Bergen, Hordaland

Bergen, located in the county of Hordaland on the Southwestern coast of Norway, is its second largest city with a population of 262,600 as of 12 August 2011.  Well known for its rainy weather in Europe, it records an average of 250 days of rainfall per year.  Thus tourists to Bergen should always bring clothes to cover all possible climate changes and an umbrella.  May appears to be its driest month so many festivals will take place during this month, attracting many visitors to the city.  Fortunately Bergen enjoys plenty of mild weather, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf stream.  The temperature was about 8 to 10 degree celsius when we visited.

Unfortunately, we did not know about its rainy climate before the trip, and it did rain cats and dogs on the day we visited the city. 😦  Hence we were not able to capture as many beautiful shots as we wanted to.  We had a local tour guide who brought us around armed with raincoats/ umbrellas to the famous sights like the Old Fish Market and Bryggen (the Hanseatic Wharf in Bergen) as well as explained in details about the city history and sights on the coach.

the bustling Old Fish Market

Lots of fresh salmon & seafood!

Food stalls selling cooked seafood from NOK 120 (S$25)!

The city sightseeing bus

Entering the Bryggen Project Buildings Area

Our knowledgeable local tour guide (in red) giving explanation at the Bryggen Project area

Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from 14th to mid-16th century.  Several fires, the last in 1955, have ravaged the beautiful wooden houses of Bryggen but its main structure has been preserved.  Many of the remaining buildings (about 62 have remained) are now used as artists’ studios, .crafts-people’s workshops, and restaurants.  It is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the city of Bergen is a designated World Heritage City.

View of the misty Harbour from our coach

St Mary's Church, the oldest remaining building in Bergen

The clouds were touching the wooden houses!

It was a pity our visit of the beautiful and cultural-rich city was on a rainy and not a dry day.  If not I would have been able to enjoy the leisurely walks around the town on steep cobbled streets and be able to take more clear and beautiful pictures. Nonetheless I think this city is definitely worth exploring. 🙂

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