We awake to a beautiful Bergen day, the sun is shining and we are heading out to run/hike up Floyen.
There is actually 10 hikes you can take once you get to the top of the funicular station. We are just taking the switch back path to the top with the elevation of 0 to 425m then taking the funicular down.
The view is amazing from the top and we enjoy the panorama of the city before heading down on the funicular
When we get to the bottom there is quite the line up to get on board since it is just opening, thank goodness we have beaten the crowds. We head over to Baker Brun cafe for a coffee and a pastry and plan our day.We decide to spend our day exploring on foot. I really wanted to check out the leprosy museum but it was closed for the season. Bergen had the largest concentration of patients in Europe between 1850 and 1900. Leprosy is often known as Hansen disease, after the Norwegian physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen who discovered the leprosy bacillus in Bergen in 1873. Sharon and I took some time to stroll the grounds and peered in the windows of which was once St George's hospital.
My cousin had suggested going out to see the home of the Norwegian pianist and composer Edvard Grieg. But the hop on hop off bus was no longer running so getting there was a bit of a problem. We just enjoyed the sights of the town and I stopped in to pick up a few prints from Katrine Lund's shop in the alleys of Bryggen. We asked her about how quiet things are in October. She tells us that this area in the summer is overflowing with tourists and you can hardly move but the buses slow to a trickle in the fall.
I prefer it to be quiet so that is the price we pay for the museums being mostly closed. Our strolling ends once we visit the Rosenkrantz Tower, it is considered one of the most important renaissance monuments in Norway dating back to 1270
The fall colours are in their full glory as we enjoy the grounds. The sun is starting to set which means it is time to load up on seafood at the fish market and feast.
We stop by the grocery store for some aoli and essentials then hike back up to our flat to enjoy the bounty. The shrimp, langostino and salmon are delicious. I am feeling a bit like Fred Mertz when I notice a photo on my Instagram account showing the harbour at night. I mention to Sharon how amazing it looks down there right now so we put our running shoes on and run down!
What a beautiful place Bergen is, but it is time to leave in the morning, our train departs early and we make plans for when we get back to Oslo. I was hoping to get back to the City Hall and see where the Nobel Peace prize will be handed out in December and if time allows we can head over to the Norwegian Folk museum and the Viking ship museum. It is going to be a full day time for some sleep.
This is our busiest day in Oslo before we head out on the train tomorrow to Bergen. First on the list is walking to the The Vigeland Park it is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist.
We managed to negotiate the route with only a wee bit of help from some locals. Just before the park I spot a cycling shop. I promised Sean I would find him a Norwegian jersey or something close. The lovely man working there fills my shopping bag full of what every he can find and we set off. I forget to ask for the VAT paperwork and have lost the chance to claim the 25% back at the airport.
The Vigeland park is amazing beyond our expectations. When you enter the park through some intricate iron gates you then cross over a bridge. It is really the most incredible spot and I am not able to come up with enough adjectives to describe it, nor take enough photos to give a visual. So you will just have to believe me when I say OMG.!!
The sculptures are nudes in various celebrations of life. Women men and children. For me the most poignant moment is watching a group of young school children draw and interact with the works on the bridge. They are each studying one of the pieces and drawing what they see. I love this as you can see how a countries' education system is teaching art appreciation at all ages with out the stigma that our Canadian system would have. Plus they have on this season's nordic skiing hats from their club and I really want one! Sharon and I love this park and would have spent the entire day with a picnic and enjoyed the massive space.
But like I said, today is a busy one. So we set off to find the subway which is easy and is marked with a T. We are asked by a couple if the trains goes to the Munch museum and we assure them that it does. Once we arrive at the station we make sure our tourist friends get off and we set off in the direction of the Munch museum to see the works of Edvard Munch and most notably the Scream. Today's exhibition is the combined works of Jorn and Munch . After enjoying the exhibition we arrive back at the front not having seen the Scream. So I say we have to go back maybe we missed a room. I inquire with one of the employees that informs us that it is resting and will be on display again in a few weeks. Oh no I can't come all this way and not see it. But I remember my very art informed friend Pam told me there are 4 or 5 versions. So one must be well rested I will find that one so I add that to our list of things to do.
Sharon and I keep the Norwegian economy going with our purchase in the gift shop and set off. It is now raining and we want to make our way back to the waterfront. Sharon is looking after the map so we still have one and we figure out our route. Oslo is really easy to navigate but what makes it super easy is everyone speaks English. I love that every time you ask someone if your on the right course they can give you perfect instructions. There have been times I have been lost in places like France when I ask in French for directions everyone shrugs their shoulders with an "I don't understand". I like Oslo, they don't shrug here! We have tickets to performance at the Opera house tonight and need to find its location whilst we are strolling plus we need to eat. We do find the Opera house, it is a wonderful piece of architecture. The whole area around the Opera house is a construction zone and we are not quite sure how will get through it all but decide to worry about that later. For now we need food and seem to be having trouble finding it. Finally the Scotsman is the answer to our hunger pains.....