Thursday, October 11, 2007

from water to sky

I looked up, and where there once was sky, now a mountain was in its place. In contrast to southern Sweden, one of the first things you notice about Bergen is the varied terrain. Perched on the sea and surrounded by seven mountains, this just might be Scandinavia's most beautiful city - and that's really saying something.

Different morning, same general snapshot of Bryggen, Bergen's old medieval quarter and pulsing heart. (2007). Because Vågen (the harbour) is reasonably busy, getting this calm water shot was a bit of a lucky break.

Mount Fløyen is the most accessible mountain and for the city's best view, I was told to catch a ride on the Fløibanen funicular (cable railway) to the top. The ride up takes only seven minutes but climbs some 320 metres (1,050 feet) above sea level, which is fast and high enough for you to feel the pressure in your ears.

A bit touristy? Maybe. But the view from the summit is awe-inspiring, and I loved every second of it.

Don't touch that dial: more from Norway to come.

The Fløibanen's Sentrum (downtown) station is only about a three-minute walk from the wooden buildings in the first photo.

Once on the Fløibanen (the cable train), it's best to get the catbird's seat on the bench in the first row, where you can fully appreciate the nosebleed pitch.

The view from the top of Mount Fløyen.

And again. Vågen is in the foreground, just beyond the trees.

Normally, we'd have the editor in such a shot, but he couldn't make the trip because he had other business to attend to back at our European headquarters ... so you're stuck with me.

One of the best things about Mount Fløyen are the miles and miles of footpaths and walking trails criss-crossing the mountain. A defining characteristic of Norwegian cities: you never have to go very far to experience a slice of nature. Unfortunately for me, two bad knees cut my hiking ambitions shorter than I would have liked, but I still managed to see an evergreen tree or two.

Can't get enough of the broad vistas - my pictures don't do them justice.

And the view might be even better at night.

A picture shot a little to left from the one previous. On the left side, you can see Johanneskirken, the tall cathedral. The lighted square on the lower left is Festplassen, on the doorstep of Bergen's art gallery row (we'll do a post on this later), Lille Lungegårdsvann (man-make lake in the centre of town), and Rådhus (city hall, the tall building just below and to the right of Festplassen).

By day, this interchange isn't particularly remarkable. After dark, it's a different story, in my opinion.


  1. That last shot is amazing! How is the Editor doing?

  2. Mmmm? Thanks, Waffles. The editor is good. There are plenty of trees in southern Sweden for him to climb, and he's getting along famously with all of the beautiful European women.