The Spirit of Discovery had left Portsmouth on Saturday and then we had had two days on a rough North Sea before reaching Bergen.
After we had docked, the Captain explained that the ship had been hit on the starboard side by a cross wave on the evening before. The ship had been pitching as she made her way North when the cross wave came from a different direction. This was the wave that had caused us to fall off backwards from the table in the dining room.
Day 4: Tuesday 21st February 2023: Bergen
We were in no rush to leave the ship this morning and we went up to the grill on Deck 12 for a late breakfast. After the previous couple of days we were both looking forward to being ashore for a while.
The Spirit of Discovery was moored out at the Bentelabo Cruise Terminal which was at the side of the Bergenhus Fortress.
After leaving the ship, we walked around underneath the fortress walls, stopping to look at the large oil support vessels moored alongside the road.
When we came to the Bryggen the restoration work was still ongoing. A group of workers were around what looked like a large auger and were taking samples in the middle of the cobbled pedestrian area.
Funicular to Mount Floyen
Once passed the Bryggen we turned up Vetrlidsallmennigen and walked up to the funicular. This would take us to the top of Mount Floyen.
This funicular is very modern compared to most of them that we have ridden recently. After picking up our tickets, we were some of the last people to get to the funicular car. It was almost full as all the seats had been filled. The operator took sympathy on us and signalled for us to climb the steps to the top compartment where she would be controlling the car. This did mean standing but we would have a great view up and down the track.
At the top, we followed the path that took us around the top of the hill with views of Bergen to our left below us. There we passed the many carved trolls at the side of the track.
The signs promising that there were witches in the woods had all gone.
Once the path started to descend back down to Bergen, we turned around and walked back. As we reached the buildings at the top of the funicular we could now see and hear goats. We went into the small coffee shop and in there had coffee and shared a delicious cake.
In front of the hotel/restaurant, we followed the path that wound the opposite way around the top of the hill. Along the path we had different views of Bergen. Looking inland from the path before it plunged into the forest, we could see valleys and mountains inland from Bergen. On a hut, we read a poster about the goats. The poster explained how they were ‘encouraged’ to stay on the hill – by the use of electric collars.
The viewing point
The views from the stepped viewing area of Bergen were spectacular. We were at first startled by the noise of a canon firing on the castle walls below us. After two or three more loud bangs, we could see a dense smoke where the canon was on the walls. By now the organised tours were arriving and we decided it was time to leave and head back down to Bergen.
I had put my return ticket so safely that I couldn’t remember where it was. A quick visit back to the café confirmed it hadn’t been lost there. After buying a single ticket my return ticket turned up in my iPhone’s wallet.
The ride back down was interrupted a few times as the funicular stopped at the way stations to allow people to board for the journey down.