Scandinavia08 – Day 10: Rainy Bergen

Highlight: The ride on the funicular (Fløibanen) to the top of Mt. Fløyen.
Lowlight: Bryggen, the Hanseatic quarter was picturesque, but boring.
Fun Fact: Bergen is nicknamed The City of Rain – it averages 2250 mm of annual precipitation. By comparison Vancouver gets about 1200 mm of annual precipitation.
Money spent: 574 NOK ($115 CAD)
Ben Frustration Index(BFI): 1 – He gets upset when he sees grittier neighbourhoods, as if everything needs to be gentrified.

Today was a relaxing, no schedule, sleep-in, and then casually explore Bergen day. It was raining, as it is most days in this part of the world (yesterday being a rare exception), but that didn’t stop us from walking around town. There’s a local saying here, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

We started the day at the fish market, an outdoor market on the wharf that sells seafood and tourist knick knacks. I noticed some girls in the hostel had bought fish and live crabs from the market and trying to cook them. There was lots of screaming involved whenever the crabs tried to climb out of the pot, but I think they managed in the end. Cooking your own seafood dinner is a reasonably affordable way to sample the local cuisine, as a seafood dinner in a restaurant here costs between $50-$100.

We also explored Bryggen, the old Hanseatic Quarter, with its cool looking buildings and expensive stores. We took the funicular to the top of My. Floyen, where we enjoyed the views of the Bergen clouded in mist and hiked around a bit. Wandering around Bergen is really pleasant, even in the rain. There is a big pond in the middle and some wide, pedestrian-only streets that are relaxing to walk along. In the last afternoon, the sun came out and it great to spend some time in the parks. Although, we wandered through a park called Nygardsparken, next to the Bergen University, where every person we passed tried to sell us drugs. That was interesting. (According to wikipedia, it’s a great place to buy heroine and marijuana – too bad the tour guide didn’t mention that ahead of time). The drug deals didn’t bother me, but Ben seemed quite upset. For someone who lives in New York, I thought he’d be used to the grittier part of the urban fabric, but maybe not in gentrified Manhattan.

For dinner, we went to Cafe Paris and Ben ordered the Reindeer Stew with Lingonberries. I didn’t try any, but she said it was good. After dinner, we went to a local pub to watch Spain embarrass Russia 3-0 in the EuroCup semifinal.

Fish Market  Fishmongers  Bryggen  Funicular Station  Wild Ride  Funicular  Fløibanen  Friendly Troll  Bergen in the Mist  Rainbow Houses  Wet Boy  Whale Bones  Harpist  Reindeer Stew

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