My Bergen visit started with a getting acquainted with the host of the house I was going to stay. His name is Alexander, and he is a professional musician, who moved to Norway from Israel, where he moved from Russia. Going forward, I’ll say that he’s a really nice guy and I am really glad I’ve chosen his house for stay.
Norway is one of the most expensive European countries, and the travel from the airport to the town was estimated to be about 35-50 euros. Our host offered us a deal: we bring a liter of vodka each, and a carton of cigarettes each and then he drives us straight to home for some of this stuff, and buys from us the rest, thus, saving us the money on currency exchange. For us, the deal was great, because we were saving money and didn’t have to think on how to get to the city during the holiday, when even not all the buses work. And even the car was not a regular car that you can meet calling taxi, but one of the last S-class Mercedes.
Taxi for vodka. Wow, what a deal!
The host was definitely not an alcoholic or something. The reason was very simple: a pack of cigarettes costs for about 10-12 euros, and the prices for the liter of vodka start from 70-80 euros. But as a person who came for the most drinking country in the world (according to one of the versions), where the liter of vodka costs for about five bucks, I even didn’t understand the purpose of such a deal initially.
The flat had everything that was needed for us: a small bedroom, a microwave, cornflakes and coffee, a few bathrooms, and even a balcony with panoramic view of the town and adjacent mountains. Another bedroom was occupied by a couple from France. Another one, by the host himself.
Billboard in the house.
Bergen is gorgeous. As a city-break destination, it is ten times cooler than Stockholm and hundred times cooler than Rome.
There are mountains.
There is a fish market.
The seller offers to taste the whale meat. We start with whale salami, which tastes like a bit “fishy” salami. Then, we move to smoked whale meat, which tastes more like meat, rather than fish.
There are cobbled streets – Bergen took the best from Europe.
There is a cute wooden houses district, included in UNESCO world heritage.
In this district there is a few souvenir shops, which are rare for this city. The average price for a magnet is about 5 euros and currently is a record for all the 26 countries I’ve visited so far.
There is modern art.
There are paintings on random buildings – you will meet them if you walk in the town a lot. All of them are made in the same style.
Locals prefer to live in small houses.
Nevertheless, if someone lives in the flat, then the size of this flat is comparable with the size of an average house. See the description of our host’s flat above.
On Saturday, after the midday, people went to the main streets.
Somebody tried to attract attention to his restaurant.
Somebody was protesting.
Somebody was singing.
Norway is full of love and care. There were three teens who baked the cake and were giving its’ slices for the small donation – they were collecting money for the orphanage.
On the 30-th of October 2015, there was a deadly fire in the Romanian nightclub “Colectiv”. The fire killed 26 people on spot, and 29 later in hospitals, 156 were injured. Though it was the 7-th November, there still were people who tries to express their condolence to all the victims.
In evening there wasn’t many people on the streets, perhaps almost everyone went home.
The shops are getting closed pretty early. When travelling to Nordic countries on small budget, you can’t afford eating in restaurants, you need to cook. Trying to find some half-stuff food that we can cook in the microwave, we’ve eventually found and bought a few half-stuff pizzas, costed 1 euro per each. The complete dinner would cost 20 euros per person. The next day was Sunday, and it was hard to find a working shop, except 7-eleven, that works always.
I am not sure that I would like Norway that much, if I would visit a large city like Oslo.
Perhaps, I start to like small towns more.