I’m Bergen for you

Norway 

So I spent a week with my good friend, and Norwegian native, LT (and his lovely lady, Adriana) in Bergen, Norway.  Bergen is a beautiful place.  The 20-22 hours of sunlight was pretty cool.  I am certainly glad I was not there in the winter when they get 20-22 hours of darkness.  Sleeping was tough with all the light, so I wore a sleeping mask to black it out.  We did some hiking and also went on a picturesque excursion called Norway in Nutshell.  Check out some photos below.  Mouse over the photos for a little description. 

Streets of Bergen

More streets of Bergen

The world-famous Norwegian “Farts Museum (and LT).”  Ok, not really.  LT’s head is blocking the “sjo.”  It means sea fairing museum.  Ain’t we clever?

Inside a pub at 10PM

Midnight, on our way to the bus station

Beautiful waterfall and two trolls

Photo taken on fjord excursion

pfft, American tourists

Another fjord-tastic view

~11PM at a party

1AM, still partying

The ride home at 3AM.  Pretty bright, eh?

After the funicular ride; overlooking Bergen.

Does the photo above look familiar

A view from our hike through Fløyen, just after the funicular ride.

Ever been to a Norwegian restaurant?  Well, there may be a reason.  ;)

The Norwegian diet largely comprises flat breads, cured meats, stockfish, and a lot of stuff in tubes (yeah, like toothpaste tubes). 

Some of the food is quite different from what we’re used to here in the U.S. of A.  Some of the things that I primarily sustained myself on were brunost, Knekkebrød, smoked salmon, eggs, cured mutton, and wheat bread.  Some of the more notable (and not necessarily in a good way) things I tried are:

  • Gamalost (putrid cheese; shudder)  To be fair, it is an acquired taste even among Norwegians.  Everyone I mentioned it to said they didn’t like it.  We only bought some to expand my horizons.  I would describe the flavor as a horse-stable with athlete’s foot. 
  • Caviar (in a tube) 
  • Reindeer meatballs (tasted a bit gamey; like venison, but good) (see below)
  • fiskekakes (a cousin of fiske pudding; a soft, spongey, fried, fish cake)
  • Rømmegrøt (sour cream porridge).  It was pretty good, actually.  Hearty; good for one of those cold, dark, winter nights. 

and although I saw whale meat for sale (see photo below), I passed on eating it.  Eating whale is common in Norway, but it’s a bit too hardcore for me.  Mouse over the photos below for little descriptions. 

Authentic Mex-Tex (ha ha)

By the way, 115 Norwegian Kroner = $19.42 USD.  What a great deal for tacos, eh?  We laughed and kept going. 

Typical sandwich in Norway

Smoked Salmon Sammich

dinner is served

Reindeer meatballs.  Not bad at all.

That’s right, fish pudding.

Fish cakes, not half bad.

Totally tubular fixin’s

That’s whale meat in the middle.  Uh, I’ll pass.

This is the cheese that you might want to avoid.  Pretty potent stuff.

Remember this name.  Fear it.

I had a great time, and seeing Bergen with a local is the way to go.  Not that you need one.  Pretty much everyone there speaks English.  I also spent a day in Oslo, and it was quite nice too.  One big problem though is that everything is VERY expensive.  A cold beer (0.6 l)  costs $12-15 dollars!  The Norwegian beer Hansa was much better than the Danish swill Tuborg.  I bought a half-liter bottle of Diet Coke (or Coke Light as it’s called elsewhere) for about $3.  It doesn’t help that the dollar is so weak either. 

So that’s the trip (abridged).  I owe Lars and his family a million thanks for their kindness and hospitality.  They gave us the royal treatment.  I had a great trip and made memories to last a lifetime.  I even acquired a fondness for Bergen’s local soccer club as a result of listening to all the soccer songs in the car.  Go BRANN!

5 Responses to “I’m Bergen for you”

  1. Albany Jane says:

    Thanks for the pictures – Norway looks so amazing!

    I never would have slept with the sun up all day – I’d keep finding something to do (and then crashing at some point), lol.

  2. Lydia says:

    I’m glad you’re back! I really do like you closer to home. We seem to have experienced the same daylight phenomenon. Just got back from northern Canada. How weird to go to bed when it is not dark. The scenery in Norway looks beautiful. Jasper National Park in Alberta was also very breathtaking. Keep up the good work with your blog.

  3. renee says:

    great photos! i learned so much. that whale meat looks like beets. yikes. no cooking with herbs? wild.

  4. alex|dimitri says:

    Thanks for the comments, y’all.

    AlbanyJane,
    After a while, with no sleep, you turn into a zombie. So unless eating brains is your cup of tea, you would have to sleep.

    Lydia,
    ty ty. You are too kind.

    renee,
    Beets, eh? More like giant mushy beets, but I can see it. I didn’t see too much in the way of herbs. I went into a couple of grocery stores, and they had fairly small produce sections. Go figure.

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