Bergen is affectionately known as the wettest city in Europe, with only a small village in northern Scotland being able to claim more rain. Still, it’s a trait that is a little unfair if you look at the global distribution of precipitation and see there isn’t all that much variation. All it really means is we have a bit more rain than Auckland, and a bit less sunshine than California. Well actually, it’s quite a bit less, which is why Norwegians all look ten years younger, and people seem surprised when we tell them we are both in our 30s. We once told people we were in our 50s, only to be believed (although they did say we looked good for our age).
However, one trait that Bergen does have, is cloud cover. Pretty much most of the time we have intimidating snow or rain clouds that look like they’re about to blow their load any minute.
So, when the weather forecast is blue skies, it’s not unusual for it to make national headlines.
Today was such a day.
Blue skies and a sunny warm 12C.
Now not only does the lack of sunshine seem to preserve the Norwegians, but when we do have it, it induces a drug-like euphoria. In Bergen every Norwegian makes a beeline for the mountains. All 300,000 of them, children and dogs included.
Fortunately, we have quite a few mountains here, and no shortage of tracks. So even on a beautiful blue sky day, you can head out, and still like feel you are completely alone (at least until you get to the top).
We decided to head up Lovstakken, the mountain that more or less rises up from behind our apartment.
It’s a two hour trek to the top. The summit seemed to be quite the party zone. Although there was still plenty of space for us to quietly sit and enjoy lunch.
The view from the mountain tops still moves us every time. Most of Norway comprises uninhabitable mountains, along with a an insanely complicated coast line and a smattering of islands. It all makes for an epic view after view. Within just a couple of hours’ walk from the CBD you find yourself peering across a vast, desolate landscape, with a small city hugging the main harbour in the distance, and everything else vast inhospitable space.
They are scenes difficult to capture in words or photos.
But here are a few lame attempts below.