There has always been an attraction to Norway for me, something about the rugged nature, and being completely opposite to where I grew up (Australia). We are lucky enough to have a good friend who lives here in Bergen, and with it being such a short flight from London, we made a long-weekend of it and came to visit.
We were fortunate enough that rain that had dominated their ‘summer’ had cleared for our visit, so we were able to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The weekend started with a hike up the nearby Ulriken mountain, which is one of seven surrounding Bergen. At 643m, it’s not too challenging a climb, but it’s high enough to give a commanding view of the area below. Solidifying the fact that it’s not too difficult a hike, my friend’s young children joined us for the hike – and the eldest was charging ahead of us! Our friend actually races up this mountain, as well as another hike that take them over all seven surrounding peaks!
As I mentioned, it was the first sunny weekend in a while, and understandably, the trails were busy with people making the most of the sunshine. The trails are quite variable, with some scrambling up muddy/rocky sections through the lower sections in the forest. Once out of the forest, there are some nice new stone trails being installed (by some Nepalese sherpas!), and the views open up to amazing vistas of the bay and archipelago around Bergen.
Of course, there is an alternative option for those with less time/athletic will – a gondola service, which we were going to catch down. There was a piece of graffiti/art on the side of the gondola building and I thought it was incredibly beautiful – a small girl handing a piece of ice to a polar bear in a lifebuoy. These gondolas are also decorated after two characters, Perle and Bruse, which was pretty cute.
But, until we caught those gondolas back down, we were going to take in the beauty of Norway, from high upon the top of this mountain. The hills stretched out away from the city and sea as far as we could see. Two guys rode off on mountain bikes, and I can’t express just how jealous I was at that moment in time. There is actually a downhill course that heads back into town, but my friend said it’s pretty extreme, and needs to be tackled with a proper downhill bike – and clothing.
Apart from continuing with the hiking to further mountains, there were quite a few activities available at the summit, including an incredible looking flying fox! I was keen to ride it before we arrived, but once the time came to part with my money, it didn’t seem as impressive as it did in the video… It looked like the kids we saw on it had a blast – and now, sitting here writing this, I want to ride that zip-line!
Sadly the warm sunshine and clear skies were leaving us, and in their place were cold winds and grey skies. We’d had some amazing fresh air, done some exercise, and most of all, been treated with amazing natural scenery. It was time to return back down to Bergen – we were going to a concert with local boy Kygo tonight, and tomorrow was going to be a big day of cycling the old railway construction road for us.