Monday, September 27, 2010

Cruise Journal #7--Bergen, Norway

The Edvard Grieg house
Our next-to-last port was Bergen, one of my favorites of the cruise. We took a ship’s excursion to visit the home of Norway’s favorite-son-composer, Edvard Grieg, and also one of the fast-disappearing “stave” churches. Both were well worth our time! We wished we’d had a longer time to spend at the museum at the Grieg house, but our guide unwisely advised us to see the house first and then the museum. She didn’t realize that at least two bus loads of tourists had gotten there before us, so we had to waste many minutes in a slow-moving queue.

Grieg composed his
music in this little
building, which is down
a steep incline from
the yellow house.

At the Grieg location, this was the first sod-covered building we saw on this visit to Norway.  In 2007 we saw many more!

Inside the Stave church

The little door at the left was used by the pastor to serve Communion to those of his parishioners who had leprosy!
Exterior of the Stave church--the rain made getting a clear picture a challenge!

The church was lovely with all the natural wood and its unusual architecture. It was cool and rainy on the morning we went to these two out-lying destinations, so taking the tour ended up being a good way to spend our time.

That afternoon the misting rain had stopped, so after lunch on the ship we walked into Bergen’s Old Town. One of the most distinctive trademarks of Bergen is the area called Bryggen, formerly a warehouse district established on the northern side of the harbor by the German Hansa traders. Long after the days of the Hanseatic trading in Bergen, the warehouses became a trading center for fish and fish products. On several occasions the medieval gabled buildings have been ravaged by fire. The last in 1955 left only 10 gabled structures standing. Today this area is a center for artists and restaurants.

I tried to get photos of Bryggen that would duplicate the postcards that clearly show how the buildings seem to be tilted to one side, much like men standing shoulder to shoulder, all leaning in the same direction! Alas, I couldn’t get the proper distance away to get this perspective, so my pictures don’t accurately depict this charming aspect of Bryggen.


We visited the open-air produce and fish market, too. The latter seems always to draw Bob! Jo, Ray, and I all recalled vividly how we practically had to drag him away from the sights and SMELLS of the gigantic inside fish market in Athens, Greece, when we were there in 2003!

Bob's favorite--the fish market!


  1. Oh, I think this is my favorite post, too! The stave church is beautiful. You wouldn't think that there would be much leprosy this far north. I always connect it with warmer climes. Lovely church exterior. Interesting gabled houses. Nearly everything is built of timber. I guess they have much timber and little soil for brick. What about stone?

  2. I am struck by the many textures and colors - so much livelier than your last post...more people and activity too.

  3. Interesting about the slanting houses, comparison to men lined up. Nice that an artists' area has popped up. Need to know more about stave churches.