Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bergen is closed and wet

Akershus Fortress Oslo

When we went to collect our railway tickets I finally found a money exchange place so was able to get an enormous number of Norwegian woggles. Well - enough to buy a couple of dinners anyway.

The prices of everything just leave us gasping. It’s just like when we first arrived in Vienna from Australia.

Restaurants in particular are horrendous – and the food is just not that good in the places we have been. But of course we have not yet – and will not be able – to visit a restaurant with any sort of reputation.

So we arrived in Bergen after a 7 hour train trip from Oslo. A most beautiful and spectacular train trip – reputed as one of the world’s best – through wonderful snow covered mountains and villages. Snow so deep it almost covered houses.

Unfortunately – and as usual – as we came down to the sea – the snow disappeared again and we still have not actually experienced snow falling on us this winter– or walked through snow – and me with all my woolly gear and Ugg boots and Ugg gloves and Boss winter coat and special lined pants.

Bergen is a lovely town and – like the rest of Norway – is closed - even more so than Oslo.

We had tried to book restaurants for New Year's Eve from Oslo but none had replied (now we know why) but when we arrived our hotel concierge said that he had managed to get us into the ‘best restaurant in Bergen.’

This turned out to be the Ole Bull in the Radisson Blu and it was the least impressive buffet any of us had ever seen.

It was rather like a works cafeteria – but with food that would have had the workers out on strike.

The first two bottles of wine with which we were presented were corked. There was no choice of a main meal –  we were told it was in fact old bull. There was no fish. No fish in a Norwegian buffet?

Because it was in fact the only restaurant open in the hotel we were of course surrounded by families with small children.

We were kept amused by the sight of people dressed to kill for a night on the town arriving and beginning to understand what New Year’s Eve at the ‘best restaurant in town’ was like.

It was of course shriekingly expensive at more than €100 per person.

We were done by 9:00 and in bed by 10:00 but the fireworks over the harbour woke us up at midnight.

We are a bit stuck for our one day in Bergen. It is  raining so we cannot do much walking about and as it is New Year’s Day all the museums are closed – along with ALL the restaurants and shops and coffee shops.

Tomorrow we fly early to Trondheim where we pick up our boat – the Nordnorge.

We have paid for this in advance and so that we do not need to rely on their alcohol (wine from €37 per bottle) I have with me 1.5 litres of Jameson. 


  1. Wow, €100 for a buffett meal and no fish, simply astounding. My "foreign" Mexican food meal last night was less than 20 dollars, not sure how that converts to €. Glad you have your litre and a half of Jameson Juice.

    WordVeri: cracti - multiple cactus for crack addicts

  2. Sounds like 1.5 litres of Jameson won't be nearly enough!

  3. esb: They do have Mexican restaurants here - but you won't get anything for $20.

    Alexia: Not nearly