With all the positive response from my last post about Bodø just north of the Arctic Circle, I’ll gladly take you with to a charming city on Norway’s west coast. While Bodø is at the latitude of 67° north, Bergen is at 60° – same as mid Hudson Bay in Canada – (Oslo: 59° – same as Stockholm). Let’s put it on the map and give a short introduction:

Nordic Countries Bergen was founded in 1070 by King Olav Kyrre. The town was favourably situated in relation to shipping traffic and was for a long time the country’s most important commercial, shipping and industrial town. Moreover, Bergen became a commercial and shipping town of European significance and for a while, during the Middle Ages, Bergen was also the largest of all the towns in the Nordic countries. Trading from the north with import of grain and export of fish laid the foundation for growth during the first centuries.
From the fourteenth century and onwards for several centuries, the Hanseatic merchants dominated trade. The Hanseatic merchants established one of their four most important trading stations in Bergen, the German Office on the Wharf. In the period from the last half of the nineteenth century until the First World War, there was strong growth in trade and industry resulting in an increase in population; from 17,000 inhabitants in 1855 to 103,500 inhabitants in 1920. Today its Norway’s second largest with 250 000.

Like to Bodø, when approaching Bergen by plane, I had my Nokia mobile phone ready, so let’s take a look at the different, but still beautiful landscape (you will have a much better view if you click the pics to enlarge!):

Bergen #1
They wouldn’t let me open the window, so bear with the quality :lol:

There are fjords and islands like around Bodø, but with a higher landscape and more vegetation as you can see in more detail here:
Bergen #2 Bergen #3

After the meeting I did a little sight seeing. You can reach most parts downtown walking around for an hour or so you know. Let me give me some of the highlights of what Bergen is famous for:

The Fish Market; Located close by the harbour front, this popular market features much more than just fish with fruit, vegetables, flowers, knitwear, handicrafts, artwork and souvenirs all finding a place here. Whether shopping or just browsing, the market is a great spectacle. Lets take a look:

Bergen #4

As you may see, they speak for example English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and accept all kinds of monies as well as credit and debit cards. As a tourist, you can even by tax free. Some samples:
Bergen #5 Bergen #6
Left: All kinds of fresh and preserved salmon. Right: How about some caviare?

Another very popular thing is to buy freshly boiled crabs, lobster or shrimps and eat by the waterfront.

Bergen #7

But Bergen is famous for more – The composer: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907):
Bergen #11
He is Norway’s greatest composer. His style was based on the German romantic tradition of music but bit by bit national awareness developed, coupled with a growing need to create a typical Norwegian style of music. Grieg’s dramatic talents were put to a new test when Henrik Ibsen asked him to write the incidental music to “Peer Gynt”. My favourite is The Hall of the Mountain King.

Another composer and violinist with a very different, but still Norwegian style is Ole Bull (1810-1880):
Bergen #10
He was a violin soloist of international repute. Born in Bergen, he travelled all over Europe and North America to give concerts. He sought to make the folk music and culture of Norway more widely known. As a violin virtuoso, he was widely acclaimed for his brilliant improvisations, and for the rich tone of his play.

A lot more could be told about Bergen, but let me end in a personal style with a curiosity:
Bergen #12
They even have a district called Paradise for those who love shopping and want some heavenly good stuff from a small colonial shop ;-)

So now you know Bergen a bit better. I would say a must see if you go to Norway – what do you think?


  1. You know…it’s all a mist-see on my list. The views and places are just so gorgeous in Norway!

    Well, your always welcome over Jessica – I’ll gladly guide you around!

  2. I would love to visit Norway, but you already know that. I would also love to overdose on all the seafood. Okay we can add some great bread and a nice bottle or two of wine to the seafood. One of these days. I’ll let you know if hubby and I venture in your direction. Have a great day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

    Yea, lets get together in Norway with a seafood and wine feast!
    Big hugs back to you from both of us :)

  3. It’s really worth the long flight. Thanks for being my tour guide with all these nice photographs and your story telling. I enjoyed it very much.

    Your welcome – glad you liked both the pics and the story.

  4. Oh it’s lovely! I just asked Hubby if he has been there and he said yes! Now I am jealous! Maybe someday I will go too!

    So then its about time your Hubby take you with to Norway then – lets hope in 2010 the latest :)

  5. Bergen is just great!

    I do agree, besides: your the expert!

  6. My dear friend,
    I can in fact believe it my friend, you did post from the Bergen Fish Market, but at the same day and unplanned us between. Hooo ho.
    Bergen is Bergen – it’s not Norway, that’s what’s the locals says. Like in France:
    Paris n’est pas la France (Paris is not France).

    Excellent coverage from Bergen.

    ps. my last post is about Norwegian food and facts.

    btw – see you around – –

    What a coincidence :-)
    Well, I do agree: Bergen is very special.
    Se you soon – have a great end to your week – –

  7. Great post about another Norse city, Renny. The markets and seafood vendors on the wharfs were very interesting. I like the picture of the girl dodging the seagull, LOL! ;-)

    I like Grieg as well, but I’m unfamiliar with Ole Bull.

    Have a great Friday and weekend. Fall is just around the corner! :-)
    Love and hugs to you and Diane!

    Glad you liked it Diane and I know you love seafood too – as well as Grieg;-)
    Wish you the same and a great start to a new and wonderful season :-)
    Bunches of hugs back to you!

  8. What a beautiful place to have your meeting at. I love going to markets too – I wish I have seen Norway before I left Europe.

    Bergen i ductch is mountains. It’s actually my first time here and I must say I Love your site Renny! Keep it up.

    Cheers from Singapore!

    Thanks for the compliment – great to have visitors from Singapore. I was there more than 10 years ago you know.
    You just have to come back to Norway then!

  9. Ahhhh, I lived in Bergen for 2 years. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place. A town that holds a very special place in my heart.

    I know and also that you like geitost :-) Welcome back!

  10. I love the third picture where the sailboats look like little white dots!! And the fish market looks incredible. Although I remember when we were in Bergen we caught our own dinner!!!

    Actually that was just before landing, so they where quite big :lol:
    I do remember our vacation week in Bergen too – own catch is the best you know!!

  11. Thanks for the tour :)

    Your welcome Teena

  12. Its always great to come here and read you stories about Norway. Open the window in a plane???? AHhahaha….I dont think that is advisable =)

    Thanks – welcome back any time!
    Well, everything for sharing on my blog you know AHhahaha

  13. bergen is definitely a must-see! thanks for touring us virtually :) i hope i can go visit norway soon! =)

    I knew we could agree on that :) welcome any time =)

  14. I think those aerial photos are so beautiful! IT does look like a great place for sure! And a great post.

    It was exciting to take those pics too – even if I could not open the window :-) Thanks for the compliment.

  15. oh i do so enjoy the hall of the mountain king too. such exciting music! thanks for the tour of bergen and a bit of its history and famous sons.

    I know we share the affection for the Norwegian Trolls :-) I just love to share you know.

  16. i love the aerial shot, renny! very nice! and wow, greig! i love him!!!

    I’m glad you liked it and happy to see another Grieg lover!!!

  17. A very nice post! I wish I knew you were here, we could grab a cup of coffee! :)

    Thanks Øyvind, great to hear that from a local you know! I’ll go for a cup of coffee or a beer next time :)

  18. Thanks for the tour of this lovely city – it was one of the highlights of our trip last summer. We took the funicular up to the nature preserve at the top of the city and the views were stunning. Glad you had a nice visit there :)

    Your welcome Hexe and I’m glad you had such a great experience in Bergen too – the view is just breath taking from up there!

  19. I love to explore the local markets whenever I go travelling. There’s so much to see and I get to see what the locals eat daily. It’s so cool to see seafood easily available in Norway! It would cost a lot to have lobster in Singapore.

    Me too – so many strange things to fine and its local you know.
    We have a long coast line you know and seafood is very much used – lobster are quite expensive in Norway too. You are lucky if you get them for less than 30$ per kilo.

  20. I made a very quick trip to Bergen once, in 1980, and though “I really must come back here.” Unfortunately, I haven’t.

    Glad I could bring up some of your memories then. It’s never to late to come back you know!

  21. So the second town after Oslo must be visited!!! Would want to be at the fish market to taste all! Tomorrow I will take a moment to hear the two compositors on internet. Thanks for the visit, Renny! It was a great, great moment in Bergen! Could I taste a glass of rhum at the Paradis Kolonial?

    I agree and I know you love seafood too!
    Happy listen: Grieg and Bull is just great.
    Of course, you can have everything you want in Paradis :)

  22. they didn’t allow you to open the windows but they allowed the phone?? ;p

    tourists would get tax-free when they buy fish? okay.. this is what we’ll do when i visit norway. i’ll buy the fish (so it’ll be tax-free) then you cook it, okay? hehe ;p

    Don’t worry, the phone is on disconnect mode!
    What a brilliant idea – come right over and I’ll cook the dinner for you hehe ;P

  23. I have given you a little gift of love over on my blog http://www.dackelprincess.com

    Awww, what an honour Maribeth – I’ve collected it on my Awards page of course!

  24. such lovely views of the islands…would’ve loved to shop in those markets with exotic stuff on sale

    Yea, and quite different from the landscape in Philippines… and I’m sure a lot of exotic stuff for you

  25. Very interesting and it also seems to be a very nice place. I so much would like to visit the northern countries, but it is always the weather which holds me back ! but I am sure one year I will make it ! My dream is a cruise !
    BTW I have a new post on my Countries & Cities blog, about the archeological site under the royal palace in Brussels, if you are interested.

    Your welcome to visit any time and don’t mind the weather, instead remember my saying: ‘There is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes‘.

  26. I remember well playing some Grieg while in my high school band (I played clarinet). This post makes me crave seafood! What an awesome trip this must’ve been, Renny! I love your photos out of the window, by the way!

  27. Bergen was lovely even in winter, when I was there. I would have loved to have stayed longer. I took a train from Oslo and then a boat through the fjords (and also a very steep train), and it was all breathtaking. Would love to go back one day!

  28. wowwww!!really amazing view!!
    i miss that kind of market,we have nothing like that here,but some can be found near the port(only).and yes!!sea food!!i luv grilled big shrimps!!

    btw,i was smiling with “blog face lift”,hahaha!
    and hey,my workshop was just in tokyo and yours in Milan?lol..we bumped on the street,right?u didnt recognize me,Renny?hahaha!

    have a great week ahead of you!


  29. You remind me those days in Sydney.
    I love the fish market of Sydney so much. Just like the scenes in your photos!
    It’s so great to enjoy sea food together with birds!

  30. You’d make a great tourist guide, Renny. Actually, you ARE a great tourist guide. Thank you! :)

  31. Renny, I am never disappointed when I stop here. You have the one of the most unique and visually stunning blogs in town.
    Pictures from the plane are outstanding!!

  32. Someday I would love to travel to this part of the world… Beautiful pictures!

  33. I would love browsing among the stalls and eating sea food at the waterfront , with great company , of course!

  34. You always have a great way to present your post. Very thorough and clear. Learn a fair bit about your country :)

  35. Hey Renny! I am back! Well, I think I am back for a bit :-)

    I just signed up for wordpress so I might need a bit help on it… if that’s ok? I will bug you??

  36. I love, love, love The Hall of the Mountain King, and so bad that I didn’t know Grieg was from Bergen!

    It looks as though the birds like people eating on the waterfront too. A lovely post as usual. So much interest.

  37. Once again I’m loving the map and photos. Those aerial images just give one a wonderful perspective … and the islands are so beautiful!

    I was surprised to see that the outdoor vendors sporting credit card signs! It’s hard for me to image credit card transactions in that type of environment, but obviously the state of technology today can make it happen!

    Glad you liked it Brenda!
    Yea, with modern technology everything is possible you know.

  38. You couldn’t open the window?? Renny, next time, don’t ask: demand! :lol:

    I’m amazed they can speak that many languages. Even in tourist places in France, it usually stops at English and a bit of Spanish/ Italian in southern France.

  39. Well, I’d gladly visit the whole Norway, since I’m very convinced that it all is very beautiful – unfortunately either the time or my wallet allows it ;-)

    tihis was a great presentation and photos, as usual.

    …though I wonder: isn’t Bergen known for a lot of rain too…? *giggles*

  40. Hi there, I used to visit Bergen in the 1970(s) have you any idea what happened to the Hotel Yarl in Bergen?

  41. Great post, truly!

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