For our last of three ”at sea” days I am having trouble remembering what we did. I imagine we hung out and read books and started getting ourselves organized for the trip home. I only have one picture and that is of veal parmesan. We were eating at the Italian restaurant and I was saying that I wished that they had veal parmesan since they had lots of other veal preparations. Sarah said why don’t you just ask for what you want and see what happens. What happened was an enormous plateful of veal parmesan! Everyone at Viking will bend over backwards to make sure you are happy.
After an unbelievably smooth crossing of the North Sea we arrive in Bergen, Norway. Bergen was founded in 1070 on what has previously been a Viking settlement. It is the second largest city in Norway and was the country’s capital before Oslo. Due to it being a Hanseatic League stronghold it be came an economic powerhouse in the Middle Ages providing stockfish to Northern Europe. The Bergen wharf with its quaint wooden houses has been named a UNESCO world heritage site.
Since John and I have been to Bergen several times and know that the ship anchors right near the center of town, we decide to make our own adventure today. Sarah is a willing participant. We walk down to the historic harbor and look at the iconic Bergen houses.
From there we walk over St. Mary’s Church. ”The construction of the church is believed to have started in the 1130s or 1140s and completed around 1180, making this church the oldest remaining building in the whole city of Bergen. There have been a few fires that burned the church, as well as several renovations and reconstructions, most recently in 2013.” (Wikipedia.) Since the church was begun before Reformation and protected by the powerful Hanseatic League its interior is decorated by statues and paintings. Otherwise it might have been torn down or whitewashed like many other Northern European churches.
Our plan is to next look at the Hanseatic Museum. Unfortunately it is closed until 2024 as it is getting restored using materials and techniques which are historically correct. We are able to go into the Schøtstuene assembly rooms where the merchants were able to go to relax and interact.
One of the things that Sarah has been looking forward to and that we have totally hyped is having lunch at Bryggeloftet & Stuene where they make this amazing Bergen fish soup. Hurrah! She likes it as much as we do!
Now we meander back to the ship stopping at the Bergenhus Fortress which looks out over the harbor. The walls are a little high for me to get a good picture. The Bergenhus Fortress was built in 1240 and is still in use today.
We arrive back at the ship with enough time to get our packing organized and to have tea.
Our last tea
Later we have our last dinner at Chef’s Table. The menu tonight is called Asian Panorama.
It is a short night since we have to assemble for our ride to the airport at 3 AM. Our flight leaves for Copenhagen at 6 AM. This is followed by an almost 5 hour layover before our flight back to SFO. Everything goes smoothly but it is a really long day before we are home.
We had a wonderful time and saw lots of new stuff. As always by the end we are tired of being with so many people and eating so much. No doubt that will wear off in the next couple of weeks.