Sunday, June 23, 2024

Bergen Chronicles: From Marine Marvels to Historical Treasures


Bergen, (OSLO & NORWAY)renowned for its frequent rainfall, greeted us with showers upon our arrival and persisted throughout our evening activities, including dinner at a high-end restaurant. The rain continued to accompany us even upon reaching our hotel. Dinner that evening held particular significance, providing much-needed nourishment after a day filled with strenuous activities. Fatigue had set in, prompting a longing for the comfort of our accommodations and the warmth of a soothing shower.

The following morning, we ventured to Bergen Aquarium, braving the inclement weather under provided umbrellas. As we explored the facility, the presence of penguins brought a sense of delight and wonder. Their carefree demeanor and striking appearance captivated my attention, offering a moment of respite amidst the gloomy weather. Observing these charming creatures evoked a sense of admiration and appreciation, reminding me of the beauty that can be found even in the midst of adversity.



Following our encounter with the penguins, we ventured further into the Bergen Aquarium, where we witnessed the feeding frenzy of hungry crocodiles eagerly devouring meat chunks thrown into their enclosures. Additionally, we had the privilege of interacting with jellyfish and other captivating sea creatures, marveling at their beauty and grace. Our exploration continued in the underground like tunnel aquarium, where we were greeted by a diverse array of freshwater and seawater fish, each displaying vibrant colors and unique shapes. Their synchronized movements, seemingly aimless yet purposeful, left us in awe.



Despite the rain, we were treated to a lively sea lion show from the comfort of the indoor viewing area, where we observed their playful antics through the glass. Their mischievous behavior and entertaining antics brought joy to all in attendance, leaving a lasting impression on our day. Our morning at the aquarium concluded with a screening of a 3D cartoon movie, adding an element of fun and entertainment to our educational experience.  

As lunchtime approached, we found ourselves in a shopping mall, where salmon once again made an appearance on the menu. Disheartened by the prospect of yet another salmon dish,

I was relieved when a thoughtful travel companion produced Malaysian canned ikan bilis (anchovy) sambal and sotong (squid) sambal. With gratitude, I indulged in this flavorful addition to our meal, finding solace in the familiar taste of Malaysian cuisine amidst unfamiliar surroundings. Truly, it was a moment of Malaysian food satisfaction, reminding me of the comforts of home even in distant lands.

 

Our next stop was the Bergen Museum, although it seemed that not everyone was keen to join. Nearly three-quarters of the group opted for coffee in the cafe instead of exploring the museum, a decision that left me puzzled. It was difficult to understand why anyone would pass up the opportunity to delve into Bergen's rich history. The museum, situated around the 12th-century foundations of wooden houses, offers intriguing insights into Bergen's past spanning a thousand years.

 

From a Viking boat on the ground floor to exhibitions on Bergen's history on the second floor, the museum provides a comprehensive overview of the city's evolution. However, visitors should be prepared for some surprises, as there are nudity posters and prints on display.





After spending an hour at the museum, we had two hours to wander the nearby streets. With little interest in the retail outlets, I just lingering around within the area.  Eventually, we returned to the hotel, eagerly anticipating day 2 in Bergen. 

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