Today we arrived in Bergen Norway and left for the guided tour, Bergen and Mount Floien, at 8:30am. Unfortunately, the days’ weather put a damper on the tour. The rain in Bergen usually lasts for an hour or two and then clears. That did not happen this day. Instead it poured down from our ships arrival at 8am until near our departure of 4:30pm. Our tour guide Edward, who incidentally was excellent, did tell us that it rains in Bergen an average of 235 days out of every year.
As the weather was bad, Edward decided to first give us a two-hour city tour in hopes the weather would break before taking the funicular atop Mount Floien. This helped us to get a good idea about the city of Bergen but did limit us on picture taking as the bus’s windows were steamy and covered in raindrops. During our tour we drove past the oldest street in the city and St John’s Cathedral. We also learned that 90 percent of the city burned down in 1702 and has been burnt down 34 times in total. This was further amplified by the fire of 1916 that we learned about through pictures and photographs displayed at the Bryggen Museum.
Our tour bus made a momentary stop that allowed us to get out and take pictures at Knosesmauet a very picturesque alleyway in the city. Afterwards we left the bus again and walked throughout the Hanseatic quarter. In addition to the old community of wooden buildings that contained shops, we also saw the small stone Bergen Cathedral that was built in 1150.
As the tour continued we learned that Norway imposes an 87 percent tax on alcohol sales and is the second richest nation per capita in the world which is largely due to their oil discoveries. We also learned that Norway is an environmentally responsible country and that after 2025 all cars must be electric. They also purchase more Tesla’s than any other nation and electric cars can be identified easily here by plates which all begin with “ EL “. In one lot of 40 cars we counted 26 electric vehicles.
After our city tour, we took a ride on the funicular which is very similar to an incline trolley. It is a 342 meter incline with the summit of Mount Floien being 1,200 feet above sea level. Our total ride time on the funicular a mere five minutes. Once at the top of Mount Floien, we had only a partial foggy city view. The fog was heavy and the rain just poured and poured. There was a souvenir shop, playground, bathroom, café and restaurant at the top. I did manage but a single photo of the city below.
As not to have to walk back to the ship in the heavy rains the tour was altered a bit to a return by bus. This required us to ride the funicular back down Mount Floien where this time it made two intermediate stops. We made sure to ride in the first car on the way down to get a better view and experience of the funicular. It was a very wet day but enjoyable to walk around and see some of the town.
Cruise Port: Bergen, Norway
Tour Guide: Edward
Steps logged: 8,024