06/08/2024 – The Ups and Downs of Bergen

06/08/2024 – The Ups and Downs of Bergen

Like most of our trips, we have had our ups and downs for the days we have spent in Norway. Today started out as a downer as we watched the torrential downpour from our skylight window in our room. The steady pounding of the rain did not bode well for our day. On the upside, the free breakfast buffet was on our floor so we didn’t have to walk far to get some breakfast. The downside of breakfast for Kathy is still the dark bitterness of the coffee; for Dave no chocolate milk that he has been enjoying on a regular basis here. On the other hand, the upside of breakfast was lots of great fruit and a big bowl of cereal. All in all we felt that it was a good balance between up and down.

Heading back to the room, the few short steps was enough time for us to see the sun shining outside of the windows, being so far up on the top floor allowed us to see quite a ways out and blue sky was in the horizon. Quickly brushing our teeth we bounded down the stairs to explore the city of Bergen. First we again walked into the old town quarter of Bryggen and up to the castle/fort Rosenkrans and the 13th Century Haakon’s Hall to see if we could see more during the operating hours. What a downer, we saw pretty much what we saw last night.  The only up was when we climbed up and were able to view the fjord from the top of the sentry wall. It was still fun and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Climbing down, we headed back to the hotel for a brief respite. Along the way we got to watch as a multitude of entertainers got their floats together for a large parade to be held that day at 1 pm. The parade in celebration of Pride Month seemed quite large and festive with bright rainbows adorning all the shops and painted on the faces of those who milled about. Finally back to the hotel, we had a quick PB&J sandwich, some fruit, and chilled for a bit before we headed out again.  This time our mission was to find the trails leading to a lookout point at the top of Bergen. We had two choices, climb the trails to the top or take the tram…of course we opted to hoof it up. About a quarter of the way up, Kathy spotted a man giving CPR to someone lying on the ground. Dave hurried up to assist, like always he rose up to the challenge of helping others. A Norwegian nurse was giving CPR and Dave checked his pulse and attempted to see if his pupils were reacting to light. Thankfully, an ambulance crew arrived just as Dave was about to take over compressions. We were feeling down and sad as we observed his wife watching the frantic efforts of the people attempting to revive her husband. After such an event, we decided to head back down the mountain. At the base of the hill, the sun was replaced by some tears from heaven as the rain started again to descend in torrents. Deciding on the better part of valor, we opted to hop into McDonalds for a McFlurry for something cheer us up. Eventually the sun came out again and we decided we still needed to get to the top of the mountain. This time we decided to take the tram up and then back down.  It was well worth the effort to see the view of Bergen from up on top of the mountain.  As we wandered around and admired the view we came upon some goats that were looking for a little attention. Dave scratched the heads of a few and enjoyed the distraction.  The trip down the tram gave us excellent views of the city and it was amazing how much we could see through the clear glass roof of the funicular.

This evening we headed out to church. We had previously discussed the sadness of today and of the death of the man who fell a few days ago at Pulpit Rock. Dave philosophized that while the outcome is probably not good for the man on the trail, he died in a way that he would have wanted to go, doing what he loved with the women he loved by his side.  That made Kathy feel better, but it still put a bit of downer on the day.   This afternoon as we head out to church we will remember both men and their families in our prayers.

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