We arrived by train (earlier than the timetable!) in the rain so had an authentic experience of Bergen weather. We walked to Havnekonteret hotel as it wasn’t sightseeing weather and had to wait half an hour until 15:00 to check in but this was no hardship – we relaxed on squishy sofas with newspapers and coffee on tap. We then went to our lovely room, with a nice view of the harbour but Fløyen was in cloud! After making a pancake downstairs we went out to have a look round and organise our Bergen Card. We returned to dry off and have a lovely meal in the hotel (included in room deal). A good sleep and another fantastic breakfast and we were ready to go out in the Bergen sunshine. We visited Håkon’s Hall, Rosenkrantz Tower, Bryggen – all the usual sights. Having studied the sagas many years ago I was very excited to see a statue of Snorri Sturluson! Then we went to the Leprosy Museum (fascinating) and the University Museum, mainly to experience the Whale Hall – wow – but the rest of the exhibits were worth seeing too. Then we got the Bybanen out to Fantoft to see the stave church. We moved to our next place to stay, a B&B in Nordnes which was a lovely area – very quiet and charming, and less pricy than the hotel! As Muse were in town we took the Bybanen to Brann Stadion and enjoyed a fabulous concert. Funnily enough their home town is only a few miles from where we live in England. Much as I love the light evenings the stage show would have been even better in a bit of darkness. Still, a great evening and very efficient public transport.
On the following (sunny again) day (Saturday) we took the 51 bus out to Milde to walk around the Botanical Gardens – what a lovely place, lots of little inlets, beautiful woods and plants and hardly anyone around. Then back to Bergen to wander around Gamle Bergen (again so uncrowded compared to places like that in the UK) and finally up Fløyen. That was crowded of course but you only needed to walk away for about 3 minutes to find peaceful surroundings. We wandered around the lakes and woods for a while in warm sunshine and thoroughly enjoyed it. If we’d had more time we’d have hiked to Ulriken but that’s for another trip! Back down to the town for a meal at Pingvinen restaurant (good atmosphere, good food and reasonable prices) then to the shop to stock up with brown cheese followed by a wander around the Nordnes peninsula before bed and an early morning flight. A great city to visit. I was told everyone was especially happy as the sun had come out!