But not just a bus ride, but four ferry crossings as well, with the bus arriving just ahead of the ferry to roll-on first, and of course, roll-off first as well.
Vehicles respect the yellow "do not park here" markings. Are we surprised? Think about it, Bainbridge ferry users!
A cheap way to get a fjord cruise, albeit a short one.
The Âlesund bus veers south-eastly to Oslo, so Bergen bound passengers change to another which continues south to Bergen. Packages bound for Bergen have to change buses as well: yes, hand parcel delivery service by bus is alive and well in Norway.
An itinerant carnival packing up to move to the next location.
Norled, with 80 vessels, is one of Norway's largest ferry companies. And with the MF Ampere, one of the most innovative. The bus driver was quite proud of her, explaining that she is the first all electric ferry.
When she docks at the end of a 20 minute, six kilometer run, two grounding plates (one is on the right) attach to the hull, and a charging apparatus lowers from the tower into a receiver on the ship.The on-board battery is charged from a high voltage battery-pack in the tower during the ten minute turn-around time.. When she departs, the dock-side batteries are partially recharged from the electrical grid, and at night, with no ferry service they are fully recharged, enabling the ship to make 34 crossings in a day.
Bergen, founded in 1070, is, with 280,000 people, Norway's second largest city. On its utility covers are seven waves in the harbor, alluding to the seven mountain peaks which surround it, as well as historic buildings and the funicular railway with goes to the top of Fløyen, one of the seven.
The pension "Skansen" is very close to the funicular's terminus, thus ...
... an obvious first thing to do when arriving in town.
When a Bus No. 1 is not available, a Lite-Rail No. 1 will do!
It goes to the once rural, now suburban, area where the composer Edvard Grieg built his home, Troldhaugen ("Troll Hill") in 1885 (Schak Bull, 1858-1956), where he could escape the noise of the city and concentrate on his music.
In 1985 a state of the art concert hall was built into the hill with a traditional Norwegian sod roof, which also helps keep the building from distracting from the house. It was thoroughly redone in 2012 by Kristin Jarmund Architect
Also along Route #1 is the Fantoft "Stave" Church, so called due its innumerable wooden pieces. Its a reconstruction of a 1150 church which was saved from demolition and moved here in 1883. In 1992 it was burned by "born again pagans"; this reconstruction was finished in 1997.
The Kode Art Museum's four buildings, strung along a park in downtown, house a wide collection of Norwegian art. Number 3 has the Rasmus Meyers Collection showcasing ...
...works of major artists of the Golden Age of Norwegian art, including J.C. Dahl (1788-1857) and ...
... a large collection of Edvard Munch (1863-1944), showing he did more than "The Scream" 😱!
Out along the water, at the edge of downtown is most recent structure of the "Old Seaman's Home" (Schak Bull, 1896), an institution started in 1599.
Niels Brelsten lives here after many years on the ocean, first as a cook for two years, then as a pianist for some 20 odd years on cruise ships. He came ashore and continued playing for another 20 years.
A bit further on is Nordnes Park, which fronts the Byfjord, and where...
... the totem pole (Duane Pasco, carver) Seattle sent her Sister City in 1970 to celebrate Bergen's 900th birthday.
Remember Jorild in Bodø? Her mother, Ann is on the right, and her aunt, Kirsten, on the left, of Zhufeng. So they are my Seattle friend's first cousins.
Although Bergen is Norway's second largest city apparently the first project by Snøhetta is just getting under construction. They won the 2005 international competition, but it went into re-design due to budget complaints by the Ministry of Education and Research, then it took until 2013 before the government approved funding. Completion date, autumn 2017.
Ann, who works in historical preservation for Bergen County, pointed out the relatively restrained signage of the downtown McDonald's (in a 1710 building), but even so she was not happy with it.
The interior was not under such restraint.
Much of the historic city core has narrow walkways and stairways between wooden buildings, and, like so many other cities of such development, has suffered many fires.
This led to rebuilding with periodic wide areas, enough so that now some vehicular streets zig-zag up them for a ways.
Like many old cities, structures are often in the way but instead of tear-down, they are moved to the edge of town to re-create the character of the historic city. "Gamle" (old) Bergen Museum, founded in 1934, but greatly expanded as Bergen recovered from WWII, has recreated an 18th/ 19th Century neighborhood, even looking out to the fjord.
But THE historic spot is Bryggen, "the wharf", founded in the 13th Century, but fire, war, decay, "modernization" have taken their toll.
The oldest surviving part, started in 1702, is a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. The quay-front facades present a rather orderly design, but ....
...things get decidedly looser along the walks between them, and ...
...down right "free form" out back.
Maintenance and repair are constantly needed.
Meanwhile, outside the historic areas, more contemporary expressions are often found.
Hmmm, this might make for an interesting zig-saw puzzle.