Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

It was well after 1:00 am when I went to sleep. I woke up this morning still feeling excited about last night. What a night.

After my shower and getting dressed i heard a knock on my door.  I thought it was Ellen or Marty waking me for breakfast.  But it was one of the women from the information desk.   She asked me if I was okay.  Apparently when I took my shower this morning, I created enough steam to set off an alarm on the deck so she came to check on me. I asked her why they didn’t just call on the phone.  She said that they are not allowed to do that so she had to walk down to my cabin.  What was funny was that it took them so long to get to my cabin.  I had already sorted out my clothes for the day and was completely dressed before she got there.

I went to get Marty and Ellen for breakfast and they were just getting up.  We didn’t get to breakfast until 9:00 and it was the most crowded breakfast so far.  It may be our last late breakfast.

at 10:00 we went to John’s astronomy talk.  Today’s topic was about observing and imaging the Northern Lights.  Even though I don’t have the proper equipment to take photographs of the Auroras, it was very informative.  I actually realized that I am glad I don’t have to deal with all of the issues with setting up tripods, settings on my camera, or any technical difficulties.  Last night I was just able to stare at the sky and enjoy the experience.  I will rely on other’s photos and John will sell us a flash drive with his at the end of the trip.

For the rest of the morning and early afternoon we just hung out on the ship, had lunch, and dressed to go to the Tromsø Planetarium when the ship docked at 2:15. Only the people on the astronomy part of the trip went on this excursion.

We were given a lecture on the constellations including the ones the Sami people name.  Then we were shown a movie created by an expert on Auroras, Ole Solomonsen.  I loved watching it.  I asked the people at the desk if there is a website about him.  It will be fun to look at the photos on his site.

After the presentation we spent some time looking around the planetarium.  It was sort of like being at OMSI.  The gift shop had great children’s toys.

Liv asked the bus driver to take us around Tromsø through tunnels.  There are actually roundabouts inside the tunnels.  I think Tromsø was the first city to build tunnels with roundabouts.

Ellen, Marty, and I took a short walk in Tromsø before getting back on the ship.  We went to the Tromsø Cathedral.  It is probably the northernmost Protestant cathedral in the world. With over 600 seats, it is one of Norway’s biggest wooden churches. It originally held about 984 seats, but many benches and seats have been removed over the years to make room for tables in the back of the church.

On the way back to the Finnmarken we passed a wonderful store with very nice art work.

Another great dinner tonight.

  • Baked Celery Soup: Frans Joseph sausage from Mydland Tromsø
  •  Arctic Char  from Sigerfjord: baked beets and green cabbage, dill potatoes, Hollandaise
  • Chocolate Terrine: Blueberry compote and lemon thyme meringue

From our window at dinner we could see the Arctic Cathedral where we will be going to hear a midnight concert in a 3 more days on the way south..

I realized that I am taking fewer photos than I usually take on trips.  The sights are wonderful, but taking photos (line the above one) through the windows of the ship is not very satisfy8ing and it is cold outside.  So we are just enjoying what we see and having a wonderful time.


Arctic Circle Crossing Celebration, Bodø Walk, Aurora Borealis, Trollfjord9/29

We crossed the Arctic Circle this morning before I left the cabin.  Even through Eric gave me instructions about how to guess the crossing to the second, I didn’t enter the contest.  I just spaced it out.  A bit later in the morning we had an Arctic Circle crossing celebration on one of the outside decks. We were waiting for King Neptune to arrive.  This was a very cold morning.  Jane, Sue, and Ellen are bundled up.

When he arrived …

The ship manager announced the name of the winner of the contest.

The winner was given a flag which was special.  But when they baptized her by pouring ice down on her back, I knew I wouldn’t have wanted to win that contest.  There were many people who then chose to be baptized with a bit of ice. then they poured actual ice water over the newest crew members.

We were given the opportunity to purchase a postcard and receive an Arctic Circle crossing stamp.  After I did that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it so I photographed it.

We also found certificates of the crossing hanging by our cabin.

The funny part is that John (our astronomy expert  told us that the time we crossed the actual marker for the crossing was not accurate because the Arctic Circle has been moving 15 meters north every year.

A small navy coast guard boat passed us when we were on the deck.

After lunch Liv took anybody from the astronomy group for a walk around Bodø.

Bodø also had pretty manhole covers.

It was a pretty short walk.  We passed a building that had a mural of a child painting an Aurora.

On the way back to the Finnmarken I took a photo of the hills around Bodø but the buildings in the foreground were distracting.

I took another photo of the Finnmarken.

A woman took a photo of Ellen and I as we were getting back onboard.

John gave a wonderful talk entitled, “A Tour of the Planets,” and it was wonderful.  He had photos of all of the planets and the moons that circle them.  I just love listening to him.

We had another spectacular dinner.

  • Asapargas with goat cheese cream from Haukeli Chevre, Flow mince, and chives.
  • Mushroom and Oak Cake from Jæder Ådne Espeland, Flow Mince and chives
  • DUGA Grain Créme: LIngonberries and Oat biscuits.

The presentation of the food is wonderful and it was all absolutely delicious.

Ellen, Marty, and I decided to stream church services from First Unitarian.  Marty wanted to hear the choir and we all wanted to hear the sermon.  We were really happy to be watching it on my laptop.  The testimony by a transgender woman was inspiring and the music was beautiful.  Then the announcement came from the loud speaker.  There was an Aurora.

We threw on our many layers of clothing and hurried out to deck 5.  At first there was not much to see.  A woman named Barbara was taking photos.  She told us that the photos showed colors that we could not see with our eyes.  Then all of a sudden the skies exploded with arcs, bands, rays, curtains and a corona.  We kept turning around and around looking at the sky.  We could see all of the colors and it was astounding.

After a while the clouds moved in but we had seen it.  My camera won’t photograph an Aurora but John is going to share his on the last day.

We hung out for a while because they were serving fish soup on deck 11 at 11:45 pm.  Were selling a tea and rum drink in troll cups in honor of the Trollfjord that we navigating …

but we only had the fish soup.  It was wonderful.

I went back to deck 5 but it was all cloudy so I was about to go back to my cabin.  I met a group of women from Arkansas and we were talking.  Some people were going back outside so I followed them.  The captain of the ship was sending out beams of light on each side of the ship.  We were going through the narrowest part of the Trollfjorden.  The light mist in the air was actually snow.

The Trollfjord or Trollfjorden is a 2-kilometre long fjord cuts into the island of Austvågøya and flows out into the Raftsundet strait. The fjord has a narrow entrance and steep-sided mountains surrounding it.

It may be only three kilometers long and 70 meters wide at the mouth, and Norway may have bigger, broader and deeper fjords than Trollfjorden, but if you measure the drama here per meter, there are few fjords that can compete! This is a channel that penetrates deep into the 1000 meter high Trolltindan, and finishes in a dead end in the dark and dramatic Raftsundet.

There are small communities to be found here, some of them inaccessible by road, tucked into narrow straits at the feet of thousand meter high mountain sides.

It was absolutely mesmerizing watching the captain negotiate this narrow passage, turn the ship around like on a dime and go back through the fjord.

It was after midnight when I went back inside.  I took this photo from the live action map showing where we where at that time.  Looking at this map we had just negotiated the narrow fjord that is to the left behind were our ship is at this moment.

The people I was talking with told me a story about men fishing in the fjord about 130 years ago so I looked up the story.

In 1890, a clash broke out on Trollfjorden between tradition and modern times. On the 6th March, in the middle of the fishing season, the fjord was full of cod. Steamboats were attempting to take all the fish for themselves, shutting out the old sail-driven fishing vessels. However, the fishermen took matters into their own hands in order to put an end to the blockade and fighting broke out. Although the fishermen were doused with steaming hot water from the boilers, they eventually succeeded in breaking the blockade.

The Battle of Trollfjorden is described in Johan Bojer’s book The Last Viking, a work that had political repercussions. The Lofot Act followed promptly in its wake. This law regulates where different fishing equipment may or may not be used during the Lofoten fishing season.

This was absolutely the most exciting, satisfying evening of this voyage.  Seeing the Aurora so exceeded my expectations.  Going through the Trollfjorden was an additional treat.  I am having trouble finding words to express my joy.


Monkholmen: Walk in Trondheim; Lighthouse; Watching for Northern Lights 9/28

On the way to Trondheim this morning we  were called to the deck this morning to see Monkholmen (Monk Island).  Munkholmen Island was Trondheim’s execution site in the Viking era. Benedictine monks built a monastery on the island in the early 11th century, probably one of the earliest monasteries in Scandinavia. In 1658.  They actually produced beer on the island.  People from the mainland could hear them singing in the evening and it was loud.  They stopped putting alcohol into the beer.  I believe they said that the beer is still sold.  Monkholmen was converted into a prison and fortress, and later a customs house. Its most famous inmate was the Danish Count Peder Griffenfeld, who spent 18 years as a prisoner there. Today “The Monks’ Island” is a popular recreational area, with a nice beach and a restaurant,

At 10:00 Jane, Sue, Ellen, and I went on a 2 hour hike in Trondheim with  Liv.  Marty stayed back to rest because of her cold.  Liv is the assistant to our astronomy expert.

Trondheim is the 3rd most populous municipality in Norway.  The settlement was founded in 997 as a trading post, and it served as the capital of Norway during the Viking Age until 1217. From 1152 to 1537, the city was the seat of the Catholic Archkiochese of Nidaros; since then, it has remained the seat of the Lutheran Diocese of Nidaros and the Nidaros Cathedra. It was incorporated in 1838.

This is the entrance to the Trondheim Clarion Hotel.  We are very lucky to have this escorted walking feature of the astronomy cruise.

Trondheim (like Bergen) has decorated manhole covers.  I think that depicted on in are a king and an Arch Bishop.

The words on this walkway tell the distance to the shopping area and say the walking is good.

told us stories as we walked.  I took a few photos.

We walked over the Nidelva River. The 30-kilometre long river travels through the municipalities of Trondheim and Klæbu. The name translates to the “River Nid” since the suffix elva or elven is the Norwegian word for “river”. I liked this wooden boat.

Liv said that Trodheim had the largest number of wooden structures.

This is the symbol of the Vinmonopolet colloquially shortened to Polet, is is the government-owned alcoholic beverage retailer and the only company allowed to sell beverages containing an alcohol content higher than 4.75% in Norway. Liv told us a story about people leaving Norway to buy alcohol. One year the people  was were told that there was a surplus of alcohol so they had to give it away free.  They told people that they had to bring their own containers.  But when they all lined up to get the alcohol, they were told it was April Fools.  Some people laughed but others were angry.

This is a famous violin player from Trondheim.  He is now about 83 years old.  He was married quite late and had 2 daughters.  He is very, very pleased with his daughters.

Today there was an open farmer’s market.  It was so much fun to wander through it.

They had samples of some of the local food specialties and we were able to do some tasting.  There were many booths.  I  only photographed a couple of them.

This is the dried cod fish (Klipfisk) we learned about in Bergen.

One of the booths had the fish cakes.  Liv purchased 3 or 4 of them for us and we each had a taste.  They were much tastier than the ones we had at the cafeteria at Edvard Griev’s home.

We walked to the Nidaros Cathedral.  It is built over the burial site of King Olav II, who became the patron saint of the nation, and is the traditional location for the consecration of new kings of Norway. This was a cemetery on the way.

This is a sculpture we saw on the way.

I took several photos but we did not have time to actually go into the Cathedral.


LIv took us on a different route back to the ship.  I really liked this bridge.

These are more photos I took on the way back.

The name on this place means something about the people’s house and the good neighbor.  The words above (Folk & Me) mean, People and Cattle.

This was a very small house where obviously the boats were important.

I loved the doorways – especially the red ones..

Interesting how the vines cover several the windows.

Even Liv was not sure about the exact way back to the ship so she was asking people.  We walked over this lovely bridge with flowers along the sides.

This boat is a very fast boat.  Norwegians designed it.  It works really well for transporting people from island to island; town to town.

We made it back to our ship and attended John’s lecture called, “In Search of Northern Lights.”  Before the lecture, Liv read us a story from a book about Norwegians.  John is so informative and entertaining.  We learned about Common Auroral Forms.  This is a very brief summary

  • Glow: A brightening of the sky with no discernible form
  • Arc: Usually like a grey-green or greenish bow stretching roughly from east to west
  • Band: A ribbon like structure
  • Bright spots: May develop along arcs and bands
  • Rays: Vertical bundles moving along an arc or band
  • Curtains and draperies: They stretch higher into the sky.

I love listening to him but cannot repeat what he as said.

We saw several sail boats on the water.   I loved this red sail.

We were called to deck 5 to see the Kjeungskjær Lighthouse which is located on a tiny island at the mouth of the Bjugnfjorden about 3.5 kilometres west of the village of Uthaug and 5 kilometres south of the village of Nes in Bjugn municipality.

Marty took a better photo than I did because she arrived on deck 5 before me.

Originally, the lighthouse was permanently manned, as rough weather made daily travel to the mainland impossible. The lighthouse keeper lived here. In some cases, a private teacher also lived in the lighthouse to educate the keeper’s children. The last permanent lighthouse keeper left Kjeungskjær in 1987, when it was automated. Since then, the Kjeungen Lighthouse Association has taken over and restored the interior of the five-story building.

After we viewed the lighthouse, they served mussels on deck 8.  They were delicious. One of the men who cooked the mussels they served told me that at one time there were 8 children living at the lighthouse.

I took several more photos today.

It was beautiful passing under this bridge and looking back into the sun.

We haven’t seen many birds but today there were gulls on this island.

Dinner was again delicious.  The menu tells information about each dish but I don’t have time to type all of the information..  We had Barley Soup, Salmon from Aukra, and Tjukkmojolk Pudding.

We met with John on Deck 5 at 9:00 to watch for the Northern Lights.  John pointed out star constellations and the milky way.  We were excited to see the glow, an arc, a couple of bands and even some rays.  With our naked eyes we could not see much color but there was some.  This was just the first night of observations so we were hoping for more..


Hiking and More from MS Finnmarken on 9/27

I had a pretty good nights sleep.  But the bunk bed was not going to work for Marty.  We decided eat breakfast (which was delicious – lots of lox, veggies, and fruit choices) and then go talk to the information people about our cabin.

We stopped in Ålesund briefly at 9:45 but departed again at 10:15.

They offered us an extra cabin for 3000 NOK ($110 each) but it wouldn’t have a window. The one with a window would have bee about 600 NOK.   At first Marty was going to be in the extra cabin but I realized that I could do this blog posting at night without keeping Marty and Ellen awake.

By the time we finished that it was time for me to eat an early lunch and be ready for the excursion that I had signed up to do before we even left Portland.  I was a bit nervous about doing it because of 1600 ft of elevation gain in a short distance, but the weather looked great so off I went.

We docked in the Hjørundfjord.

I took a couple of photos before we exited the ship onto a smaller boat.

The boat held about 38 people (some of whom had signed  up to do a different expedition.  We were let off of the boat in Urke.

I took a photo of the small boat as it was returning to the ship to get more people.

We could see the Hurtigruten MS Finnmarken from the shores of Urke. Urke is a village in Ørsta Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. The village is located on Rånahalvøya by Norangsfjorden which is an arm of the Hjørundfjorden. It is about 11 kilometres south of the mountain Slogen. The village of Sæbø is on the opposite side of Hjørundfjorden.

One of the people going on my hike took a photo of me.

There were only supposed to be 16 people on my hike but they had opened it up to more people.  I was a bit disappointed but I don’t think we were more than 20.  This was the description of the hike:

Join a spectacular mountain hike in the Hjørundfjord region. The hike starts on an old farm road and continues on a tractor path. It’s a steep climb toward the top, and the last 1,600 ft you climb an old stone stairway. At the top you are rewarded with an absolutely amazing panoramic view of steep mountain peaks rising directly from the fjords to heights reaching 5,000 ft above sea level. Even in the summer there is snow on the mountains and numerous small hanging glaciers. At the top you can also visit an abandoned bear cave. If you follow a path even farther up the hill, you can see the village of Sæbø on the other side of the fjord. Before descending, you take a coffee break in the Leknes valley, overlooking the village of Urke, the fjord, and the beautiful mountains. You take the same farm road back down, and visit the local grocer before ending your excursion at the Kaihuset Café. There you are served an ice-cold ‘Slogen’ beer, named after the majestic mountain we see across the fjord.

Because there were more than 16 people, we had 2 guides.  Off we went. The first part of the hike was not steep and I was able to get a couple of photos.

The leader of the hike was moving very fast.  I soon discovered that I was dressed way to warmly so I had to stop to take off layers of clothes.  I was not keeping up too well.

This was way beyond our Friday Hike groups pace.  She never stopped for a water break, to adjust clothing, or to breathe.  We were getting a bit higher but hadn’t started the steep part.

Before I knew it they group was way ahead of me.  There was one other woman and me with the guide, Roy, that was at the back.  I was a bit ahead of her.  It was really steep.  Roy caught up with me and told me that the other woman was stopping and may be going back.  I couldn’t believe that he was going to let her go back down on her own but he said she is supposed to wait but he has no control and they are not responsible if she goes back on her own.

The views were wonderful.

I was really pushing myself.  I could see the group up ahead of me but I could’t catch up.  The trail was one of the rockiest and uneven trails I had ever hiked.  There were no places to put a foot that felt very stable.  I was determined not to turn back. A whole group of people passed me on the trail.

Roy pointed out a cable along the side that was about 100 years old.

At one point a man carrying his child on his back passed me up.

I could hardly believe that he was doing this. I took a moment to take his photo.

I didn’t have time to take any photos.  I just wanted to get to the top.  Finally I reached the 3 sided hut where people were enjoying coffee and treats.  I drank a bottle of water and at my gorp.  I had made it this far.

Roy took a photo of me at the hut.

The other people in my group had gone up to the top to see over the ridge.  I wanted to go up there but Roy said I would not have time.  Then I saw the other people coming back down.  I was happy I had made it this far but disappointed that I didn’t get to the top.

I took a photo of the name of the hut.

We started back down.  As we were walking, Roy told me the story about the woman named Bentelu but I don’t have a clear enough memory to actually retell it.  It was something about her hiking this area every day and then having this hut built.  I think she died of cancer and her husband continued to develop the trails in the area.  He built a hut on a mountain across the way.  Sadly he died when skiing.  So they say that their spirits communicate from his hut to hers.

It was actually much more difficult to get down than I had anticipated on the way up.  The rest of my group passed me by and so did the man with his child on his back.  Roy told me the story about

After a while we came upon the woman who had stayed behind and he Roy was helping her get down.  He then began also giving me a had over the steep or slippery spots.   There were many.  At one point I even slipped with his holding me and twisted my knee backwards.  That was pretty scary and I was relieved to not be really hurt. At that point I decided it was time to take a photo of the trail where I slipped.  We often had a choice of uneven rocks or roots of trees.

Gerta, an 82 year old woman was walking down with us.  I was so impressed with her because she had actually made it all the way to the top.

We arrived back at the Finnmarken and the ship started it’s voyage back to Ålesund. On the way we attended our first astronomy lecture.  Our instructor is Dr. John Mason.  Our first talk was titled, “Exploring the Artic Night Sky” and was about some of the things we can see i the Arctic Night Sky.  He is very entertaining.

Ålesund is a port town on the west coast of Norway, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord. It’s known for the art nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was rebuilt after a fire in 1904.

Some of the people took a excursion to view the town.  Marty, Ellen and I took our own walk around the town.  I took many photos.

There was a strange sculpture of a man holding a bow in this window.

Jane and Sue also went to town to find a pharmacy.  When they left the building that held the pharmacy, they went out a different door and got lost.  A couple that was buying ice-cream cones drove them back to the ship.

The town was very cute.

Marty, Ellen, and I arranged for a later dinner time to make sure that we had enough time in the town.  I had time to put an icepack for my knee before our 8:00 dinner.  It was a sit down-served dinner with a set menu and it was delicious.  We had

  • Carpaccio of Clipfish from Dybvik with semi-dried tomatoes, pickled carrot, scallion and Sugar kelp
  • Salted leg of lamb from Hellesylt with vegetables, oven-baked potato, and red wine sauce
  • Caramelized Apples with Nýr-Cream crumble and skjenning ice-cream.

Our first full day on the Astronomy Cruise was fantastic. A bonus was the wonderful sunset.

We are so lucky to be having this wonderful weather.

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Last Day in Bergen and Off to Our Cruise 9/26

I decided to spend the day with Marty and Ellen

This lovely yellow flower was growing right outside of our house.

We tried to take a couple more photos to show the street where we are apartment was.  The last stretch was up this cobble stone street and then the staircase in the back of the photo.

This was the hill just before the last approach to the apartment.

They were going to do the tour of the Hanseatic Museum but when we got there we decided to just walk arou8nd the museum and I would tell them what I remembered from my tour.  When we were in the Schøtstuene, I read more of the little signs that were hanging from the ceiling    I took a photo of this one.  Apparently, of course, Trump did not coin the phrase, “Fake News.:

I took another photo of the stove.


I looked up some information about this portrait.  I think I am correct when I write that all the items in the museum are original and were initially collected from Bryggen or from various surrounding farms by Johan Wilhelm Wiberg (1829–98). His son, Christian Koren Wiberg (1870–1945) later built up the museum which became the responsibility of Bergen municipality in 1916.

A very interesting (actually astounding))thing happened when we were passing this portrait.  Ellen said that he winked at her.  Seriously!  We didn’t believe her.  Then she said that he did it again.  So I stared at the portrait for a while and I saw the portrait wink.  Marty hadn’t seen it so she stared at it and … wow … it winked again.  Then we saw the portrait expressing and smile change while we were watching it.  This is not something we were told to observe when Jane and I were here yesterday.  I am sure glad we came back today to see this very strange portrait.

Ellen wanted a cup of coffee so we set out for a search for a coffee shop.  That was not an easy task.  We had to ask several people.  Finally we found one and had coffee, tea, and a treat.  Then we passed this church.

We didn’t go into it.  I loved the door.

I thought this was an interesting building.

We then took a one way ride up the Fløibanen for the view.

Our lunch today was a medley of soups that were delicious.  There were a choice of 4 different soups and between the 3 of us, we tasted all of them.

We took some photos our ourselves with the troll.

Today we had a view of the Hurtigruten ship that we were going to take this afternoon.

Then we walked down the trail back towards Bergen center.  There were many choices of trails and we meandered down several of them.  We weren’t sure whether we were on the correct one.  We just kept going down.  What a surprise when we came to the street that was right above our house.  This was very lucky.

The owner of our house, Sondre, picked us up and made two trips to the Hurtigruten dock.  We are so lucky that he offered to do that.  It would have been quite the task to get to the ship.

There was a fairly long line of people to check into our rooms on the ship.  There was a safety meeting but it was just a video.  That was nothing like having to actually suit up like we had to do on the Antarctica trip.

We had a delicious buffet dinner; an information meeting about daily activities; papers that described each day’s activities; and introductory meeting from our astronomy expert and then off to bed.  We were quite concerned about using the top bunk in the room.  We asked about the possibility of getting one more room but then Marty volunteered to try using the top bunk.

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Another Day in Bergen 9/25

Before we began our day both Marty and Ellen took photos of our group near the house.



Ellen took a photo of me puttig our key back into the lock box.

By asking several people we found our way to the Bergen Light Rail (Bybanen) and took the light rail to the “Hop” stop.  Then we had a 10 minute walk up to Troldhaugen.  A woman who was out taking her baby for a walk showed us the way but walking all the way there with us.  She is an expat from Newfoundland.  Her partner works with oil and she has been living in Bergen for the last 7 years.  She loves it here.

Troldhaugen is the former home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and his wife Nina Grieg.  The roof of the building was turf.

We arrived just in time for the tour in English.  We accidentally had perfect timing.  This is a statue of  Edvard Grieg.

This is where he wrote much of his music.

This is the home he shared with his wife.

The tour guide was very interesting.

An interesting side story is that the word for this bowl is Skol.  The bowl is passed around and everybody drank from the same bowl.  Each person  would say, “Skol” as he took a drink.  If everybody drank from the same bowl, they were assured that nobody was going to be poisoned.  That is where the toast, “Slol” originated.


This beautiful Steinway was a gift to Edvard Grieg.


HIs music studio was certainly in a beautiful place.

After our tour we had lunch in the cafeteria.  Each of us ate heart shaped fish cakes  They had a very strange consistency but tasted okay.

At 1:00 we went to a piano concert of Edvard Grieg’s music in the beautiful concert hall.

Then we walked back to the train.  There were beautiful flowers on the way.

This was a lovely view along the walk.

We took the train two stops back to the stop called Fantoft.  We walked another 10 minutes to see the Fantoft Stave Church which is is a reconstructed stave church which burned in 1992.  I took several photos of the outside of the church.

On the way back to our house, I took Marty and Ellen to see the fish market.  I had a chocolate ice-cream cone on the way back.

Tonight we went out for Chinese food which was very close to the house.  The man we met yesterday said it was pretty good  The restaurant was filled with Asian people and I thought that was a good sign.  Then we noticed that they had all been brought there by a tour bus.  We shared four different dishes (lamb, shrimp, chicken, and eggplant).  it was tasty.

One our walk back from the restaurant, I saw one of the manhole covers Sue said was so beautiful.

We took a walk in the area above our house.  I took several photos of the interesting staircase…

… and cobblestone patterns.

… the city buildings….

…  views  from above…

… was this previously for horses?

We found our way back to our house.  We walked over 6 miles today – another fun day in Bergen.

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A Day in Bergen 9/24

After eating yogurt for breakfast, Jane, Sue and I started walking through the neighborhood in Bergen.  The first thing I did was to take some photos of the house where we are living and the cobble stone path up to the doorway.

This is just one of the cobble stone streets we had to negotiate last night with our suitcases.

We took a walk and came upon the back of St. Mary’s Church.

Right across the street was the Hanseatic Museum.  We arrived just in time for the english speaking tour.

German merchants, known as Hanseats, came sailing into Vågen in the middle of the 1200’s.  The establishment of these merchants at Bryggen led to the market for Norwegian goods being expanded.  Though the trading culture is gone, its heritage is well preserved here at Bryggen.

The Hanseatic trade network stretched over much of Europe. We saw a map of the trade routes.

The buildings in the area were called the tenements. The hardwood floors made it easier to move trade goods.  In the 1400 the Hanseatic merchants seemed to have taken over the whole area.

The older buildings in Bryggen are not even.  This is due to the sea water and the ground’s instability.

Stockfish (unsalted air-dried fish) which kept really well and was a sought-after food in Europe was what was traded from Bryggen.  Stockfish was easy to transport, kept really well.  The largest and most important fishing grounds were in Northern Norway.  Fish were plentiful in Norway, but it was hard to grow grain.  Exchanging fish for grain worked out to be a good trade.  There was a very large dried stockfish displayed at the museum.

I think she said that the cobblestones were laid in two directions to indicate the path to take.

The figures found above the tenement entrances were used as street addresses because not everyone could read.

The Schøtstuene were the assembly rooms of the Hanseatic merchants.  Here they ate together, held meetings, and decided on common rules for the tenement.

Cabbage was eaten very frequently and they had a display to show us.

This is a garden where they grew the cabbage.

The schøtstuene and the adjoining cookhouses were the only places where open flames were permitted.  In the dark, cold winter months a schøtstuene naturally becamde a well-loved gathering place for the Hanseatic merchants.  The word schøtstuene originates from the old Norse word skytningsstofa.  Skytning in this context means to contribute or to all partake in the expenses.  It is only in Bryggen in Bergen that schøtstuer have been preserved, and in a worldwide context they are unique.

There were only men at the office and the Hanseatic merchants were not allowed to start a family in Bergen.  We learned that if one of the boys/men had contact with a woman, they were punished.  I think they said that they were required to watch the fires all day and night.

This was the cook room,

This is a stove.

Most of the schøtstuene that we saw had brown walls but they think they may have been painted in bright colors like this one.  

I believe this is a storage house.  But it is much newer and not only wood because of the fires.

We walked through the streets of the tenement.

Those merchants who made more money had both trading places and apartments across the way.

Our guide told us that they still haul things like a couches, etc. up to the higher level.

We went to a couple more museums.  One place was Håkon´s Hall.  The King Håkon´s Hall is more than seven hundred and fifty years old, and was built by King Håkon Håkonsson between 1247 and 1261 as a royal residence and feasting hall. At that time Bergen was Norway’s largest and most important city, and Håkonshallen was the site of major national events, including the promulgation of Norway’s first complete set of laws. Within the thick stone walls you can still hear the echoes of the medieval court’s solemn ceremonies and riotous feasts. As a site of national heritage, the King Håkon´s Hall is still in use for royal dinners and other official occasions.

The hall lost its role as the king’s seat when the royal family moved out of the country in the late Middle Ages. It served later as storeroom, and was eventually turned into an ammunition store for the Bergenhus fortress. For a time it was even without a roof. In 1916 the King Håkon´s Hall was restored for the first time, and its interior was decorated. In 1944 the building was, however, dangerously close to a second collapse, when the Dutch ammunition ship the Voorbode exploded while at anchor in the harbour directly below. Only the walls where left standing. In the 1950s the Hall was again restored, resulting in what we see today both concerning interior and exterior. The hall has three floors, with the large festive room located on the top floor.

This wall hanging was impressive.

I really liked the ceiling.

We went back to see the inside of St. Mary’s church but no photos were allowed.

We wandered back out to the streets of Bryggen.  Before we came to Bergen, this is what I imagined.

The unevenness of the original building can be seen in this photo;

On the way to Fløibanen (funicular) we saw this McDonalds.

The Fløibanen is the way to get to Mount Fløyen which is one of the  “city mountains” in Bergen.  Its highest point is 400 m above sea level.  The name originates from Fløystagen or a weather vane that was set up to indicate the direction of the wind for sailing ships.

Riding in the back car gave me the best chance for photos.

We passed the one going down.

We walked around to see the views and had lunch at the top.

The ship in the harbor is a Hurtigruten Ship similar in size to the one we will be boarding on the 26th.


We took a walk partway down the from the top and saw the goats.

The vegetation was similar to Oregon’s.  I just liked this shot.

This is a close up of the Hurtigruten ship.

We had a view of Lille Lungegårdsvannet or Smålungeren.  It is a small 5 acre lake in the center of the city.  The octagonal lake is a natural lake that was historically connected to the nearby Store Lungegårdsvannet Bay via a short strait but the strait was filled in in 1926.

We could look over some views of the city.

Jane and Sue went back to the house to rest and I walked a bit through the city streets.

Some men from India shared a delicious coconut dessert ball with me and we talked about India.

I love the city buildings so I took more photos.

I walked back to the fish market which was near the information center and purchased a package of the dried fish.

Then I walked back to the house.  After a bit we decided to walk to the train station to meet Marty and Ellen to help them walk to the apartment.  I sent a WhatsApp to Marty telling her to wait for us at the station. We asked a lot of people for directions on the way.  We passed the Bergen Domkirke.  I had seen a pamphlet that said there was going to be a concert there tomorrow night.

When we finally arrived at the station, we could not fine Ellen or Marty.  So we walked back to our house. It was about 1 mile each way. On the way back to our house,  we were looking for a place for dinner.  Sue asked a man who was leaving a building near our house.  He told us about a restaurant near the harbor.    It turns out that they took a taxi cab because I had previously sent a WhatsApp letting Marty know about the difficulty we had finding the house and the cobbled streets.

We all went out for a delicious dinner.  Jane and I  had lobster; Marty and Ellen had scallops; Sue had mussels.  For dessert we fresh pavlova and cloud berries which Marty recommended.

Sue and I decided to take a walk along the harbor before going back to our house. I am so glad we did that because the night view of the Berggen was worth the walk.

On our way back we saw many motorcycles.  There were both men and women gathering  I spoke to one of the men and he told me they ride around Bergen every evening when there is good weather.

It was a very full day.  We walked about 7 miles