June 3, 2013
next port was the city of Bergen, Norway. This is the second largest
city in Norway with 250,000 people. It competes with Oslo to be
the main center for trade, maritime activities and culture. We were
lucky to have a beautiful sunny day to explore Bergen as it usually
gets only 60 days of sunshine a year and 80 inches of rain. If someone
complains about the weather, the native Bergens say that there is
no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!
Bergen was Norway's capital in the 12th and 13th century. It became
rich due to its membership in the medieval trading club of merchants
called the Hanseatic League. German merchants arrived in 1370 and
controlled Bergen's trade until 1754. Norwegian cod fisherman in
the north shipped their dried cod to Bergen where the Hanseatic
merchants marketed it to Europe. The wharf area or Bryggen still
contains some of the old wooden Hanseatic warehouse buildings and
is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
took a short bus ride from Bergen to Troldhaugen (Troll Hill), the
home of Edvard Grieg. Grieg was Norway's greatest composer and we
toured the home and grounds where he lived. He spent 22 summers
from 1885-1907 in Troldhaugen, soaking up the beauty of the area
and composing many of his greatest works.
stop was a visit to one of the few remaining Stave Churches in Norway.
The Fantoft Stave Church is an exact replica of a 12th century wooden
church which burned down in 1992 (arson). Once built, stave churches
were slathered in black tar to protect them from the elements. The
Vikings ornamented the churches with war-like, dragon gargoyles
to keep away the evil spirits. Inside a stave church, the structure
is that of an overturned ship.
then took the funicular up to the top of Mt. Floyen, one of the
seven hills surrounding Bergen. We admired the view of the city
with its protected harbor before heading off on a nature walk.
To view more photos from Bergen, please go to Bergen
Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to
Locations Visited Photos Map