Saturday, June 29, 2024

2024 Viking Homelands - Day #7 - Bergen, Norway

Panoramic Bergen
2 Hours

Explore Norwegian City by Motor Coach and On Foot

Discover the main sights of Bergen during a panoramic drive and a leisurely walk.

Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen features many historic sites, including the medieval King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower, the bustling fish market and the Nordnes Peninsula, with its 19th-century white painted wooden houses. During a scenic drive, see these and more, pausing to take a photo stop at Nordnes to admire the views over Bergen Harbor. At the National Stage, disembark your motor coach and walk downhill to Festplassen, passing the statue of Ole Bull before arriving in Bryggen. Hear interesting stories from your guide about Bergen’s colorful past as you admire the picturesque wooden buildings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterward, you may return to your ship via motor coach, or explore the district and return independently on your own.
Grieg’s House & Recital & Fantoft Stave Church

The Old Ways

Travel south of Bergen to view a remarkable wooden church and visit the home of Norway’s famed composer.

Join your local guide on a drive through suburban Bergen to Fana, where the Fantoft Stave Church stands tall, proud and elegant. Built entirely of wood in 1150 in the tradition of Norwegian stave churches, it was moved to its present site in 1883 to save it from demolition and preserve it as part of the nation’s heritage. From spiritual faith to musical brilliance, you will also visit Troldhaugen, where famed Norwegian composer and pianist Edvard Grieg and his wife lived for 22 years. Norway’s most celebrated son, he was inspired by Norwegian folk music and sought to raise its profile in his composing and performances. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor and Peer Gynt. Enjoy an exclusive recital of his music before returning to your ship.
I have am having trouble sleeping very late. I was awake at 4 am and never really went back asleep. Eventually, we both got up at about 5:30 am.

We had a pretty aggressive day. After a quick breakfast in the World Cafe, we met our 8 am excursion at 7:55 am. We took the Panoramic Bergen Excursion. It was a driving and walking tour. Although I initially regretted not doing a pure walking tour, this tour that gave us a chance to see some of the city that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. We were back at the boat at 10 am.

After a quick stop at the room on the ship, we headed out on the Grieg’s House & Recital & Fantoft Stave Church excursion at 11 am. This was not an excursion that we had initially booked. Reading the Rick Steves guide book, Sharon felt like we needed to do this tour and switched a number of things around when we were driving to Glendale.

The excursion included a stop at a Stave Church built in the 1100s. Stave churches are built using a post and lintel construction method, with massive corner posts supporting a framework of timbers. The walls are made of vertical planks. This technique is very strong and durable, which is why some stave churches have survived for centuries. Out of the roughly 2,000 stave churches built before the Reformation in 1537, only 28 remain standing today.

From the church, we went to the Edvard Grieg Museum. We heard a concert of his music. The pieces performed included: Lyriske stykker V / Lyric pieces V, Op. 54; Gjetergutt / Shepherd's boy; Gangar; Trolltog / March of the Trolls; Notturno; Scherzo; Klokkeklang / Bell Ringing, and; Til Varen / To Spring, Op. 43, No. 6. The pianist was ELISABETH HOLMEGAARD NIELSEN. Afterwards, we did a guided tour of the house where Grieg lived.

Greig was only 4' 10'' tall! From my limited perspective, his most recognizable piece is Hall of the Mountain King. I enjoyed the concert and this stop more than I expected... I am going to sample more of his music when we get home.

Back at the ship at 4 pm, we got cleaned up and went to the Port Talk for Eidfjord, tomorrow's stop. From there, we went to the Explorer Lounge to watch the sail away from port.

We finished the day with an early dinner at Manfredi's. We split Fritto Misto Amalfitano [crispy shrimp, calamari coated in flour & semolina, lemon zest, garlic aioli]. We both had Osso Buco [braised veal shank, saffron risotto & lemon gremolata] as an entree. The Osso Buco was good, but Sharon has made better.

With a long day planned for Sunday, we crashed hard about 9:45 pm.

1 comment:

  1. I too was amazed with the Stave church. I can hardly believe that something made of that much wood, has survived with all the candles that have burned inside it for centuries.