June 21st We arrived in Bergen at 8am, another return visit. I have landed in, or departed from, Bergen many times before but JW  had only been once before and it had rained solidly all the time we were there, so he had never seen it at its best!

It was cloudy when we arrived but I had high hopes that we would have a repeat of the previous day and the sun would find its way through again.

We met B at the dockyard gates as arranged. I had been a bit apprehensive about him recognising us as it was 10 years since the last meeting and I had put on weight in the intervening years and my hair was lighter! It hadn’t occured to me that B might have changed too! Fortunately, after a double take, we managed the reunion. (JW recognised him straight away).

It is strange how the years roll away with true friends and it took no time at all for us all to adjust.

We wandered back along the quayside and round Bryggen, the old Hanseatic merchants quarters and now a World Heritage site, where the old wooden buildings now house interesting small shops etc. By the time we had wandered around there the sun was showing through so we decided to take advantage of this and go up the Mount Floyen on the funicular railway. Luckily we arrived before the crowds and were soon whisked up to the top where we had coffee and waffles whilst surveying the fantasic vistas.

"Happy Snappers" at the top of Mount Floyen

                                                     “Happy Snappers” at the top of Mount Floyen

Another view from Mount Floyen

                                            

Bergen has welcomed visitors from the sea for over 1000 years. The Hanseatic merchants established one of their most important trading stations here.

When we came down from the mountain we strolled along to the fish market. This has changed since I was a fairly regular visitor and now has a variety of stalls as well as the fish. When I used to visit nearly all the stalls had a large tank of live fish, from which you chose the fish you wanted. This time we had to hunt around for a tank and only found one with crayfish.

We had a break for lunch and then went to explore the Rosenkranz Tower and Hakon’s hall before repairing to the oldest inn in Bergen, a wonderfully preserved wooden building in Bryggen, where we enjoyed a nice cool drink whilst admiring the painted walls.

We had caught up with all the friend’s and family news, worked out that we had been friends for 45 years and promised that we would not leave it another 10 years before we meet again and then it was time to say goodbye. B to the airport and us to the Balmoral.

We left at 8.30pm sailing down the fjord to our last port of call, Stavanger, and we went to celebrate British Evening.

Advertisements