train ride from Oslo to Bergen, enjoying the lakes and glacier views as we crossed the mountains.

Jason met us at the train station and we walked to the oldest part of Bergen, known as Bryggen, which is Norwegian for wharf.  There is a row of picturesque buildings lining the fjord here, from the merchant trading center that was developed by the Hanseatic league in 1360 or so.  The city itself dates from 1070.  Most of the buildings have been rebuilt since 1702, as the wooden buildings are prone to fires, but some of the stone cellars date back to the 15th century.  It is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

"Bryggen", from Wikipedia
Jason is one of Darrell's early master's students, and is now a professor at NYU - Buffalo.  He has clearly been enjoying his sabbatical in Bergen, despite having copious rain!

My photo of a part of Bryggen, catching the last light of the day!

Houses above the city lake, catching the last light as well!
Then we walked up to the University and met Hans Petter, who hosted Darrell when he was here for his NSF-NATO post doc.  We drove to his beautiful home on one of the hills outside of Bergen, and took a walk along the lake near his house before having a delicious salmon dinner.

The next day was foggy so I spent the morning in Hans Petter and Evy’s house, catching up on e-mail and trying to book places for us to stay in Stockholm and Helsinki.  We've been trying to use "airbnb" where you can rent a room or an apartment from a person, but we struck out three times.  I guess we will just do hotels or hostels again.

Then I took the bus into town and wandered the shops and the older parts of the city.  

Bergen houses in the mist
I met Darrell, Hans Petter and Evy for dinner at a marvelous tapas restaurant that won the "Best of Bergen"in 2010.  Then we went out for coffee and a walk.  Hans Petter and Evy know the history of the town of course, so we got a great tour of the city by night.

The next day Darrell and I hiked up to Fløyen with Jason to get some great views of Bergen.  Then had a wonderful home dinner with Hans Petter and Evy before catching the night train to Oslo.  Thank you, Hans Petter, Evy and Jason for making our stay so wonderful!

Bergen view from Fløyen
Jason and Darrell
It was great being in Bergen again.  It is such a pretty city.  The tall Hanseatic buildings by the waterfront are still proud and colorful.  The tiny houses and winding cobbled alleys between them, with potted plants on the stoops, and the original gas lamps (now electrified) lighting the streets, are charming.  The Dale wool sweaters are gorgeous.  There is something about it that feels like home.

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