Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bergen, Norway, Sunday and Monday, August 12-13, 2012

Sunday saw us back on planes. Munich to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Bergen. Our flights were timed so that we could not get to a Munich Ward for Church and were too late for the Bergen Branch when we arrived. Hopefully, our visits to so many other churches will make up a bit for the scheduling problem we had.

We arrived in Bergen in the early evening and got our rental car. An Audi this time. A very small Audi with no cruise control, manual transmission, and a trunk that wouldn’t hold our big suitcase. And this was a two car upgrade over what we reserved. On top of that, two days of this car in Norway was nearly as much as 10 days of the BMW in Germany. Everything in Norway is expensive. We got checked in to our hotel which was right down near the historical area and the waterfront. We walked around the area a bit and found a restaurant for dinner. It was a nice dinner. I am afraid to say that we were not very environmentally appropriate for dinner as Tyler had a reindeer steak and I had a whale steak. They were both really good. Don’t tell the kids we ate Rudolph and Willie. By the way we never saw any reindeer or whales. OK, don’t be too mad at me.

A good night’s rest and we were ready for our last full day of exploring. We started with a 4 hour cruise out of Bergen and into a couple of fjords. Lunch in their famous fish market area and then in the car at about 3:00 PM. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of about 250,000. There is no freeway system and definitely no autobahn. In fact, the highest speed limit we came across was 80 KmPH (48 MPH). Even so, we covered some territory and drove to Voss which was about 100 kilometers away. We drove along fjords, rivers, farmland, waterfalls and so forth. From Voss we went to Flam and then Aurland. In Aurland there is a lookout tower over one of the fjords. To get to it, of course, you had to go up another incredibly narrow, winding, often one lane road. Same strategy as before in terms of watching for wider patches to allow cars to pass going the other direction.

The advantage of being fairly north is that sunset was after 10:30 PM. It also leads to a prolonged sunset. It was beautiful. We would come around a bend on the way back to Bergen, and the mountains would be lit in gold and the fjords and rivers would reflect the colors. It was a great drive to end our trip and we arrived at the hotel around 11:00 PM. That leaves plenty of time for sleep as we have a 6:45 AM flight and will need to leave by 4:45 AM.

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