Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Bergen

This post covers our arrival in Bergen.


At 2300 on Wednesday May 16 we arrived in Bergen and made our way to the Bergen Bobil Senter which is Norwegian for "Bergen Motorhome Centre". Although my Norwegian is a bit rusty, I feel a much better translation would be "Bergen car park on the harbour with toilets you wouldn't send your worst enemy to have a dump in". In the shower room there was a coin slot for a hot shower but strangely... there was no shower. Some pipes stuck out of the wall at waist height which didn't really inspire my confidence in this place. Saddam Hussein probably had better sanitation facilities in the hole he was hiding in. Anyway, it was convenient to the city centre of Bergen so we put up with it!







Above - Wooden houses, Bergen
Below - May 17 Parade


At 8.30am the next day we were awoken by a knock on the door, a rather eccentric looking bloke with a beard and a curious looking cap stood there. The cap had a solar panel on top which powered a fan attached to the peak of the cap. (This was very similar to a cap my Dad gave me many years ago which had a solar powered radio attached to it!) Just why he would have a solar powered hat living in one of the world's rainiest cities is beyond me. He greeted us with a cheery "Good morning, it's 8.30! What are you doing asleep?". I could tell by the tone of his voice it was pretty his way of telling us we were lazy b*stards! We paid for another night and he said he would sort out some electricity for our van which was great.



The sun was shining and it was May 17, Norwegian National Day. We headed into town where we watched a parade for about an hour which was great. Hundreds of people were in traditional costumes and Norwegian flags were everywhere. We went to a cafe called Mr Bean where the waitress told us we were lucky with the weather as it had rained 95 days in a row from October to January. We had a look around town, went up the funicular to a hill which overlooked the harbour and then went back to the Bobil Senter to chill out for a while. At 9.30pm I persuaded Sarah to come look at the torchlit procession from the castle to the town centre which was followed afterwards by fireworks.







Above - Torchlit procession
Below - Fireworks over the harbour


P.S. Thanks for all your enquiries regarding Sarah's health. She was (in her own words) "violently ill and sick for 2 days". However, I'm pleased to announce that she's fine now. I won't be taking her on a ferry or boat anytime soon though...

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