2011  Bergen and around

     Home           Sailing home page                     2011 main  page   Side trip to Flaam Valley  Cruising South of Bergen

After an easy crossing of the North Sea we made our landfall in Norway near Dalsvagen, NW of Bergen, and stopped for a couple of nights.

We took our hitch hiker ashore, and he set off to bike across the mountains to Sweden.

Notice the house and dock clinging to the cliff.  There is no land access to this one

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We docked in BergenVagen, the older part of the Bergen port, beside Bryggen, a UNESCO world heritage site.  

Bergen is reputed to be the rainiest city in Europe. but we did not do too badly,  with more threatening clouds than actual rain.
Bergen was the Norwegian base for the Hanseatic League for four centuries, from about 1300. 
About 1000 Germans lived in this ghetto of Bryggen, privileged with a monopoly of all trade in fish between Northern Norway and Europe, but prohibited from travel.  They built these multi-storey wooden houses, where they lived year round with neither heat nor artificial light, due to fear of fire.
The fish trade was sufficient to make them wealthy.  The Norwegian fishermen were constantly indebted to the merchants and were almost slaves, catching and drying fish 700 miles to the North, in winter darkness and bringing them Bergen in spring.
This sail training ship for the Norwegian navy is based in Bergen.  She has made many ocean passages, and must be quite a sight with all sail set.

Partying was still active when I took this sunset shot at about 11 PM
Many Norwegians have converted obsolete  traditional wooden fishing boats for private use.  They had a gathering to celebrate fishmarket day when we were there. 
We saw a LOT more parties than fish.

Balloon sellers in the street were particularly ambitious.  We hope he sold the lot, or has a very big van to take the excess home.

After the bustle of Bergen, we found a quieter anchorage at Kalsundet, about 20 miles away
Doug Bruce joined us in Bergen, and we cruised a bit South with him, them came back to Bergen to pick up Michael.  He promptly got a crew spot on Adrenaline, a boat entered for the race to the Shetlands and back starting the next day. 

This photo shows them at the almost windless start.  After that, they had a fairly rough trip to the Shetlands as the wind picked up and veered ahead of them.
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