Journal of a July 2005 Cruise

Cruise 2005: Ireland, Greenland, Iceland and Norway
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This page last updated: 20th May 2006.
11: Bergen

Bergen Bergen is living up to its reputation as the wettest city in Norway. However, apart from her brief excursion through the lonely Sunday streets of Trondheim, Christine has been stuck on board for too many days.

It is 9.15am when we disembark and make our way in drizzling rain along the busy road into town. We find the market and buy a T-shirt for one of our sons for the reasonable price of 99Nkr. The rain has eased off and we encounter the Bergen in a Nutshell tour.

This comprises a ride on an old bus up to the Mount Ulriken cable car. It costs, including the cable car ride, 130Nkr each. They will look after Christine's wheelchair for us and park it under a shelter. The bus driver is very helpful and assists Christine to get onto the bus. We travel out through the suburbs past the hospital to the cable car. The driver helps Christine up the steps. There are two cable cars called Perle and Bruse operating a shuttle service to the top of Mount Ulriken. At 642 metres it is the highest of the seven hills around which Bergen is built. Visibility is poor and fog is swirling around but we do get a decent view of the town on our way up. We can even see the Aurora tied up at the cruise terminal.

There isn't a great deal at the top, especially on a foggy day. There is a café and there are places to sit. On a nice day though, it must be quite pleasant. Mini-concerts are performed here on summer afternoons. On a wall are the words of a song composed by Johan Nordahl Brun in 1791 and which has become known as Bergen's national anthem.

We return to the bottom. The bus goes back into town and goes down the Bryggen to the cruise ship harbour, but we have to go back to collect the wheelchair. It is raining again now so we cross the Torgallmenning into a small shopping complex. We circumnavigate it about five times as well as negotiating the lift up to the top floor.

The rain is now so heavy that it is bouncing off the pavements. We decide to make a dash across the road to the Tourist Information Centre. The place is quite busy and they operate a numbered-ticket system so you can browse while waiting to see an assistant rather than just standing in a queue. I ask if they can book us an accessible taxi back to the ship. This she does and instructs us where to wait for it. The taxi turns up within about ten minutes and is equipped with a proper ramp and wheelchair clamps. The 13 minute, 1.8km journey though costs a whopping 200Nkr, almost £20, but at least we don't end up as drowned rats.

We change and have a relaxing afternoon. In the evening, after dinner, we go to the theatre where the ship's theatre company do their version of Eurovision. To round off the evening we go down to Carmen's Bar where we are entertained by comedian Berni Flint.

Photographs Journal page 12