Our overnight is uneventful, our cabin a snug cocoon from the chilly Norwegian Sea air as we chug and amble our way towards Bergen.
We have a quiet morning; breakfast is our standard Scandinavian buffet of cereal, porridge, bread, coffee and orange juice – we still haven’t become accustomed to the cheese and cold cuts that seem to be the main event for the Scandinavians. We bundle up and spend an hour walking the ship, taking photos and enjoying the occasional, wayward sun – no rain today. Then we settle into the Panorama Room (they kick everyone out of their cabin at noon), and read till we dock mid-afternoon. We have the occasional promenade on deck, especially when the sun chooses to show its face – and it does for some extended periods of time.
An Afternoon Exploring Bergen
We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Bergen, which is another very appealing city. It is about 270,000 people, but the downtown feels like it belongs to a very sophisticated city, full of beautiful squares with fountains and sculptures – possibly because this is the biggest tourist town in Norway. Bergen was one of the most important cities in the Hanseatic League, because of its beautiful harbour. Today it is this harbour that draws the ships here, and the town is full – we hear more English on the streets than we have heard since we left Toronto four weeks ago today. We walk over to Bryggen, the oldest part of town, lining one side of the harbour. Despite its appearance – we wonder how the walls stay up, they are so badly tilted – it is a very posh little area: We discover that behind the façade of falling-down-ness, are legal and accounting firms. Then we find a street being rehabilitated and realize that these buildings have been very carefully renovated, to preserve the topsy-turvy exterior in front of new, fully-modernized interiors.