Exploring: Bergen & the Fjords
Last March we decided to take a trip to Bergen. It had always been a city we wanted to visit, but as soon as we found out that you can - in a day - visit some of the most beautiful Fjords in the world via what feels like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, we just had to book our flights.
HOTEL - SCANDIC ØRNEN
It wasn't that easy to find a great hotel in Bergen on a tight budget, but in the end we decided to go with something we knew we give us comfort and great location - The Scandic Ørnen. It's not quite your usual Scandi boutique hotel, but our airport coach stopped right outside making it really easy and accessible, the rooms are really cosy and the breakfast buffet was incredible.
CLIMBING MOUNT FLØYEN
Before coming to Bergen, we did our research, got all the usual advise, and were told to not miss the funicular that takes you to the top of Mount Fløyen. Unfortunately for us, the funicular was out of order due to winter refurbishments. This meant we had to make a choice - walk it up or not experience the breathtaking views of the City from the top.
We chose the former. Our walk up took around 1 hour and half and the higher up we got, the colder and icier it became. The weather was typical to Bergen - overcast and drizzly. Despite the elements, we made our way to the top, stopping off at different stages to catch our breath and take it in vistas. Although we had just missed the snowfall, from up there we could see all the white rooftops in the city below. It was a picture of tranquility.
Every time we visit a new Scandinavian city we like to try out the local cinnamon rolls; Or Kanelboller as they are called in Norway. We stopped off in the popular little cafe Godt Brød at the bottom of the funicular (which wasn't working sadly) for a much needed cup of hot coffee after a long and chilly walk around the town.
NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL
Norway in a nutshell was definitely the highlight of our trip. We took our first train around 7am from Bergen train station to Myrdal. In just under 1 hour, we leave raining Bergen to change trains in a very snowy Myrdal. The next part of the trip was one of the most exciting - The Flåm Railway. After slipping several times in the snow going between the two trains, we embarked on our old, wooden, Murder on the Orient express style train. Red velvet seats, wide open carriages... this train was retro and fun. We rode the whole journey between Myrdal and Flåm with the window down, taking in the breathtaking views of Aurland. Mountain after mountain, all covered in snow. This train journey is completely unrivalled due to how high the line is. It's highest elevation point is 822m, which is pretty impressive.
From Flåm, we embarked on the Fjord Safari, taking us on a 2 hour speed boat journey across one of the most beautiful Fjords in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage - The Nærøfjord. After putting on many layers of thermals and overalls provided by the tour operators, we jumped on to our small speed boat to start the journey. Travelling at a comfortable speeds, we got to take in the views. Tall Fjords loom on either side of you, reflecting in the crystal clear icy water that surrounds you. We go past 90 person town Undredal on route - supposedly inspired the film Frozen..and a town that has more sheep then it has humans. We tried our first Norwegian caramel cheese there... not sure I would buy it all the time, but it was definitely an experience!