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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:10 PM   #1
El_Greco
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Bergen - Norways Second City

Its eminent power and wealth make Bergen the most famed city of the realm. Its ornament is a royal castle, its glory the relics of holy virgins.

12th century traveller

The same traveller (actually one of Richard the Lionhearts knights) also remarks about the multicultural nature of the city as well as the drunkeness of its inhabitants. While the multicultural vibe is still present, although these days in the shape of tourists rather than merchants, getting drunk is an expensive thing to do and as such is best avoided.

The city boasts a beautiful natural setting - surrouned by water, seven mountains and extensive woodlands - offering a quick escape to the nature for those tired of the city. Indeed Bergen is the gateway to the world famous fjords and is always full of massive cruise ships. But it is also the centre for Norways oil and gas industry, with thousands commuting to the rigs out at sea. Despite being Norways second city it only has the population of 270,000, which adds to the citys relaxed nature.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen,_Norway

Now to the photos. Some of you asked me to spread the photos over multiple posts rather posting them in one go, so that is what Im going to do.

1. What is Bergen famous for? Well the Bryggen of course! It is the oldest part of the city - the footprint of the buildings dating back to 14th century and maybe earlier. However because of the frequent fires in the past most of the buildings seen today date from 18th century.



2.



3. The view in the other direction.



4. On the rainy days it all looks somewhat different, but still impressive.



5. The 18th century Nykirken (The New Church), with some of the cruise ships just about visible in the background.



6.



7. Love these houses, if you look close you can actually see right through them to the other side of the harbour.



8. Despite the topography people living in these neighbourhoods still have gardens and others balconies too. Many of these offer fantastic views over the city.



9. I loved these neighbourhoods clinging to the hillsides. Very pretty and very cosy.



10.



There will be more!

Last edited by El_Greco; August 22nd, 2013 at 04:36 PM.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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Very nice pictures! Bergen must be one of the most small feeling cities. I agree 250.000 inhabitants isn't much, but every corner you turn you just have the feeling walking around in of 5000 people.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Very nice pictures! Bergen must be one of the most small feeling cities. I agree 250.000 inhabitants isn't much, but every corner you turn you just have the feeling walking around in of 5000 people.
From my Norwegian perspective I see it as one of two cities, along with Oslo, that feels like proper cities in Norway in terms of built up environment and bustlingness.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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Some more.

11. The streets are steep and narrow.



12. Loads of Norwegian flags around too.



13. The views from the backwindows and gardens here must be fantastic. Note the ship



14. These areas are still pretty even when its raining and it rains quite often in Bergen. Back in 2007 the city saw 85 rainy days in a row!



15.



16. Love the colours!



17.



18. But when its sunny everyone comes out into the parks and other green spaces of the city. However these two seemingly are more interested in updating their FB rather than actually talking to each other.



19. Smastrangaten. A square full of stalls selling touristy stuff. That big red building is apparently Creole restaurant, I wonder how good it is.



20. Sami flag on one of the stalls.

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Old August 21st, 2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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14. These areas are still pretty even when its raining and it rains quite often in Bergen. Back in 2007 the city saw 85 rainy days in a row!
Bergen is known as the most rainy city in Norway.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 10:09 PM   #6
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Lovely photos, Bergen is a real gem. Just a shame it rains so much.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galro View Post
From my Norwegian perspective I see it as one of two cities, along with Oslo, that feels like proper cities in Norway in terms of built up environment and bustlingness.
From my Belgian perspective I have the feeling this is not the case . Our cities of less than 100.000 inhabitants are way more urban than Bergen and much more raw to the eye. Blocks of buidings are bigger and higher, it's more like a smack in the face while nordic cities tend to be mild for the eye.

I also guess it is because Norwegian cities use a lot of wood in their old buildings while everything here is made of stone or bricks.

Modernism also surely didn't do much justice in Belgian cities.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 11:35 PM   #8
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I'm in love!
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 02:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
From my Belgian perspective I have the feeling this is not the case . Our cities of less than 100.000 inhabitants are way more urban than Bergen and much more raw to the eye. Blocks of buidings are bigger and higher, it's more like a smack in the face while nordic cities tend to be mild for the eye.

I also guess it is because Norwegian cities use a lot of wood in their old buildings while everything here is made of stone or bricks.

Modernism also surely didn't do much justice in Belgian cities.
I'm not sure what you mean. Which Norwegian cities compares to Bergen and Oslo in terms of big city feeling? Stavanger, which is pretty close to Bergen in terms of population, looks like and feels like a town with a tenth of the population in comparison. Stavanger - Bergen.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 04:55 AM   #10
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Very beautiful!
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Very nice pictures! Bergen must be one of the most small feeling cities. I agree 250.000 inhabitants isn't much, but every corner you turn you just have the feeling walking around in of 5000 people.
It does feel small but not that small. The streets and parks were packed with people during my stay. Maybe it was because the sun was out or maybe not as even when it was raining it was still busy. I guess when it rains that much you can't be too picky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galro View Post

Bergen is known as the most rainy city in Norway.
Yeah I read about it, thankfully the weather was nice during my stay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bristol Mike View Post
Lovely photos, Bergen is a real gem. Just a shame it rains so much.
Sometimes that's no bad thing.

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Quote:
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Very beautiful!
It sure is.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 02:52 PM   #12
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Great pictures, lovely city! I'm planning a trip to Norway next year. Bergen of course is on top of the list, together with Oslo, trains, boats and fjords.
Keep them coming mate, make my day!
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 02:55 PM   #13
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Thanks, man. Yeah Id like to return to Norway (and Bergen since theres still loads to see) again, dropping in at Alesund and then going up to the Lofotens.

Some more -

21. Dolls in Sami national costume.



22. A closer look at Bryggen.



23.



24. This is what the streets running between these buildings look like. Pretty narrow.



25.

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Old August 22nd, 2013, 03:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
Thanks, man. Yeah Id like to return to Norway (and Bergen since theres still loads to see) again, dropping in at Alesund and then going up to the Lofotens.
Did you only visit Bergen this time? You may want to look into Trondheim too on your way to Lofoten. It features Norways most impressive church along with a few dozen nice Art Nouveau buildings.

Did you take any pictures of the new tram line and some the projects being constructed while you was in Bergen?
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 05:34 PM   #15
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A few more from around Bryggen and then we shall be climbing Floyen for some views of the city!

26. In 1955 large parts of Bryggen burnt down again, but this gave archaeologists an opportunity to have a good dig around and what they found in their 13 years spent on the site was called as "the most important runic find" - over 600 runic inscriptions on wood. Most of them names or phrases but some more interesting - like the top secret 12th century message which was supposed to be destroyed but wasnt - "I would ask you this, that you leave your party. Cut a letter in runes to Ólafr Hettusveinn's sister. She is in the convent in Bergen. Ask her and your kin for advice when you want to come to terms. You, surely, are less stubborn than the Earl."



27. A random street near by.

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Old August 22nd, 2013, 06:28 PM   #16
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Damn, Norway! I could easily fall in love with this blonde girl riding her bike on this beautiful scenario.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 06:59 PM   #17
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So beautiful! I love how the forest next to the city looks so lush
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 07:06 PM   #18
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Some words to describe this city: Spectacular, colourful (despite the somtimes grey weather), cosy, picturesque, hilly

Except for the high cost of living (and the expensive alcohol ), it must be wonderful to live in this city. You can enjoy all natural elements like water, air (clean air, the fog), earth (the rocks, the slopes) and fire (uhm... maybe the warm tones of the buildings). You have both the delights of living in an important city and living in a great natural setting and near a quiet and wild natural environment. It's a very complete experience.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 07:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wapper View Post
Some words to describe this city: Spectacular, colourful (despite the somtimes grey weather), cosy, picturesque, hilly

Except for the high cost of living (and the expensive alcohol ), it must be wonderful to live in this city. You can enjoy all natural elements like water, air (clean air, the fog), earth (the rocks, the slopes) and fire (uhm... maybe the warm tones of the buildings). You have both the delights of living in an important city and living in a great natural setting and near a quiet and wild natural environment. It's a very complete experience.
The air is not actually particularly clean as I mentioned in another tread on this forum. The same mountains which cases all the rainfall, also locks in pollution over the city during colder periods and makes the air hard to breathe in. It is usually not recommended for people with bad health, people with breathing problems or small children to be outside during these periods. Despite its modest size, it is said to be comparable to the largest European metropoles in terms of air quality (at least during the winter). One of the reasons Bergen have invested into the recently built tram lines is exactly because they want people to stop using cars and increase the air quality.

Air quality in Norwegian cities:
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 07:18 PM   #20
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A very nice city.
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