Bergen Food and Cultural Tour
Booked the Bergen Food and Cultural Tour as part of the Norway In a Nutshell add-on package. Looking forward to it to see what exciting things I'm going to put in my mouth haha!!
Turned out that the Bergen Food and Drink Cultural Tour was a fun three-hour experience. We registered punctually at 1230pm at the Bergen Base Camp, located near the Bryggen Wharfs. Turned out that we were the only guests who booked this experience for the day. Our guide was this 22 year old Bergen lady named Victoria. She started by explaining about how the Norwegiens dried their fish. We were able to sample some, and interestingly it tasted familiar, somewhat like the dried fish strips that we can get from our local grocery stores as a snack of sort. Apparently the locals in Norway pack this for their hiking trips, as they are high in protein and is easy to carry as energy snacks. We also tried the apple must, a cold-press apple drink from the apples from the eastern part of Norway.
Friendly Victoria gave a great commentary for the tour
We then went though the famous wharf. Victoria gave us a brief on the history of the wharf, and showed us some of the more interesting areas, such as the "elevator" which the locals used in the past. We crossed a street to see the former hospital grounds, and the Mariakirken.
I learned a new word from Victoria, "hanseatic". Apparently, the Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds a market towns in Northwestern an Central Europe. Growing from a few German towns in the late 1100s, the laegue came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Bergen was not a Hanseatic down as such, but actually one of the four Hanseatic quarters, which includes Brugge, London and Novogorod. Notwithstanding, listening to Victoria, I realised that the local residents of Bergen did not like the Hanseatic as they took away buildings and possessions from the locals.
We then went up a flight of steps to this octoganol pub and eatery that was definitely off the beaten track, as we only saw locals here for their sunday coffee and beer. Called Dr. Wiesener, we had some local soup with diced vegetables and lamp, and tried the local beer. It was a really sunny day and we decided to sit outdoors. Victoria shared a bit about her family and her Portuguese Waterdog. The pub apparently used to be a bathhouse, designed by Dr. Wiesener to promote local hygiene amongst the locals in the earlier days.
Street art in Bergen, and Banksy too!
From the pub, we walked through the neighbourhood and Victoria pointed out all the interesting street art to us. We came across one by the famous Banksy. There was another interesting backstory to Banksy in Bergen.
In 2000, Marcus Smith Hvidsten invited the anonymous contemporary artist Banksy to Bergen where he created 8 pieces for Marcus' new nightclub. Banksy, in his stay in Bergen also left behind some traces of his work. Unfortunately the Bergen municipality whitewashed away most of the signed works. This has not stopped Bergen from starting to get a new reputation for its street art.
There is another famous artist called Dolk. Dolk claims he was inspired by the British street artist Banksy to start with stencil art. Dolk started with stencil art in Bergen in 2003, where several of his works still are visible on walls in the city. He soon started travelling the world, and in London people have mistaken Dolk's works for being art by Banksy.
Into the local scene in Bergen. Bar and Barista
We then popped by at this bohemian place called Bar and Barista for the local waffles. The place had all kinds of toys and paraphenalia hanging from the ceiling, making it quite a feast for the eyes. There was also a DJ stand, and the overall vibe was relaxed and casual.
After Bar and Brista, we crossed the famous fish market to the indoor section (Fish Me) when we got the chance to taste some local fish cakes, which were made from potato flour and cod fish. The final stop was at this pub called Dyvekes. Victoria brought us down the basement cellar for a drink of their unique beer, and she gave a long history session about the place. The lower part of the bar dates back to 1305 and the special beer was once the sole nourishment of King Christian II after his jaw was dislocated in a revolt. It was a superb way to conclude the walking food and culture tour with our great host Victoria.
Up to Floyen via the Funicular
After the tour, we decided to take the funicular (costing 125 NOK return per person) to Floyen. The top of Floyen gave a breathtaking view of the Bergen city. There was a viewing deck packed with locals and tourists alike. For me, the fun part was the stroll to the lake. The lake was so so only, but what I enjoyed was the stroll through the forest, enjoying the cool air and the lush greenery, especially with the sunlight seeping through the foliage. I also managed to see the small herd of local mountain goat residents that live on Floyen.
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.