Randi is still somewhat recovering from her fall just before Christmas, when she broke her pelvis in 2 places, so she had booked wheelchair service. When we arrived in Copenhagen, the service was late getting to Randi but, fortunately, they came with a motor cart. I say fortunately because it was a long way to the gate. We were no sooner there than boarding began for the flight to Bergen.
Within a 1/2 hour of arriving at Flesland, the Bergen airport, we met up with Matthew, Randi’s son, in the baggage area. He had just arrived from Calgary. We got our luggage, made our way outside (no customs or passport control), loaded the bags and ourselves into a taxi for the 1/2 ride to the First Hotel Marin. Randi, Bonnie and I were sharing a room there, while Matt walked to the Air B&B he had arranged, which was very close by.
We got ourselves situated in the room and when Matt came back, we walked down to the fish market to find some dinner. We all ordered a halibut dinner and ate it under the tent. Cost approximately Cdn. $50 each. After that, we went for a walk along Brygge, Bergen’s historic waterfront, to check out a couple of the shops. Nice stuff, but damn expensive!
By this time, both Randi and Bonnie were anxious to get their feet up for a while, so they headed back to the hotel. Matt and I continued walking along the Brygge to the Bergenhus Fortress, which is located at the entrance to the harbour and “is one of the oldest and best preserved castles in Norway”. There are buildings in the fortress that date back to 1240 and foundations of buildings believed to date back before 1100. The fortress was enclosed by stone walls in the 1240’s.
The 2 most prominent buildings in the fortress are Haakon’s Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower. Haakon’s Hall, or the Royal Hall, was built around 1260 and is the largest medieval secular building in Norway. The defensive Rosenkrantz tower was built around 1270. Bergenhus underwent restoration in the 1890’s and again after major damage sustained during WWII. Today it’s used as a concert venue and as a feast hall for major events.
Matt and I made our way back to Scruffy Murphy’s Irish pub for a cold refreshment. I had arranged to meet up with a couple of cousin’s from my Dad’s side of the family (his sister, Emma, was their grandmother): Hans Wilhelm and Peter Gulestad. While Matt was organizing seats on the sidewalk patio, Hans Wilhelm arrived while I was ordering drinks at the bar. His brother, Peter, arrived shortly after.
When we (Bonnie, cousin Margaret, her husband Rick from London, ON and daughter Johanna from Ajax) were in Norway in 2012, we met Hans Wilhelm and his lovely wife, Britt Eini, during a stop in Bergen. They treated us to a wonderful dinner and evening at their home. We hadn’t met Peter before. Just before leaving on this trip, we learned from Peter that Britt Eini had passed away the previous week, so it was great that Hans Wilhelm joined us. Bonnie came to the pub a short time later and the 4 of us had a great conversation and lots of laughs. Randi had fallen fast asleep very quickly, so she wasn’t able to meet them tonight.
Bonnie returned to the hotel after a while. Matt and I stayed to continue the family history lesson, mostly for Matt’s benefit, and learned more about each other. With our plans for touring and a couple of meals laid out for the next day, we parted company and returned to our respective rooms.