Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 2 Of Our 2012 NCL Cruise Vacation - Bergen, Norway

Today is Tuesday and we arrive at our first port of call...Bergen, Norway.
It is an overcast day with on and off rain showers....at times a rather dreary day but that did not crb our excitement for a minute!
Veronica and I went down to eat breakfast at one of the main dining rooms.
In the main dining room, you just walk in and give the greeter your cabin number, tell them whether you want to order off the menu or would rather go to their main dining buffet and then tell them how many are people are in your party and whether you would like to share a table with someone else.
As it turned out, almost all of our meals were at either the Four Seasons or the Seven Seas main dining rooms. We did eat at a couple of surcharge restaurants, Il Adagio Italian Restaurant and the East Meets West Steak House but more on those specialty restaurants later on.
We had no excursions planned for Bergen and figured that we would do our normal thing, which was going off on our own and exploring.
We departed the ship and walked into town, which wasn't very far away from where the ship was docked.
Most of the stores were still closed so we walked around some more and found a nice little cafe where we could get a coffee and utilize their wi-fi so that we could check our email and things like that. Prior to this cruise we had decided not to purchase any type of international data plan due to the cost and minimal data that you get for the price. For the most part, we were out of contact with the outside world which is very unusual compared to our normal daily lives.
We then decided to go to the Floibanen Funicular.
The funicular is like a train car or what they call a carriage that carries usually around 70 customers and takes approximately 5-6 minutes to get the"carriage" up 320 meters to the top of Mt. Floyen, which gives you breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, city center and of the sprawling urban areas of Bergen.
There is also a restaurant, which was closed at the time of our visit, along with a souvenir shop.
There are walkways that take you into a wooded forest with streams along with various viewing platforms.
After spending quite some time at the top of Floyen and taking an over abundance of photos, we decided to take the return carriage down to Bergen.
Once back down to ground level in Bergen, we walked over to the Fish Market and the Open Market area where they sold all kinds of handmade goods such as scarves, caps and gloves. Of course the Fish market sold just that...fresh fish.
After spending some time shopping and walking around the market area, we went over  to the Hanseatic Wharf area known as Bryggen, which is a World Heritage Site.
Prior to us leaving for this cruise, Veronica had contacted a friend of hers from Facebook, Ellen Storetvedt, who lives in Bergen.
We were to meet Ellen at Julehuset, the red Christmas House in Bryygen.
Veronica and I were a little early getting to Julehuset, so we decided to go inside and do a little window shopping.
Veronica found something she wanted to buy, so I went outside while she stood in line to make her purchase.
As I was walking out the store doors, I noticed a female taking a picture in my general direction. at first I thought she was taking a picture of another woman that was standing near the stores front door and I though that I had accidentally stepped into her photographic shot. I smiled and apologized and she smiled at me and introduced herself to me. we talked until Veronica came out of the store and then there were more happy and smiling greetings between two friends.
We took Ellen to a restaurant that she had made special lunch reservations for us at a really nice restaurant called.....Bryggeloftet And Stuene .
This restaurant had so much charm and character to it that I had to walk around and take some photos while Veronica and Ellen chatted.
We had brought some items overseas for Ellen and Ellen gave us a flag, a book about Bergen and a home made card which was beautifully created.
After a delicious and filling lunch, Ellen was kind enough to take us around Bergen and show us some of the sights of the area. Ellen drove us to the Gamle Bergen Museum area. We walked around many old buildings that had been moved to this location, restored and then opened back up as a living museum. It was rather quiet and peaceful during the time we spent there. Of course I found a ton of interesting things to take photos of. After walking around the area for quite some time, it was time for us to return to our ship. Ellen drove us back to the pier where we said our goodbyes to Ellen and returned on board the NCL sun. We want to thank Ellen for be so very kind and being such a gracious host during our brief stay in Bergen. Thank you so much Ellen. Veronica and I hope that we will be able to see you again in the future. Veronica and I relaxed a bit until it was time for dinner. Veronica and I had a delightful day in Bergen and spending time with our friend Ellen.
We went to bed at a decent hour knowing that tomorrow we would be visiting Alesund, Norway.
Departing the ship for a day in Bergen.  


We had a little walk to get into the city proper



We were in town so early that very few people were there and all the stores were closed



The cost of houses is pretty expensive





we went into a 7-11 store and it was very different that the ones in the United States. It reminded me of other ones we had seen in other European countries that we have visited






Trolls were everywhere to be found



Veronica even befriended a couple of Trolls that she met along the way








Awesome Halloween costume

Our feet made it to Bergen with us
I wonder of this is anything like "got milk?"


In Bergen






Postal worker with an different kind of postal cart




   
Where we got tickets for the funicular to the top of Mt.Floyen




Our feet made it onto the finicular...how do they do this?  How did they manage to keep up with us?










You could see our ship from the top of Mt. Flyen along with most of Bergen














Now this guy was a TROLL



 There was a restaurant at the top of Mt. Floyen (closed for the season) and a gift shop (open all the time) and of course restrroms are available for use
Getting ready for our trip back down




















There was a fresh fish market and an open air market for handmade good









This was the restaurant where we had lunch with Ellen






Here is our friend Ellen Storetvedt

A beautiful handmade card that Ellen gave Veronica

The inside of the restaurant had so much character to it
















These were in an artists studio




Not sure but I think this is a representation of a cod fish





A menu from one of the several restaurants in the area




We are heading into Gamle Bergen...old town Bergen that was moved to this location, buildins restored and it is now a living museum. Ellen drove us here and   showed us the sights

An old telephone booth
















our feet in Gamle Bergen...they never dreamt for a minute that they would ever be standing on Norway soil
































Ellen and Veronica

I found the old chimneys and roofs to be rather interesting











You could see the NCL Sun docked from the view we had in Gamle Bergen


Below are various sights we saw as we headed out of the Bergen dock


We left some nasty looking storm clouds behind us







Some of the houses along this coast reminded me of those that we have see in Alaska











The end of another delightful day










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