First things first, a game of ball with Mac n Tosh. Tosh absolutely loves playing fetch and he is quiet good off the lead – doesn’t wander and reasonably good at recall. Mac on the other hand is a pain. You let him off and off he goes. Like a blinking bullet he runs towards the horizon with the occasional backwards glance and a grin thats says…freeeeeeeee. I have tried all sorts to get him to return but nothing until today! I raised my hands, screamed Mac and ran in the opposite direction. It was so funny. He stopped and looked back with an expression, oh no they are gonna leave me. With that he came dashing over and ended with a flying leap straight in to my arms.
With the boys shattered we closed shop, got out Eor the motorbike and headed off to Fantoft Stavkirke (stave church). Just over 1km it didn’t take long to get there but with no sign posts to guide you there and located at the back of an industrial estate, it wasn’t that easy to find. A short stroll through some gardens at the side of the units and the church appeared. Originally built in Fortun around 1150 and then moved to Fantoft in 1882 where it was embellished with dragon finials. The church was destroyed in 1992 by a fire but rebuilt with 3 years. The wooden church looked quite impressive from the outside but inside, maybe not so. Thankfully, we paid our NOK 55 per person and got the church to ourselves for 10 minutes before a number 11 lollipop and a hoard of tourists arrived…cue to leave.
Next stop, Gamlehaugen. The Kings residence (when in Bergen) set in lovely grounds and more like an open park with people sunbathing on the lawn and paddling in the lake. A nice stroll to the top but on closer inspection we reckon it needed a bit of a paint job!
Back to Vin for a brew, lunch and cuddle from the boys before heading back in to Bergen.
Bergen is the second biggest city in Norway surrounded by seven fjords and seven mountains. The capital of Norway until 1299 and one of the main trading post for Germany, which is were it gets its name…German for mountains. In 1702, a fire destroyed most of the city, which took several years to rebuild and now recognised by UNESCO.
The city centre is relatively compact and all the activity and buzz is focused in and around the harbour. Here you have endless bars, cafes and restaurants with glorious sunshine everyone was out enjoying the day. The fish market seems to attract all the tourist although I wouldn’t call it a market anyone. More like a market converted to open air Chinese cafes selling expensive fish n chips to Japanese and American tourists. The food did look nice but not sure I could pay £30 for fish and chips on a paper plate…but hats off to them, all the stalls were full. We had a wander all over the centre just in and around the back streets and very nice. Then over to Old Bergen to the crooked timber houses lined up on the wharf over looking the harbour. Brightly painted they certainly set the scene for Bergen…colourful and inviting. The original houses were burnt down in the fire and if you tootle over to the museum you can find out all about the history, quite fascinating. Finally, over to the Rosenkrantz Tower and Håkonshallen, which are part of the old fortifications of Bergenhus. If you include the burbs of Bergen then yes, it is big but the centre is relatively small and feels more like several charming fishing village stuck together.
Walking along the main street and we spotted a Boots Chemist. I was in need of my B12 injection, so we popped in to ask where I could find a doctor or a nurse. The assistance was most helpful, as are all Norwegians, and she found us a doctors just around the corner. We walked around the corner to Bryggen and found the doctors located at No 9 in one of the old timber house. The door was open, so we walked inside and climbed the stairs. No one around just a nurse / receptionist. We asked her where I could go for my injection and after several questions she realised we were in Norway for several months, so she kindly said “I will do it”. I went in to her little room were she quickly jabbed my buttock and then stuck on a sticky plasters. “eek, thank you”. The surprising thing, she never charged us for her services or the drugs. I thanked her, wished her a good day and hobbled down the stairs with a numb leg. Hopefully, I should feel better in a couple of days!
Back in Vin and we decided to head out of Bergen and see if we could find LPG. We scoured Kanalvegan but same old story “we did but no more”. Our final stop the gas centre. The guys were very helpful but again, the same story “sorry”. With nothing in Bergen we checked out our LPG list and set off north about 20km out of Bergen to Bonn Gass in Hylkje. A nice drive with a stop at the supermarket to buy some goodies. We arrived at the LPG station, which looked a little strange. It was an automated machine with several boxes. We examined the device and scratched our heads. A couple then came over with a propane bottle. They inserted their card, selected a number, a box opened, placed their bottle inside…a few minutes later their bottle appeared full. Good system but not for us. We need LPG and our bottles are fixed. Sigh. However, every cloud has a silver lining and today its diesel. This place offers cheap diesel, so we filled up! Vin was a happy chappy
Running out of LPG options and on to plan D! We cruised back down Osterfjorden and headed towards Voss. We have a new link for Norway LPG. The drive was amazing with crystal blue waters and sheer cliffs but not for long as it was time for a tunnel run. We went through every kind of tunnel possible – long, short, dark, bright, busy, no lights and finally one that looked like the entrance to a fair ground ride. It was getting late, around 11 o clock but it was still very bright. These bright nights certainly mess with your head! We decided to call it a day and pulled in to a small village called Stranghelle. We had planned on staying on the water but the area was covered in cement dust from road works, so we opted to stay on the railway car park. Evening meal at some godly hour before a quick walk and then bed!
Our sleep spot tonight…railway sleepers. Parked next to a quaint train station with views of pale pink rhododendrons sat at the base of a tree lined platform…very pretty. Lets hope the trains don’t chew chew all night!
GPS position N060.549715, E005.733996
Route: Bergen to Stanghelle
Weather: Low 14 and high 30…scorcher of a day x x x