On May 4th, 2013 that quote and my use of it returned to me, as I scaled Mount Ulriken and walked into thick snow and cloud. My situation was just similar enough to remind me. I cannot claim that the scale of my expedition and problems were anywhere near as massive as the Terra Nova expedition.
Mount Ulriken Videos and Photos
I’d been planning to trek some of the paths on Mount Ulriken on my last day in Bergen, and my guide book said they were well-marked, so I didn’t let the thick cloud and snow stop me.
It worked out well, and I enjoyed the couple of hours I spent in isolation. My feet were cold and wet after falling through thick snow into streams, but adrenalin and imagination fuelled my top half.
I started filming the water, and made it into a five-part Ulriken water video sequence; starting from the top like the water itself, and down to a bridge where I last sighted it.
On my third day in Bergen I booked a half-day boat-trip to the steep-sided Osterfjorden for the next day. That night, the weather forecast predicted heavy rain for the next day.
I woke up to thick snow on the ground outside Hostel Montana, half way up Mount Ulriken; providing ‘Christmas Card’ scenery. It was even more so in the Osterfjorden.
While it would probably have been better to have sunshine and clear skies, the snow and low cloud gave the fjord a ‘land that time forgot’ atmosphere. There were just a few settlements on Osterøy island; which we were told is Europe’s largest land-enclosed island; meaning it probably looked similar to the Vikings more than a millenium ago.
After yesterday’s blog focused on my hike to Bergen‘s UNESCO site old docks of Bryggen, this post has lesser greenygrey photos from Bryggen. The Greenygrey blog has more photos from Bryggen; of a more greenygrey nature.
Bergen’s Bryggen Photos
On a day of sunshine and showers, the sun shone enough to get some nice photos, bringing out the bright colours of the docks buildings.
In photo 7 you can see the Floibanen funicular in the background. This is a popular tourist attraction providing transport up to Mount Floyen (320 metres) for a good view over Bergen.
The last two photos were taken the next day, as I returned from a boat-trip out to the steep-sided Osterfjord. Photos from that trip next time…
On my third day I returned to the centre of Bergen, having only seen a little of it the first time, when I arrived at the bus station. Heading straight to Bryggen, I ended up going left and circling around Nordnesparken park. I had all day, so wasn’t bothered, and it was a nice detour.
In a double-day simultaneous blogcast with the Greenygrey I’ve divided the photos into pre-Bryggen (the UNESCO site old docks) today, and Bryggen tomorrow; and non-greenygrey photos here and greenygrey ones over at thegreenygrey blog… although there is some greenygrey in these too!
Hopefully you’ll like them so much you’ll visit both blogs on both days. Here’s this site’s pre-Bryggen:
Heavy rain, sleet and snow fell in the afternoon. Although this would normally have been bad news, I was quite happy about it. It made me glad I’d climbed Mount Ulriken in the morning; and provided a perfect excuse to sit by the radiator enjoying the morning’s achievement while watching the inclement weather.
It cleared late afternoon, so I went out for a walk. As I’d hiked from the north to the hostel, and planned to return north to see the city centre, I headed south.
I had a nice walk, seeing some ordinary Bergen neighbourhoods, and reaching a hill with views quite far south to a lake. And the hike came in handy a few days later, after I returned to Mount Ulriken and descended from its heavy snow and cloud covered top in an unknown direction.
Having climbed half way up Mount Ulriken to reach Hostel Montana, I completed the climb in the morning. It had clouded over, but was dry. As Britain had finally started to warm up after a long winter, it was also cold, with temperatures only just above freezing.
Mount Ulriken, Bergen’s Highest Mountain
Mount Ulriken is the highest of seven mountains forming a natural amphitheatre inland from Bergen’s sea.
Ulriken is 643 m (2,110 ft) high; about half the altitude of Britain’s highest mountain: Ben Nevis is 1,344 metres (4,409 ft). Norway‘s highest peak is Galdhøpiggen at 2,469 m (8,100 ft).
After a mixture of sunshine and showers on the journey from Haugesund, the sun was thankfully shining bright when I arrived in Bergen. I’d been thinking about getting a city bus up to Hostel Montana, after reading it was up a mountain 5km (3.5 miles) outside the centre, but had also written out a rough map copied from the hostel website.
Bergen Mountain Houses Shine in Afternoon Sun
After seeing the colourful mountain houses circling the city centre shining in the late afternoon sun, as I’d seen in many photos, I felt like walking. So I headed south. After feeling a bit lost, I saw a #12 bus, which is the bus to the hostel.
So I followed the bus route up to the hostel, which was not a light stroll in the land of the troll.
Bergen Sunset Lights Fjord and Houses
While the walk had been quite tough, I was glad I was staying on the mountain when the sun set; which on that April 30th night I was surprised to see was already quite late at about 10.30-11; about the same time as British midsummer.
The fjord lit up like a real fire, and the mountain houses like precious topaz.