When the Viking and I moved (back) to Norway, we settled in Bergen, the second city of the country after the capital Oslo. It’s the unofficial capital of the western region of the country, Vestlandet. This is where the Viking had spent a part of his life because he comes from a village one hour and a half drive away.
It was not my first time in Bergen, having already two small holidays there, and I already liked the atmosphere there. It is quite small but has a lot to offer and is really dedicated to culture and history. You find places still standing from the 11th century while Bergen itself was founded in 1020, which is quite old if you think about the Norwegian History and about the numerous fires that destroyed it, partly or almost all. You find here some buildings from the time when the Hanseatic League controlled the trade between the 14th and the 19th century, a medieval castle and an assemblage of architecture and design styles stepping on each other all around the fish market, the touristic center of the city.
Located between seas and mountains, it’s a hilly and beautiful place to live in, but also very famous for its very bad weather. It rains the two thirds of the year! But people have a say, that there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. And it’s true, I had to familiarize myself with owning 15 umbrellas (always found and never bought, umbrellas are a friendly currency here) and being given all kinds of coats by my family in law, one for the wind, one for the wind and rain, one just for the rain but when it’s cold, one when it’s hot, one when just plain cold, and of course, the traditional intermediate jackets for « it’s quite warm and I hope it won’t rain » days. At the end of the day, I ended up many times being completely drenched, but you get used to it. Also, the sunny days are even more appreciated, with everyone just going out and getting burn outside. Quite a spectacle to see! The only advantage at being here is that the weather is mild and usually doesn’t get too much below 0 degrees, except rare weather events.
Another good thing about Bergen is that the city has a strong cultural imprint, with the famous music composer and violin player Edvarg Grieg having been born here in 1843. As a tradition, the city holds yearly music festivals, one dedicated to Grieg and more centered around classic music, and the other brings modern artists to the city, like Patti Smith in 2019. The city is usually very lively, full of events and public gatherings around art, boats and celebrations, of course in non-Covid times. Hopefully, we’ll get back to experience Bergen this way, because it’s been quite a bore!