Fjords. Mountains.Forests. Kaffe. Seafood.What more can I say about Bergen? Actually quite a lot. But I would say this covers the best points. In my opinion, at least. As I’m a mountain girl at heart, Bergen struck a chord in me that I feel won’t soon be settled. It might take many, many more trips to this breathtakingly beautiful city to wear down my love for it. Though I’m sure even then it wouldn’t be possible…

I don’t know where to start, really. I planned my trip months before, as I have two wonderful friends who planned their wedding here. So I can’t say Bergen was actually on my “list” of destinations before this spring. In fact, I’d not given much thought into my trip until I was taxiing down the runway in Amsterdam. I’m so glad I was able to come, though, because it’s beautiful here. And I had a wonderful weekend.

Together with friends, we took a funicular up to the top of a nearby mountain, walked through the old streets of Bryggen, tried some of Norway’s tastiest beers, watched the seagulls fly over the harbour in the misty rain and fog, ate fish tapas, drank local coffee and took a cruise through the fjords.

One thing I learned about Bergenders (I can’t say all Norwegians as I’ve only been in Bergen), is that they love their crunchy (or is it crispy?) fried bacon on just about everything. One evening with friends, we tried a tapas restaurant which focused mainly on seafood dishes and more than half of them included crispy (or crunchy) fried bacon – even bacon butter, in one instance. Is this a Norwegian staple, perhaps? My favourite beer that evening was a medium amber, though I believe the lighter beers were rather tasty as well. I’ll need some feedback on that one, guys.

Another adventure was taking the funicular up to the top of one of the seven mounts that stand guard about the city, Mt Fløien, and taking in the surrounding scenery of mountains and harbours. It was here that I learned about the trolls that live on top of the mountain. They only turn to stone when the sun shines on them, so beware of the time of day you venture up…

The weekend was spent enjoying the marriage of two very good friends, a union of Sweden and Norway once again. The festivities lasted well into the night, with speeches and videos and dancing and so much cake. The following morning, we came together again for a brunch, with leftover wedding cake to finish off the celebration (a popular Norwegian tradition).

After so much celebration, we were absolutely done in, so hiking was definitely not an option for our little group. Instead we chose a leisurely 4 hour boat tour of the fjords, alternatively sleeping (don’t judge, we were exhausted) and being wowed by the grandiose mountains surrounding our seemingly tiny boat…to be honest, I’ve not seen anything so majestic before, even the Rocky Mountains of mid-west America seem to fade in comparison. While I can’t speak for my friends, I can say for myself that this was the best part of the trip. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Though there’s nothing like some fjords to make one feel small and insignificant when in the midst of them…

Bergen really has this køselig feel about it. Don’t ask me to explain it because I couldn’t even try… but it gives you this warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside, of being safe and warm and happy, just absolutely content. A feeling that is currently keeping me from wanting to board my plane home…

This morning, my last morning in Bergen, I had the pleasure of staying with some lovely friends, and enjoyed a relaxing cuppa blueberry tea, the mountains and all their beauty stretched out before me. It was the best way to take it all in, to sort of wish it farewell. This was perhaps the only way to truly enjoy Bergen. To simply be still, to enjoy the beauty in quietness and solitude. I didn’t bother with photos at this point, because no picture can do justice to a moment like that. It’s only something to be captured in your mind, in your heart, something personal and deep.

These are the kinds of feelings that Bergen can bring out in you… I’m filled with nostalgia even now as I think about this weekend. But as I’ve always said, the mountains can do that to a person. Maybe the reason why I’m so drawn to them in the first place. Their strength and immovable foundation draw me in, bringing out the best in me, their security a hiding place and a keeper of more than one secret through the years…

And perhaps my favourite part of stepping out my door on an adventure is the secrets I might share with the places I find along the way.

So to close this little memento, it’s safe to say that many a secret were left behind in the mountains of Bergen this weekend. Something just between us, that we’ll now always share and will draw me back sooner rather than later. You see, adventures are great in many ways. And perhaps my favourite part of stepping out my door on a new adventure is the secrets I might share with the places I find along the way.

xxx

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