The tranquility of the Fjords.
Written by Chloe Hambidge
A Norwegian Fantasy
In September 2022, Karen, our Reservations Manager and I got the pleasure of strolling the cobbled embellished streets of the charming Norway. The wave of fresh metropolitan marvel that hit us whilst wandering this delight is something we soaked in happily with this green gem being green in more ways in one. Stand in awe as the mountains creep up on you, encapsulating you in what feels like a festive snow globe of picturesque shop fronts adorned with Viking souvenirs and crystal adorned jewellery.Bergan may be the second largest city in Norway, but it is in a whole league of its own.
This wonderful city appears like its dropped out the sky and trickled down the hilltops, leaving a loveable maze of attractions and quirky coffee shops. The colourful array of wooden houses radiate warmth as they invitingly open up the streets to hours of exploring, all with the backdrop of the spectacular waterfront that hugs the city. Enlighten yourself on the mountain of reasons why Bergan is an UNESCO World Heritage Site whilst travelling to the top of your very own mountain up Mount Floyen. You can even set sail through the gateway into the fantastical fjords.
Open a whole new world when exploring Northern Europe and Scandinavian savviness.An experience that isn’t set to leave us in a hurry was the adrenaline pumping Fløibanen Funicular. Sit patiently as Bergan unfolds before your eyes as you creep slowly up the side of Mount Floyen. This innovative and unique experience travels to heights of 2,700 feet and the vistas stretch as far as the eye can see. Inhale crisp mountaintop air as you revel in evergreen forest snaking behind you whilst the smell of fresh pine creeps up your nose. Wander in your own private tranquility through the dark yet magical woods, or sit peacefully on the steps facing out at the view of Bergans many accolades. Bring your very own picnic to feast on, but if you forget worry not, as you can indulge in a steaming cup of coffee and a mouthwatering
Norwegian pastry in the cosy café tucked away on top. You may even get a surprise visit from the mountain goats dominating the mountainside, their friendly faces sure to add to the memories growing on this delightful trip.You can transport to a whole new realm, towering peaks and cascading waterfalls trickling around you, this alien landscape will truly leave you in awe. Take part in a Fjord cruise and escape reality for 3 hours as you sail to the encapsulating Osterfjord toward Modalen, the country’s smallest municipality with around 380 inhabitants as well as voyaging through the Mostraumen straits. We were blown away by the true intensity of these natural vistas as it felt like sail through a time lapse of these cliff faces slowly erupting before you’re eyes, stand high and mighty top deck with the wind in your hair and waters flying below you. Get up close as personal with these waterfalls as your agile boat will kiss the cliff face allowing you to reach forward and touch to the centuries old water as it trickles into the making of the fjords.
Take in quaint villages with homes decorating every nook and cranny of the water’s edge, with colourful wooden huts transformed into the comfort of homes glimmering along the illuminous green banks. This fresh and rejuvenating journey will make you feel part of Scandinavia’s best kept secret as you watch these spectacles unfold, disappear into the true force of the fjords and their rocky exteriors as they grow the further you sail. The eerie silence is something packed with peace and meaning as these untouched marvels stand with pride and are sure to leave a significant mark in your memory as a life changing experience. It’s definitely left a stamp on us.
Something which is almost impossible to miss is the aromas of the local seafood. The Seafood Market can be considered one of the main attractions lining Bergan’s streets. We hope you’re hungry as you wander through bright orange crab legs stretching along ice and piles of oysters lying before you. Treat yourself to any underwater snack imaginable, Karen can confirm these fresh sea catches are worth a visit as she indulged in a prawn and crab combo baguette along the seafront. We were blown away by these impressive displays as we wandered booth to booth and chatted with passionate staff excited to do and share what they love. Their contentment is catching as Norway holds an air of joy, all emphasized with the picturesque waterfront. This is a gem for a quick snack or delicious lunch with a selection of mussels, cod, salmon and more.Despite Norway being a hive of medieval history, if you want to stay up to date with the times visit Kobe.
Kobe is a consortium of small galleries which holds the crown for the largest collection of modern art and design in Scandinavia. This home of contemporary art is bursting at the seams with objects ranging from paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, musical instruments , furniture, works on paper and works of fine art and design. This hive of activity is also home to extensive presentations of works from Edvard Munch to Nikolai Astrup. The Kobe consists of 7 museums, each as impressive as the next as you allow yourself to truly succumb to modern art and the lasting impression it leaves on us as a society as well as you as a person.Stroll the Bryggen Hanseatic
Wharf as its glowing shop front will be the first thing to greet you. Honour the towns legacy dating back the 12th century where it was established as a centre of trade with the wooden structure of its building paying homage to its renowned patterns and methods. These traditional building have been preserved to the best of the cities ability and this will be recognized as you walk the back streets and are greeted by wooden beams and deer heads, transporting you to what feels like your very own Winter Wonderland. Truly revel in Norwegian culture as you pop in and out of souvenir shops and crystal adorned stores, all equipped with trinkets to paint the medieval past of Bergan and its journey to becoming one of Europe’s largest city.
Travelling to Norway created a feeling of gratitude, as you see a whole new side of our world and what it has to offer. As someone accustomed to London’s hustle and bustle, Bergan’s attractive streets hold an olde worlde vibe with plenty of spectacles to wonder at. Despite these many attractions, sometimes it’s the in-between moments which hold the most charm. One particular afternoon we sat by a gorgeous lake surrounded by a mirage of colourful flowers and an extravagant water fountain dancing in the middle. The sun was shining and the ducks were singing, all this beauty truly emphasizing the mountain adorned back drop and vivid green trees blanketing these hills. It’s a city which holds a completely different air and an atmosphere of its own, it’s fresh air promising you a refreshing and rejuvenating trip leaving you entuned with natures many rewards.