Travelogue: Norway – Bergen & The Fjord

Bergen, the second largest city in Norway with a population of 277,000 was our destination in Norway. We chose Bergen instead of Oslo just cos it looks so pretty when you google it! Ha so superficial. Or rather Oslo didn’t have much to excite me. So anyways we landed at Bergen airport and took the airport bus to our airbnb which was located just behind Bryggen, the last stop for the bus transfer

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And the airport ground uncle was so cute! He gave us aeroplane keychains. Totally made my day

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Sights along the way

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Bryggen

I was glad the airbnb was just behind this street so we didn’t have to walk for long

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But before we could reach our accommodation, we have to drag our luggages up this

Our airbnb was a rooftop unit with no lifts, so we huffed and puffed all the way up with our luggages. But it was a cozy and pretty home that overlooks the city and you can even wash your laundry. We were quite surprised when the host told us we can pass the laundry to her #thedifferencewhenyouareamum

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And some pictures of the airbnb

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The best thing about the toilet is not the size or the bathtub, but they have heated floors. Heated floors in cold weathers, can you imagine the comfort and shiokness? All homes should invest in this seriously

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And yes, the toilet is even bigger than our rooms

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The view from our airbnb

So we set out to venture after resting for abit. We walked around the town a little and were followed at some point by some dubious immigrant, which was pretty scary and I got a little suspicious of similar characters after that. ha

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This place is filled with cute and pretty houses, and the thin crowd makes it enjoyable to stroll along the harbour though we never really entertain the thought under such weather

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Probably what you will see on postcards

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We covered half the town in a few hours. Honestly, the whole place isn’t very big so we ended up at Godt Bread for a cup of warm drink. You can find Godt Bread easily, it’s a bakery chain that seems to pop up on every other street. It felt like our version of Breadtalk or something

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Chat Latte (left) 43kr Earl Grey Latte (right) 43kr

I didn’t like the drinks. The tea and milk don’t complement each other and I could feel the distinct taste of each element

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Light scone 34kr

But the scone was really awesome, in every surprising way. Firstly it was served cold and felt hard to touch but hey! it was really soft inside and every bite was delightful

I have not much comments on the food here just cos we were more focused on getting warmth, though people-watching was rather interesting. The weather was cold and air was chilly but what we saw was the locals dressed till like it was spring. We were impressed

Godt Bread

Vestre Torggaten 2, 5015 Bergen, Norway

We make our way towards the train station to get oriented before our day trip the next day and caught sight of this beautiful lake!

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Lille Lungegårdsvannet

And we met a local who decided to chat with us. So we stood there next to the lake with wind blowing. The local was freezing, and so were we but I had no idea why we don’t wanna move to somewhere else..

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And there was a photographer who had a bag of bread with him and was feeding these birds so that he could take a picture of them. Well, we made use of it obviously 😀

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Even though it was only 6pm, but shops closed early

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So it’s really empty after that

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Traditional clothing!

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The host recommended us to try the seafood just cos Bergen is famous for that, and of course to try the Norwegian Wild Salmon because you can only eat it in Norway (they don’t export them). And the best place for fresh seafood is definitely at the Bergen Fish Market where you can eat to your heart’s content. I was super excited to have seafood for dinner 🙂

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Due to the fact it was off-season, there were only 2 restaurants which were opened so we chose the one that has a more exciting menu. We had a seafood feast there, or more like I had a seafood feast since the friend doesn’t eat seafood. Ha and it was probably the only place we saw so many Asians in one place

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Salmon and more salmon

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All the seafood! Oh yums

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Domaine Du Tariquet 379kr

Because it’s seafood, white wine goes the best. We enjoy this wine for it’s light, not too sweet and really easy to drink. And pair this with the seafood, it provides a refreshing taste

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Bread that could feed 10 people. It was a huge basket

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Norwegian Smoked Salmon 99kr

I had the smoked salmon cos they didn’t have the fresh one. The texture was a little hard and it’s salty. I think having fresh ones would be way more awesome just cos you can taste the sweetness of a freshly caught salmon

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Norwegian Flat Oysters 49kr per piece

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These oysters were really good. Very meaty, juicy, a squirt of lemon and the taste of ocean. I should have ordered more, but my rational mind told me to stop cos I had more to come

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Mussels, Crayfish and Snowcrab in Garlic and White Wine Sauce 399kr

The host mentioned snow crab is becoming a delicacy to Norwegians so I have to give it a try. So I ordered the seafood platter of mussels, crayfish and crabs

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Which was really amazing. I love the mussels because they are so meaty and sweet with no weird mussel taste. You can tell the freshness of the seafood just by how easy the flesh detached from the shell. The simple garlic and white wine sauce was a complement, without overpowering the taste of seafood yet you can enjoy the meal with a different flavour and not get too sick of it

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Roasted Cod with Potatoes 239kr

The friend’s, which looked small compared to mine

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I have no doubt this place serves really good seafood. At this quality in off-season, I wonder what one could enjoy in peak season. To say I had a good meal was an understatement, it was certainly one seafood feast I really enjoy. I totally recommend anyone to come to the fish market if you are looking for seafood. I mean where else can you get if not straight from the market right?

Bergen Fish Market

Torget, 5014 Bergen

The next morning we took a day trip to visit the Fjords. And we woke up to this view from our airbnb

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Good morning Bergen!

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Breakfast

This instant Japanese porridge thing (that I brought from Singapore) is actually pretty good. It’s like having hot soupy porridge in such cold weather, super shiok

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We pre-booked everything with Norway in a Nutshell and you can just collect the tickets from the NSB ticket office located inside the train station. I think Norway in a Nutshell is useful for people (like me) who don’t like too much hassle and they have all the tickets arranged for you so you just need the show the attendant whenever you are onboard the train, bus, ferry or rail

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Even though there is a timing for all the trains, bus, rail, ferry, but don’t worry, they are arranged in such a way there will always be enough time

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We took the Bergen-Voss-Flam-Myrdal-Bergen route cos I read somewhere this route has a better scenery

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For the train from Bergen to Voss, take the left hand side of the train for the view

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The buses will be waiting for you at Voss station. Take the right side of the bus. There is more than one so don’t worry if you are unable to board the bus. There will be more than enough to cater for everyone

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Towards Gudvangen

And then you will reach the ferry pickup point which the ferry is already there. There is a small cafe/souvenir shop that you can hide from the cold while waiting to board

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Yup, that’s the ferry

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But first, pictures of the view when you are waiting

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So scenic

It will be even better if it’s less foggy

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That’s the cafe/souvenir shop

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Which really has nothing much

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Hot Chocolate, Waffle 63kr

And the best they can offer. It’s not fantastic, more for filling the stomach if you are hungry

Unfortunately, the weather turned for the worst (yeah the weather is like damn unpredictable) so it started snowing rather heavily and slowly, eventually we cannot see anything. Ha

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Well at least we caught some decent pictures before it snowed

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I would advise to sit one level up in the ferry, but on second thought, it doesn’t really matter since half the time you will be standing on the ferry deck

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Lunch

I think packing instant noodles and hot water for lunch is a brilliant idea. Well just for your information, they sell cup noodles and cold sandwiches onboard the ferry. But if you can bring your own instant noodles, must as well right?

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There will be announcements onboard whenever they pass something worthy to be mentioned. Initially you can sense the enthusiasm in everyone cos they will step out to the deck to take pictures but eventually everyone just stayed in, cos it’s snowing so heavily that you can’t really see the view anyway. lol

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We landed at Flam 10 minutes before schedule and the snow got even heavier so everyone was just hiding at the souvenir shop. We went to visit the small museum which we had free entry to, which is a brief on how the roads/railways are being built

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And the tram eventually departed! I honestly don’t know which side of the train had better view since all i could see outside is a foggy scenery and at some point of time, there were views on both side. So we were walking to both sides of the train for pictures. That’s the best thing about going during off peak season – there’s nobody onboard

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Some random houses

Well, the tram made a stop at some point for 5 minutes and you could step out to the platform. You are supposed to see a waterfall..

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But all I could see is this

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Absolutely no idea what I’m seeing, other than snow and ice

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By the time we reached Myrdal, it felt like a snowstorm. We had difficulty walking to the train station even though it’s just like 10m away cos you had to battle the howling wind, snow, slippery floors and trying not to let the snow get into your eyes. The station master was very calm though, he was just standing in the snow and telling us to be careful. We were just glad the train arrived almost immediately #damnmemorable

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For the last leg back to Bergen, I think it really doesn’t matter which side you sit cos you will be sleeping for half the ride. But I spot a sea view on the right side of the train. So for the Fjords, please go in better weather conditions, if not you will end up seeing nothing

We went straight to dinner after a long day in the mountains and ended up at Zupperia, a place recommended by our host, which is just opposite the fish market. And it was fairly crowded

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Glad to be back in Bergen even though it was raining

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Long Island Iced Tea 119kr

It was the first time we got checked for ID, and you can sense the waitress had a ‘原来 they are so old…’ kind of expression after she saw our ID. The Long Island was pretty decent though, reminds me of Harry’s

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Creamy chicken soup with saffron 109kr

The chicken soup tasted like campbell soup. Either they had done a good job in replicating campbell, or campbell had done a good job in recreating the taste in our memories. And I see no saffron

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Vietnamese spring rolls with salad 98kr

Probably the most surprising dish. These spring rolls were actually pretty good. The rolls were thin, crispy and just a little bit burnt with the fillings of chicken, shrimp and glass noodles just right and moist

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Local monk fish baked in oven, in white wine and mussel sauce 269kr

When the mains arrived, the friend and I were like in shock. One portion can easily feed 2 pax please. The sauce was rather salty, so much that it masked the taste of seafood

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Norwegian style salmon baked in sour cream, with vegetables and potatoes 210kr

I was craving for salmon so I picked this Norwegian style salmon but unfortunately I think the salmon didn’t really stand out. Not sure if they wanted to attempt a different way of cooking salmon or salmon dishes are normally cooked like this in Norway but in any case, I still prefer my salmon grilled for the best taste

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 I conclude this place cannot do seafood well. I’m surprised they actually fare better in Asian flavours. So for those who are dining here, stick with Asian, you will probably have a better meal

Zupperia

Torget 13, 5014 Bergen

We wanted to retire for the night but the friend went to entertain the host’s 2.5 year old kid and so the kid played with us for awhile. Until I gave up and close the door on her (and she fake cry on me! Walao terrible!) and the host eventually pulled her away. Ha

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Okay she’s quite cute, but sorry ah this old woman here very tired already..

We had a pretty chill day on the last day in Bergen and I was actually looking for something that serves brunch but there was none. So we stopped by Kaffemisjonen, one of the recommended places for coffee in town. The cafe isn’t big but has long, large windows which you can just watch the world go by

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They serve coffee from Jacu, Tim Wendelboe and Solberg & Hansen which are popular choices for coffee beans in Norway

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And the barista even won an award for their coffee!

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Croissant (left) 28kr Hot Chocolate (right) 44kr

The croissant is served cold but has a light buttery fragrance to it. The hot chocolate is so rich with chocolate the friend has problem finishing it

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Mocha 49kr

They were pretty generous with the amount of chocolate as they break the chocolate into the cup infront of me. The mocha is good. I love how balance it is with the good quality dark chocolate and a touch of acidic coffee

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Oatmeal Cookie 28kr Carrot Cake 54kr

Both the cookie and cake were delicious. The carrot cake was moist with great flavours of walnut and cinnamon and creamy cream cheese frosting that goes well together

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Breakfast!

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This place serves some pretty mean drinks and the pastries were delicious too. They do serve toasts and sandwiches and it would be nice if we had the chance to try them. Still, it probably is the best cafe of this trip, unexpectedly found in a small town

Kaffemisjonen

 Øvre Korskirkeallmenning 5, 5017 Bergen, Norway

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We went on to explore Bryggen a little which is part of the UNESCO heritage. These houses were once part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century in which were destroyed by many fires in the past

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Beautiful architecture

Fortunately they were able to rebuild the houses after every fire with its main structure intact

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And so we have these icons of Bergen, which follow the ancient wooden urban structure once common in Northern Europe

Ventured towards the fortress next which was part of the fortress trail. The bergenhus castle was divided into three different parts but we only covered the outer fortress and the highest ground which overlooks the city

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Haakon’s Hall

Which is now used for outdoor concerts

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The artillery building area

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And you thought going from one part to another part was easy. We had to cross the road towards Sverresborg and climbed this longg flight of steps and walked up a slope before we finally reach..

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Here

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The regimental building in the distance

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Okay the view is worth it but I was telling the friend, you mean in older times they have to climb these flight of steps to get to the other side of the fortress??? Can you imagine if there’s a war and they need to run, by the time they reach they would all be so damn tired already?

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All the small little houses on the hill

So we finished our last attraction, went back to our airbnb to pack and proceeded to our next destination – Reyjkavik, Iceland!

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Catching the airport bus to Bergen airport. The bus to the airport stops at Radisson Blu Hotel instead of Bryggen

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And just in case you want to claim tax refund, you can get a chop at this services centre (before security & immigration)

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And then get your cash or credit card at this one and only bookshop (after security & immigration)

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Having some potato fries before the flight

I like Bergen, and I’m glad I chose it over Oslo. Even though it is a very small town but the people here are nice and friendly (except for the unknown stalker) and the cars don’t honk even if you are blocking their way. They just patiently wait for you to finish your journey (lol). I think it would be nice to come back in another season and take a trip to the Fjords again, and of course enjoy the fresh Wild Norwegian Salmon

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