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Bergen without sunshine

The large park opposite the library and railway station is very nice

On our second day in Bergen we had much more typical weather, with 8C and steady drizzle. Our children were tired, it was cold and we didn’t want to be wet all day so we opted for dry and non-strenuous activities.

Gazebo on byparken (the city park)

We started with breakfast in our room then I took our children into the shared common room of the hostel and they found the the Lego movie was on tv so we sat and watched that (dubbed into Norwegian). After packing lunch and snacks we headed out and bought coffee from the Narvesen at the railway station (nearly everywhere else was closed because it was a public holiday). We walked to the park opposite that has a heptagonal shaped lake in the centre and we admired the beautiful yellow tulips, the rhodendrons in bloom and the gardens and sculptures. Our children were happy to be carrying umbrellas: do you remember the pleasure of holding an umbrella when you were a child?

Sculpture in the pedestrian mall opposite byparken. The stepping stones held great allure for our son but we asked him to wait until after dinner before he crossed them for just in case he fell in because we didn’t have any spare shoes or warm clothes. He loved crossing it after dinner and stayed dry

Bergen offers some pretty spring gardens

We walked towards the large pedestrian mall and happened upon an open-air rehearsal by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on a temporary stage. It was wonderful. We stood in the shelter of a shop front and listened. Two large electronic displays either side of the stage advertised other events.

Festspillene i Bergen free rehearsal by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

We followed the Web link and found that a concert was about to start in 8 minutes in the foyer of the Edvard Grieg hall by students in the Grieg institute. We hurried there, bought 4 tickets for 300 NOK and took for seats at the back. We had hoped that it would be informal and we could eat our lunch in the warmth of the foyer. Instead the audience listened in silent, rapt attention to the wonderful music by Grieg, Schubert and Chopin played by a cellist and pianist. It was really great music. Our son munched on crackers and drew repeated looks from the men sitting in front of us and I eventually asked him to go to the back of the room to eat. We quickly ate our lunch in the foyer after the concert and hurried to a free performance of the youth orchestra (Bergen ungdom orkester).

Edvard Grieg hall

When we realised that the youth orchestra were playing outside on the temporary stage we decided to take a look at the Hanseatic museum. Our children were tired and disinclined to visit a museum but it was the only indoor option because the library was closed and we didn’t want to go to a different museum or our hostel.

Sculptures in the pedestrian mall. It looks like viking imagery

The Hanseatic museum

We found that we could save 60 NOK per ticket if we waited 1 hour until 14:45 before entering the museum. We bought a drink from the vending machine and sat at a table in the shop/café of the museum and played scopa (Italian card game with Sicilian playing cards).

It was cosy and warm and we appreciated having somewhere to sit out of the weather and without paying a lot of money (Norway is very expensive!).

Old houses in the UNESCO listed Bryggen part of Bergen that was under German control during the time of the Hanseatic league.

Our children had no interest in the museum and wanted to have some coveted time using their tablets. We restrict their use of screens normally but not so much on vacation. We made a deal that if they looked at the museum for 30 minutes and did some learning afterwards they could use their tablets while we finished learning. We enjoyed learning about the lives of merchants and about trade in Bergen during the Hanseatic league.


From the museum we walked to Schøtstuene (assembly halls) which is included in the ticket. We walked through the assembly halls and kitchen before heading back to our hostel briefly then to Peppe’s Pizza for dinner. It was a fairly easy and enjoyable day and we were fortunate that the classical music concerts were on.


One comment on “Bergen without sunshine

  1. Pingback: Train from Bergen to Oslo  | strivetoengage

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