My Journal entries for Days 10 (continued) and 11: I'm very pleased with how this trip turned out. I was very nervous about camping for so long, not having used my gear yet, and not having the greatest food - would I be cold? Plans have so far gone smoothly outside of a few mistakes.
Yesterday was pretty miserable though; we spent 5 hours in the rain with enormous overweight packs on our backs. I think I might have bruised my hips. We ended up sleeping maybe 14 hours in our tent after that, which brings us to today, which wasn't nearly as bad.
We took a walk to the swords in stone - Sverd i Fjell - something I wanted to see. They are three huge swords carved from rock and planted in the ground to commemorate the battle of Harfrsfjord, when the kingdoms of Norway were united. On the way, we found Jernaldergarden, a reconstructed Iron Age farm, and an ultra-cheap bakery where we ate breakfast.
Then it was time for our 5-hour bus ride to Bergen. I knew this would be the most expensive part of the trip - and I was right. I probably should have booked a hotel room before arriving, but I didn't and now we're scrambling trying to find a reasonably-cheap place to stay (but that doesn't exist). We're at Steen's Hotel, a building in the center area that was built in the 1800s and is sparkling beautiful on the inside with stained glass windows, and we got it at a "good" price coming in in the last few hours. It was the last room they had.
I don't know where we will be tomorrow, but I do know we'll be exploring Bergen. Bergen seems very different from anywhere we've been yet, and its bustling with life and looks something out of a magazine. It is most known for Bryggen, the Hanseatic Wharf which was a major port station in Europe during the Middle Ages; it looks just as it did back then. The fish market on the docks, from what I saw, has any sort of fish you can imagine ready to be taken away and eaten for lunch. There is also the funicular, which you can take to the top of Mount Fløyen.
I guess Bergen is a huge cultural centerpoint in Norway, as I'm just finding out the "International Festival" is going on. I can't wait to check it out. On Sunday, our last full day, we will spend touring the scenic railways and the Sognefjord, which I will write more about when I see it!
As for the trip as a whole, I feel pretty accomplished. We managed to see and do a lot, and I can add quite a few more checks to my figurative Bucket List and UNESCO sites. And now that we're in Bergen, and there's no way around the cost, we might as well enjoy it.