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Saga Sapphire 2019, A Norwegian Saga

My first visit to Bergen but Edna had been before (with her sister, Rosemary, on the Sapphire in 2015). What an attractive place, but, to be honest, there aren't many unattractive places that cruise ships visit!
We caught the shuttle bus into town (dropped near the Fish Market) and walked back to the ship via Bryggen, a lovely parade of restaurants, shops, hotels etc. built in 1702. No wonder it's a World Heritage Site

Bryggen Hanseatic Houses - the photos can't do it justice but it shows what a lovely day it was!

Then a little detour to St. Mary's Church (stunning, in my opinion, and it's the oldest building in Bergen!)

St. Mary's Church

Two statues by St. Mary's. One appears to be a WW2 Memorial and the other is Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), Icelandic Writer

Next we walked through the grounds of Bergenhus Fortress. Still used by the Royal Norwegian Navy and we saw several (what looked like) cadets. Rosenkrantz Tower (16th. Century) had (presumably) restoration works going on so could not get near and Haakon's Hall (12th. Century), although old, is an uninspiring buiding from the outside. Still it was nice to see, before we left the Fortress, that we didn't have far to go to the ship!

Haakon's Hall and Saga Sapphire from the Fortress grounds

King Haakon VII (1872-1957) in the Fortress

After we had lunch on board I decided to walk in on my own and have a good look around the City. Who should I meet coming back but brother in law Michael. He'd decided to walk in but didn't have a map so turned back when he reached the exit from the Fortress. He turned around again and joined me on my travels. Churches and statues are my thing so first to the Holy Cross Church (nice) with an 1808 memorial outside (to what I wonder?).

The Holy Cross Church and Memorial

Next to the Cathedral. Work going on! Outside covered with plastic sheeting, took a couple of photos but, yuk. Still, there are enough statues etc. to keep me happy for a while, including the impressive Seaman's Monument

The four sides of the Seaman's Monument - at times like taking the 4th. photo you don't want it to be a lovely day!

Henrik Ibsen, Playwright (1828-1906) and Christian Michelsen, First Prime Minister of Independent Norway (1857-1925)

Baron Ludvig Holberg, writer (1684-1754) and a rather nice fountain

Lastly, two musical giants(?)

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) and Ole Bull (1810-1880)

I know what you're thinking. Grieg, heard of him. Music for Peer Gynt (a play by Ibsen, see above), you may think you don't know it but listen to Morning Mood or In the Hall of the Mountain King and you'll say "Oh yes, know that". Ole Bull? Heard of him? Nor had I. Strange thing, I was sorting the photos for the web site last night and looked up Ole Bull. Still none the wiser. Today (23rd. June) I was reading a book (getting towards the end) about blues (see my music tastes) and, lo and behold, there he was! "Deep Blues" by Robert Palmer (an American Penguin, 1982), page 225, "In 1838, when the Norwegian concert violinist Ole Bull became the first classical musician to perform in Memphis". Spooky!

Bergen, a great place to visit.


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