Another day, another country. Just another day in the life of That One Guy Who Travels! I’m writing this post from our apartment in Copenhagen, which we arrived at a few hours ago. Before we start talking about all things Danish though, let’s wrap up Norway, shall we?
If you’ll remember, our flight out of Bergen didn’t leave until 4p today, giving us plenty of time to do a couple more things today (while still not having to wake up early – win!). We had two things on our agenda – take the Fløibanen funicular up to Mt. Fløyen and make a return visit to Bergen Cathedral during the 90 minutes it would be open to go inside. No sweat! Okay, there was a little sweat involved, but that was only because of the walking.
To start, we hit up Fløibanen, the entrance to which was literally a two-minute walk from our apartment. Not familiar with funiculars? Learn more here (it’s basically a cable railway moving up a slope)! We heard there can be lines from late morning to early afternoon, so we planned to get there around 9a, but we didn’t actually get there until 1030a. Oops! No matter though – there was no line and there was a tram leaving in just a few minutes, so things timed out perfectly. If you want to go at a specific time, you can check the timetable on the Fløibanen website linked above, but they generally run every half-hour (and even every 15 minutes at peak times), so you’ll never have to wait long. The ride is always quick, but know that sometimes the cars go directly to Mt. Fløyen and sometimes they make stops at the other few stations on the line. Ours made stops, but we still got to the top in about 7-8 minutes. If you read pretty much any guidebook, website, etc. about what to see in Bergen, going to Mt. Fløyen will always be recommended and once you actually see the views at the top, you understand why. It’s gorgeous! Today was clear and sunny and the views were totally stunning. I’m sure it’s equally beautiful when it’s lit up at night, but I would still recommend going during the day because you can see so far! The water, Bryggen, the larger Bergen area, the beautiful homes – you really can see it all, so be sure not to miss it! It’s very affordable – ~$10 USD for a round-trip ticket and half that to just go one way and then walk back down. We opted to walk back down, which made for a great way to get a walk in on such a beautiful day. Google Maps kept telling us we weren’t walking the right way, but we followed the paved road and it led us quickly back down into Bergen. There may be multiple paths down (we just took the first one we found), so don’t be shy about asking someone in the shop or restaurant if you aren’t sure where to go!
From Fløyen, we made our way over to the cathedral and got there shortly before noon – whew! With a tight window to work with (remember, it’s only open from 11a-1230p), I wanted to at least get a look inside and we did exactly that. As with many churches, this one was free to enter (donations accepted) and there were only two other people inside when we were there. As cathedrals go, it was certainly nice, but I was actually expecting it to be a bit more lavish than it was. Still, I’m glad we made it in and it was a perfect way to wrap up our time in Bergen.
You’d think that I wouldn’t have many pictures since we just did those two things, right? Wrong! Enjoy. 🙂
And that just about put an end to our time in Bergen! We grabbed a bite for Scott on the walk home from the cathedral (I still had leftovers from another meal) and then finished getting packed up in our apartment. Scott ran into our host (he and his partner own the whole home, which includes the apartment we stayed in and the house above, which they live in) and they chatted for awhile before inviting both of us up to tour their place. They’ve done some great work on the house, including a cool, top-floor living room with amazing views of Bergen, yet it still feels very original (the house probably dates to the late 1700s). Kjell (our host) was amazingly nice and is probably the best Airbnb host we’ve had in all our travels, so if you’re looking for a place to stay in Bergen, book his!
The rest of the day was spent in transit as we caught the ultra-convenient Airport Express bus (multiple pickup points around Bergen and only ~$12 USD for a one-way ticket) and then our flight to Copenhagen. This trip is the first time I’ve flown SAS, but I’ve found them to be great. They have US-standard baggage allowances (around 50 lbs. for one checked bag for each passenger), nice staff, and comfortable seats. We paid a little bit more (the price varied, but never more than $20 each) to get exit-row seats and both flights we’ve had so far (two more to go) had awesome leg room, so the price was totally worth it (especially for Scott – he’s 6’4″!). They fly throughout Scandinavia (and lots of other destinations), so if you fly in this part of the world, you’re likely to use them at some point. Recommended!
Our arrival in Copenhagen was easy-peasy. We grabbed our bags and decided to catch an Uber to our apartment. We could have taken a slower and only slightly cheaper train to get into the city, but we use Uber often at home and they’re so convenient that we opted to do it here. The fare was only ~$25 USD and I used the same Uber app I use at home – simple! Be sure to check for Uber (or other ridesharing services) when you’re traveling abroad as they’re almost always cheaper than taxis and certainly have more friendly drivers. Today’s driver was very sweet, spoke English very well, and even gave us some restaurant recommendations for our neighborhood.
At our apartment, we met up with our nice host, who gave us the lay of the land, made sure he answered any questions we had, and then went on his way. We’re clearly staying in the apartment he lives in (he’s going to Sweden this weekend), but that’s part of using Airbnb. We’ve often stayed in apartments that definitely aren’t full-time residences, but rather investment properties. But sometimes you’re staying in the house someone lives in. Either way, it’s a reminder that you’re only using the space temporarily, so you should be nice to it!
Here are a few pics of our humble abode for the next few days:
Since we didn’t get to the apartment until after 6p, we got unpacked, settled in, had some good Thai food from a local take-out place, hit up a supermarket for a few essentials (read – snacks), and have been relaxing ever since. We’re here in Copenhagen until noon on Sunday, so we’ve got to see and do a lot tomorrow and Saturday. More updates to come!