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From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Although the draw of Norway is its natural beauty, I also found the villages and towns interesting. Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but it’s also one of the less inequitable, fitting between Denmark and Ireland at the lower (better) end of the scale. This shows up in the housing and shopping areas. There are some upscale stores and probably a number of high end homes (I didn’t really see any), but there is a moderate and comfortable feel to the populated areas. The average home price is about the same there as here, but more homes are at the average there.
Let’s start small and work up to Bergen. By the way, I didn’t include any photos from Oslo. we weren’t there long, it was raining, and I didn’t walk around enough to get a feel for it. We did get a Bjørklund cheese slicer, though, the one patented in 1925 and still the best ;-)
Vic, a small town on the Sognefjord. Similar to many, a hotel or two, a restaurant and grocery, some light industry and tourism to keep the economy going. Sognefjord is an enormous fjord – Naeroyfjord, which we travelled, is a small branch of it. Oddly we travelled two hours after our fjord ride to spend the night here, and two hours in the morning going back to almost the same place we started, before going on for the day. One of the less desirable features of doing a visit by tour group. Maybe they got a good rate from the hotel. Pretty town, though. (click for a larger version)
Eidfjord is a small village on the Eid Fjord, a lesser branch of the Hardangerfjord. 500 people, Tesla charging, and a stopping point for big cruise ships. None when we were there, thankfully – the ships hold almost twice as many people as the village, and it must be a zoo when they’re there. A closer view of the cliffs than from the middle of the fjord. (click for a larger version)
Lillehammer is one of the larger Norwegian towns, about 28,000 people. It was the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics; the Olympic ski jump area is still used and popular. (click for a larger version)
The Lillehammer town center is like most places in Norway – immaculate, charming, and well kept up. Lillehammer used to have some industry; these days it serves as a major staging area for trips to other parts of Norway, and has lots of fairs and festivals throughout the year to occupy the tourists (not when we were there, as you can probably tell). (click for a larger version)
This is part of the long and attractive city park in Bergen that stretched through an area of the downtown. The woman on the left seems to be judging the girls on the right, for what, I don’t know. How well they wear their costumes? (click for a larger version)
This is about as grungy as Bergen gets; a backstreet open square with graffiti. Still spotless, though. I used it as a shortcut to get from our hotel to the nearest eyeglass store: a screw from my glasses had fallen out and the glasses lens for my good eye had fallen out with it. Could have been a disaster. (click for a larger version)
If you search Bergen images, you’ll get the same picture over and over – a couple of blocks of old brightly painted houses with some other buildings in the background, the Bryggen area. In fact Bergen a large city with all the mod cons except skyscrapers. This is a view down Vetrlidsallmennigen toward the harbor and the Bryggen old town area. (click for a larger version)
The harbor and part of the Bryggen area. From the 14th to the 16th century Bryggen was a major European trade center; the often renovated and reconstructed buildings in this area are kept up as a memorial to that time. This is a peek at part of the street that gets photographed all the time to exemplify Bergen. (click for a larger version)
OK, one picture of Bryggen, but from the back rather than the front. It’s pretty clear from this why they had so many fires over the centuries. (click for a larger version)
Bergen has its share of modern housing, but there are still a lot of people who live in wooden houses packed together on the hillsides; the Bryggen tradition (hopefully without all the fires) continues. (click for a larger version)