Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Beguiled by Bergen

Norway was the second country we visited on our recent Scandinavian holiday. After leaving Denmark, we flew to Bergen, Norway.  Located on the southwest coast, Bergen is the second largest city with over a quarter of a million people. The colorful city is nestled into a narrow inlet of sea surrounded by steep mountains. Purportedly, the fjord was carved by glaciers eons ago.   

Actually, Bergen feels like a small quaint town--very colorful and quite charming. The historic, brightly painted wooden structures around the wharf are so often photographed they have become Bergen's face...

which makes the many sidewalk flower displays the town's rouge. 

A mountain rises abruptly behind the shopping district. The easiest way to the top is via the Flolbanen Funicular train. 

Once at the top you can see for miles and enjoy lunch or dinner in the lovely white clapboard restaurant. 

Above and behind the restaurant is a hiking trail.

We succumbed to the challenge and were so glad we did. God's glory was on display! The mountaintop beauty above Bergen inspired us to slow down and contemplate in two ways: The macro expanse gave us a panoramic perspective of the world,
while the microscopic beauty forced us to investigate the Creator's details often overlooked.
After the hike, we went back down the mountain and browsed in the many quaint shops,
watched a creative jewelry-designer at work,

took note of Norwegian furniture,

and of course, inspected hand-knit children's clothing.
We finished the day by eating a scrumptious meal at To Kokker, a charming little restaurant upstairs in one of the wooden buildings on the wharf.
As you can imagine, we slept very well after such an exhilarating day. Looking back at our trip, Bergen definitely captured our imaginations and has lingered in our memories.

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