Monday, 28 May 2018

Travel diary
Stunning Bergen in Norway


Tanvir Ahmed

We love travelling, whenever we save some money, air miles and holidays – we fly. We wanted to visit the Scandinavian countries for a long time and decided to finally visit. I was speaking to one of my friend about our intention of visiting Norway and he has suggested me to visit Bergen as well to experience Norway’s UNESCO-recognized fjord, mountain scenery, and also to take a trip on one of Europe’s top scenic railroads.I am thankful to him for this tip- Bergen has the most incredible scenery and natural beauty, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Norway’s not cheap, but it’s worth the time & money. Bergen is Norway’s second largest city and the world’s only city surrounded by 7 mountains and 7 fjords. Bergen is often referred to as the Gateway to the Fjords, due to its close proximity to the world famous Norwegian fjords.Our first day was slow and relaxed. We tend to visit the tourist office wherever we go. Here the customer service level was really of a different level. The lady on the desk helped us to make the week’s plan and we got all the tickets from one-stop.The city center may sit at sea level, but Bergen’s attractions extend up onto Mount Floyen, which rises over a thousand feet from the edge of town. It is at 399 meters above the sea level. On our first day in Bergen we planned to have relaxed day by visiting just one spot as me & my son both were feeling bit unwell due to flu. We took the train from the city centre (known as Fløybanen) to reach the top of the mountain. It has a funicular system that transports passengers from the center of Bergen to a height of 320 meters in roughly 8 minutes. There are glass-walled viewing platforms on the top of the mountain with full views of the town & sea below. There are options of different activities including tracking, children playing area and food court. For the whole day we have enjoyed the city of Bergen and its surroundings viewed from Fløyen and relaxed.

Next day was also the day for our own leisure in Bergen. We started off by exploring the Hanseatic Bryggen Wharf. The very first buildings in Bergen were alongside the harbour called Bryggen. Bryggen has been the nerve centre of the city for hundreds of years and the silhouette of its ancient gables is perhaps the most familiar image in all of Norway. In 1360 the Hansas – a German guild of merchants – set up one of their import/export offices on Bryggen and dominated trade for the next 400 years. The wooden buildings at Bryggen have been devastated by fire several times, and the Great Fire of 1702 reduced the whole city to ashes. But Bryggen was quickly re-built on top of the foundations from the 11th century. Bryggen is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Other sights of interest include the Fløibanen Funicular, Edvard Grieg’s home Troldhaugen, Bergen Aquarium and Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen Open Air Museum).

There is another interesting place – the picturesque Fish Market, one of Norway’s most visited outdoors markets. The Fish Market mostly sells seafood. The Fish Market has a charming location in the heart of the city and a big tourist attraction. The market has a great variety of sea food. There are both fresh fishes which can be cooked in front of you and also some ready to eat items as well. If anyone is a fish lover, they will definitely love this place. This can be an interesting concept for our Cox’s Bazar or other sea side tourist destinations.

About the writer: Tanvir Ahmed is an experienced marketer & strategist, worked for a blue chip FMCG company for years across operational and global category roles. In his last role, he was located in the United Kingdom as an expat and working for the global marketing team based out of the corporate HQ.

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