Twas the day after Christmas. This one was a Monday, and it proved to be a fairly regular day, as far as travel days go. Our bags were packed and tucked beneath us on our flight from London to Bergen. There was nothing particularly special about the flight. I don’t recall if I watched a movie, read a book, or took a nap. It was a relatively short flight — just over two hours long, and largely uneventful. Until it wasn’t. Until the turbulence kicked in with a vengeance. We weren’t very far from Bergen by this point, but the turbulence was so bad I actually thought I was going to die. It seemed to go on forever. We oh-so-slowly and violently made our way down for landing. My eyes were closed tight, my hands gripped to the armrests (yes, I claimed them both!), my teeth clenched. I chanced a look out the window — surely we were nearly there? But no. We were still miles above the ground, still slowly making our wobbly way down. It felt like hours as we dropped, and we shook, and my hands turned white, my breath shallow. Finally, finally, we hit the ground (safely). I almost cheered. A little dramatic? Perhaps. But they cancelled all other flights in and out of Bergen that afternoon.
Although it wasn’t as bad as our arrival into Anchorage, the flight into Bergen is up there as one of the worst flying experiences I’ve had.
The good news? Bergen was totally worth it.
The hair-raising flight into Bergen was totally worth it
Bergen was our entry point into Scandinavia, and I was so excited to finally arrive. I’ve wanted to visit Scandinavia for years, but it always felt like it was too far away, or we never had enough time to do it justice. Add to that the fact that we lean toward Winter holidays when travelling around can be difficult. Somehow, in the planning of this particular trip, the stars aligned and we managed to make it work.
So, why should you visit Bergen?
Bergen has epic street art
Living in Melbourne, I’m blessed with an abundance of street art. In fact, people travel to Melbourne just to see what’s on offer. So, I’m always pleasantly surprised to stumble across street art on our travels. I really loved these ones I spotted during our Bergen wanderings.
Bryggen is the cutest neighbourhood
Google Bergen, and you’ll find that Bryggen is one of the most photographed areas in the city. And with good reason. Look how cute! Bryggen sits right on the harbour and is actually on the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage sites. Day or night, Summer or Winter, the area is super photogenic and full of history.
The views from Mt Fløyen are breath-taking
You can’t visit Bergen and not take a ride in the Fløibanen funicular. It only takes a few minutes to reach the top, and the views are stunning. While we were up there it even started snowing! So much excitement.
All the pretty little laneways
I love a good laneway, and Bergen did not disappoint. It’s so fun to wander the streets and see what you find. A surprise around every corner!
Norwegians love Christmas
Christmas is my favourite time of the year. And, Norway knows how to do Christmas. There were plenty of fairy lights in Bryggen, along with a three-storey, higgledy-piggledy store full of all the Christmas decorations you could wish for. All the restaurants and shop windows, and many of the homes we peeked into featured the cutest wee Christmas gnomes. Okay, so some of them were actually a little creepy, but it’s the thought that counts!
The only real downside is that Bergen is an expensive city to visit. At any time of the year. Everything in Norway just costs a bit more than you’d generally expect to pay. But, so long as you’re aware of that, and save a little bit extra, it’s so worth taking the time to explore this beautiful country.
Have you been to Bergen before?
What was your favourite thing to see or do?