Near-Impromptu Travels

This past weekend, we went on a near-impromptu trip to Bergen, Norway.  I say near-impromptu because it was one of those, 'Hey, let's go somewhere' kind of things you talk about for awhile and then they just sort of happen all of a sudden. We found some cheap plane tickets and a hostel called Montana, threw a couple things into a backpack (tooth-brushes excluded), and carted the kiddo to the airport.  

It was a lovely little adventure, for the most part.

Birds-eye view.

This is, of course, excluding our little jaunt in the cable car up the side of Ulriken.  Ulriken is the highest of Bergen's Seven Mountains, 643 meters above city streets.  I'm sure it's just peachy on a summer day with clear skies, but absolutely not peachy on a near-stormy September morning, with fog and wind and rain.  I was positive we were going to die.  I told Tim I was never getting on another cable car again and we decided to hike down the mountain - but alas, we weren't dressed for the downpour nor do I weigh enough do deal with that kind of wind.  So we ordered hot chocolate in the Ulriken restaurant and stared at the incredible view of ... cloud ... while I tried to decide how important it was to keep living.  

An hour later (while steeling my nerves for the ride down), I was informed that the cable had only broken once, in the '70's.  "Yeah, they all died," the guy said. Tim thought this was hilarious and kept poking me in the ribs and saying, "Hey, remember that time we were in Bergen and we almost died?"

To make matters slightly worse, the Ulriken crew decided they'd be shutting down facilities for the day due to the mountain-top storm.  Yeah.  So we all went down together.  Us, the crew, some hikers fresh off the mountain, and four German guys.  The Germans were distraction enough (all jokes about plummeting to the ground aside), and suddenly we were at the bottom again.  And the sun popped out.

We spent the remainder of the day wandering through downtown Bergen (occasionally accompanied by the Germans), taking hundreds of photographs I will not be showing you because I wasn't particularly impressed by any of them.  The instagrams will have to suffice.

Two highlights:

We stopped by the famous Fish Market where a wonderful dread-head from Botswana offered us samples of fish soup and fish cakes, so we sat down and had an incredible fish lunch.  He even wrote music recommendations for me on the back of our receipt ... which I then sadly lost.

And of course, my favorite thing about Bergen: Chillout Traveller's Cafe.  This is an awesome little bohemian coffeeshop that smells like cinnamon and honey chai and is filled to the rafters with colorful travelling supplies.  I could have stayed there forever.

On the whole, different aspects of Bergen reminded me of Western NC, PA, and OR - which was kind of nice and kind of sad, since I'd like to be visiting home right about now. Next year, when we do the bulk of our European adventuring before moving stateside again (incredible gypsy plans in the making),we'll be going on the fjord tour of Norway.  I'm also going to buy one of those knitted Norwegian hats because I kind of love them.

This guy was sitting on the train back from Cph: a tattooed twenty-something in a leather bomber jacket with Faulkner's Absalom! Absalom! sticking out the side pocket.  Made me kind of happy.


  1. I love that last photo. That's what people everywhere should be like.


  2. I think so too, Wren. It'd be so much easier to meet strangers, too. 'So I see you're reading Faulkner...'

  3. I love this. Adorable pictures! These little adventures are so important... You know why I love this SO much? Because where I live,(small little town) it seems that all of my friends and family feel that once a kiddo comes along, all the spontaneous, "get up and go", explore the world adventures are behind you. Since we got married, people literally tell us to, "enjoy what we can now, because once babies come along she's allllll over"... Terrible, isn't it?

  4. A pessimistic worldview - true, it's a lot harder to do these kinds of things with kids (a kid), but they love it too ... Isaac thought the plane was the greatest thing in the world.

  5. I dont know why but the little wooden table and chair (8th row down on the right?) was my favorite. Maybe cause this looks like the perfect spot to take a cup of coffee and a book.

    My gramma has an exchange student from Norway when I was a child. His name was Pear and he had such lovely tales of Norway to tell. The photos filled in some of the holes. Loved the photos. Really


  6. You really know how to 'fill the frame' with your photography. I enjoyed viewing your blog too, some nice story-telling. Ed.


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