found the trees in flåm, or, a day (and a half) in bergen

Our next stop on our trip was to Bergen, Norway.  We flew in on Sunday afternoon and were there until early Tuesday morning.  We spent the majority of our visit not actually in Bergen—we did a Norwegian fjord tour farther inland, and it was absolutely beautiful!

Where we stayed: Bergen Børs Hotel

What we did: Norway in a nutshell fjord tour

Where we ate: Olivia, McDonald’s (keepin’ it real, y’all)

We got into Bergen around 4pm and, after taking a taxi from the airport and checking in, it was already basically dark out!  We ventured out from our hotel towards the fish market and stumbled upon Olivia, an Italian restaurant!  Y’all—this was SUCH a good last-minute find.  Fresh, modern Italian food in the most gorgeous setting.  Seriously, that’s how I want to decorate my future home.  I had polenta chips as an appetizer and the “pollo bianco” pizza and—of course—the chocolate soufle for dessert!

I chose the Bergen Børs Hotel because one of my friends and apartment-mates, Sarah, had been to Bergen a few weekends prior and had recommended it!  Super great location right in the heart of central Bergen and impeccable decor.  Rustic, modern Scandinavian decor has my whole heart!

The next morning, we woke up and headed to the train station to begin the day’s adventure: a fjord tour!  A few of my apartment-mates had done Bergen as a weekend trip earlier in the semester (any potential/future DIS students reading this—highly recommend doing this!) and had good thing to say about the “Norway in a nutshell” tour, so that’s what I opted for as well!  It’s not really a “tour,” per se—there’s no guide with a microphone or large tour groups to keep up with.  The tour books you on the trains, buses, and boats you need to take to see the beautiful Norwegian fjords.

We took a train from Bergen Central Station to Voss, and then a bus from there to the start of the fjord tour in Gudvangen.  From there, the fjord tour lasts about two hours and brings you through the fjords—which looked so absolutely magical and mystical shrouded in clouds and fog!  And in yet another case of this world is so dang small, I even ran into a fellow Wake student on the boat tour, also studying at DIS Copenhagen!  We disembarked in Flåm and caught the train to Myrdal.  This is the steepest regular grade railway in Europe and it stops multiple times at various waterfalls and other points of interest!  We then switched trains in Myrdal and after about two hours, were back in Bergen!  After a long day of public transportation and beautiful views, we were more than a little hungry—so naturally, we went to McDonalds.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

What I would have done differently: Like I mentioned in my last blog post, in retrospect I would have flown into Bergen in the morning and spent the day there.  The sun sets really early in Scandinavia in the winter (in Bergen, it set around 4pm) so we didn’t really get to see the town by daylight at all, which was a bummer because it looks super cute!

What you should know: If you do go to Bergen for a weekend or have more daylight hours there, I’d highly recommend taking the funicular up to the top of Bergen—the view is, from all accounts—just spectacular!  Norway uses the Norwegian kroner, but don’t worry about converting any money.  Like in Denmark, you can use your card everywhere!  Even in cabs, which is how we got to and from the airport and hotel (we walked everywhere else).  Norway in general is just an expensive country, and this applies to cabs as well; generally, from the airport to city center will run you anywhere between $50 and $70 depending on time of day!

3 thoughts on “found the trees in flåm, or, a day (and a half) in bergen

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