Having followed Fjord Norway's suggested route to Voss, we all wondered just why this place is the 'adventure capital' of Norway.... well yesterday's indoor sky diving at Voss Vind was a great introduction but today at Voss Active just took it to a whole new level... Voss Active are a great company judging by today and you've got trust the people who suspend your kids 30ft in the air!
With Bergen still sweltering under the continuing spell of good weather, the International Festival Bergen got off to a brilliant start with an array of talent - with music and theatre for everyone..
Both girls have been amazed at the site of real naval personnel around Bergen alongside the size of the fish in the fish market, whilst we have enjoyed the beautiful timber clad buildings and the sheer outdoor nature of this city and it's inhabitants. But having seen the amazing street artist in Rome last year, we were early impressed with the artist in the pictures below. Spray paints, chalks and paint... it all went on with equal measure and the end products were sensational!
With the weather so good, it seemed a shame not to enjoy it and the surrounds of our great campsite in Bratlands, so an afternoon of family down time beckoned.... walking, fun on the trampoline, a chance to connect with old friends via FaceTime (great campsite wifi) and some much needed reading/research time for the journey ahead...
But we're all ready now to move on with our journey around Norway, so Voss beckons next for some family rafting adventures and some high ropes action (a challenge we hope for both girls, as this adventure is all about challenging ourselves where we can). Then onto Flam and the equally amazing Flamsbana railway that winds its way around and through one of Norway's highest mountain on a 20km stretch reaching 1:18 gradients... should give us some great photo opportunities!! (even voted Lonely Planets Best Railway Journey in the World (2014))
Compelling views!!!! Great Staff on hand from bus to the top of the mountain!!! Well priced!!
We'd certainly visit again!!! The quality of the views was utterly magnificent and hopefully the photography does them some justice (I'll leave you to the judge of that! - see below))
The Ulriken Cable Car clearly enjoys the most spectacular views in Bergen, as it sits high above the skyline overlooking not only Bergen, but all the fjords south towards Stavanger. The breath taking scenery is matched by the highland nature/hikes at the top, and also the amazing playground and zip wire (not working today otherwise we'd have been on it!!!)
The scenery certainly has both Welsh and Scottish feelings about it, with the heather and small lochs/fjords/lakes around the top of the mountain (still partially in snow, reminding us of the 6months of harsh weather they have had to endure)... yet today was a stand out, even for Bergen's standards, it peaked at just over 26 degrees today... baking hot sun and not a cloud in the sky... perfect visibility to see the sights from the top of one of the 7 hills that surround Bergen (in this case Bergen's highest mountain - Mount Ulriken)
The saying' all sorrow will leave you at the mountain top' is strangely true, it had a calming influence that wafted across the many people enjoying the views at the top... sadly it didn't pass onto the girls who literally ran onto the newly built wooden playground to have fun...
This continued after we decided that it was rude not to enjoy this wonderful setting as we set off for a few hours of hiking across the top of Mount Ulriken.. through glades of heather with crystal clear lakes, and over snow covered crags... it was brilliant!! (no other words needed)
Bergen has made quite an impression on all of us...
Starting with the superbly efficient public transport from our campsite in Bratlands (Bus - 90, then Tram at Nesttun into centre), which was a perfect start on what was a baking hot day for Bergen - untypical by all accounts but very welcome!
Having viewed the beautiful garden in front of the main square in Bergen near Grieg's statue (Byparken)... we headed into town as both girls have a certain fondness for brass bands (their Godmother's doing...) and a chance to see the Queen of Norway welcomed into the city centre!!! An amazing opportunity to make it a memorable day for both girls as they saw young children of similar ages performing for their queen... a seed has been sewn, they will be wanting lessons on our return to the UK!
So after this brilliant start, we ventured towards the fish market but before we had covered 200m, we found ourselves in the thick of the opening of the Bergen International Festival - a 2 week extravaganza of art/music and culture - just brilliant and a great gear shift from the normal adventure seeking that we do! Aptly focused on a 'festival across barriers' - something to ponder!
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