Om de ‘Syv’ Fjell — About the ‘Seven’ Mountains

So apparently, Bergen is “the City among Seven Mountains.” The fact that Bergen is actually surrounded by NINE mountains doesn’t seem to deter its residents from claiming all the mythological and historical impact of lucky number seven.

Seven, nine, whatever — mountains are awesome, and having a veritable Smorgåsbord of them at my feet is going to be one of the highlights of this semester for me.

I’m on a quest to climb them all!


Mountain No. 1 — Mount Fløyen

I went up Mt. Fløyen on my second full day in Bergen. At 1,394 feet, it’s not the tallest of the seven mountains, but it’s the most visited — little wonder, as it towers above the old town and the entrance to the funicular is conveniently located next to the tourist information center.

The first time we went up, we were unsure about the conditions of the paths or about the weather, so we played it safe and went up in the funicular, which was built in 1918 and is the only one of its kind in Scandinavia. Right as we reached the top and stepped out of the carriage, hail started beating down on us out of the sky! We hurried to throw on hoods and hide cameras, wondering if we’d made an arrogant mistake to tackle a mountain in January.

But the hail soon lessened, and this is what we saw in front of us:

View over Bergen

We started wandering around lovely pine forests with tons of moss and running water from melting snow and rain — everything was dripping and beautiful, there were tiny waterfalls just forming on the forest floor and mist everywhere — and tiny lakes barely frozen over.

There wasn’t much wind or even snow, so we decided we could walk down. And we were fine, even though it was a bit slippery and icy on the winding paths. To one side, magnificent views of city and sea kept appearing through the trees.We ate a small lunch on the ruins of an old cafe.

A week later, when we got a bit more snow, we headed up Fløyen again. We walked this time and found the hike pretty easy, with the hardest part being the hundreds of stairs leading above the roofline of the city below. As we neared the top, we ran into a “Nisseskog” — a sort of faerie-forest. It was terrifying, to say the least.

On a small hillside beside a frozen lake, we made a little snowman!

To our left, I saw a sign reading “Utsikten,” or “View”. We hiked off the trail onto a hillside, through a foot of snow. At one point, my leg fell through into a large puddle, and the cold water went over the top of my boot and down into my sock… But when we reached the top, the view over the pines and the sea was worth it!

Our ultimate destination for the day was Brushytten, a little hut that on Sundays opens to sell hot chocolate, coffee and waffles, becoming a gathering place for families taking a break from their weekend walking and skiing. As we sat and relaxed inside, the weather took a turn and became misty and mysterious.

Yes, I love this country.


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