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Archive for May 16th, 2008

Umbrella town

Bergen is the gateway to the fjords and with plenty of scenery of its own, encircled by mountains and sea. I feel a bit worn out already at touchdown. The plane took off at 06:40. Which means the airport express train at 05:15. Which means the alarm going off at 04:30. The next time I take an evening flight and book a hotel!

I land just in time for the rush hour, and the 30 km taxi ride into town takes an hour and costs about the same as my plane ticket. The sun is threatening to break through the clouds, but the enthusiastic host of the local radi in the taxi can promise rain in the afternoon. It will, presumably, stay nice for as long as I am stuck in a windowless conference room, then. Luckily there is an umbrella included in teh conference material – it’s not as if it’s the first time it is raining here..

My meeting is over, I walk to the centre of town – with the waterfront as its focus. This is an area where you can easily part with your money. Bergen has always been a trading town, with traditions back to the Hanseatic league. The outdoor fish market is is much better shape than the last time I was here a decade or so ago. Salmon and shellfish dominate. One stall has a sign boasting that they speak a dozen languages, another has canned delicacies priced in Yen. You can buy reindeer pelts and seal fur – if you can get it through customs back home.

The old woodne warehouses are on the UNESCO world heritage lists – and the restaurants have prices to match. I stroll off in the general direction of my next destination instead. Time for a beer!

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