A week in Norway: walking in Bergen
At least once a year I go to Bergen, Norway, my second “home-town”. The place is amazing no matter the season, because there is no such thing as a bad weather, its the wrong clothes. I usually plan it, though, on May, when the 7 mountain hike is held. This year, having moved to Ibiza, obviously another great place to go for walks, I missed the event. Instead, I made a week full of little hiking trips in Bergen in August. Following you will see some of the nice and fairly simple, except for one, walking routes in Bergen and Bergen area.
Bergen walking routes: Gravdal – Lyderhorn
This walk is the start of the Seven Mountain Hike as well, and we, me and my friend Anne-Ly knew the road all too well. It goes ca 30-45 minutes slow but constant uphill on asphalt. It seems like it never ends. After asphalt, there is a nice decent to the lake and then more uphill. And when you think going downhill is much easier, think again. Not on this mountain (nor in Ulriken or any other mountain in Bergen, I’d say). Downhill pathway is muddy and rocky and slippery. So you have got to pay attention at all times. And that’s what makes the mountain and walking on that mountain great – you have this time to forget the world and enjoy the walk in the fantastic nature of Norway!
Length: ca 5km
You can reach the start point easily with a bus from Bergen city center – just ask for the bus that takes you to Gravdal.
Evening stroll in Fyllingsdalen, lake Tennebrekkjorna
Another night we decided on a simpler route to just relax and enjoy the Norwegian summer. This walk in Fyllingsdalen, quite close to Bergen center (a bus drive away) is a popular evening stroll location for sportspeople, couples, families. It is quiet, with only some little hilly parts, nothing serious. But I have to mention, I love the fact that you cannot be outside, not on the mountains, on a track or on the city street for more than 20 minutes without seeing somebody doing sports, going for a hike, running, walking, different ages, everyone … Love it!
Elevation: nothing to mention
The difficult walk: Ulriken
This is something special. Ulriken is the highest mountain in the so called Seven Mountains of Bergen, being a famous sightseeing place since you can get up there with a cable car and have a fantastic view on Bergen. It is also the fourth mountain on 7 mountain hike or first if you do the 4 mountain hike instead. NB! The highest mountain in Bergen is Gullfjellet, 987m.
This time we met with a fellow traveler, an Australian on his way to travel the Scandinavia and parts of Eastern-Europe and we took a day to explore Ulriken. Little did we know where we end up, since we only planned to do the 4 mountains. (Un)fortunatelly, there are many mountains to choose for these “4”. I thought of the mountains walked on the official 7 mountain hike, but Simon had another plan. Which we also did not stick, cos we just, honestly, got lost. And getting lost in Norwegian mountains is not really the same as getting lost on Ibiza hills. But all well that ends well, we had a great experience.
So we started the climb to Ulriken from where the cable car goes and took a wrong turn to the right a bit before the actually turn on the top, ending up on a beautiful sight by the lake. We could hear children playing not too far from us where there was another beautiful mountain lake. I was so close to taking a dive in one of the lakes. It was still a start of the walk, so I decided against it.
At one point it seemed like it was either going through rough bushes or going back the same way. Stubborn as we were, we did not like to take the pathway back. Luckily Simon was clever enough and lucky enough to find a nicer route straight ahead. Right after we started walking on it, we saw a lady walking her dog and she explained us how we can get back to Ulriken (from where we had slowly walked further away). The little detour gave us an extra 6 km or so and another ascent to take. By the end of the ascend we were still not tired of stopping and exclaiming, “Look, it’s even more beautiful from this place (higher than two meters below)!”. Yep, that’s Norwegian mountains for you.
After the instructions from the lady with the dog, all went fine. We didn’t however, get back on the route we planned to take – it was too late because of the detour we made, we (well, Simon, really ;)) were too tired and socks were wet. And to be very honest – the maps and route descriptions that Norwegian information materials have and the signs on the mountains could be (a lot) better.
Total length: 15km
Elevation: 732m (my record!)
Some tips for walking in Bergen, or in Norway in general
I found this really good link with many many walking descriptions, a lot of them walking routes in Norway.
And, as you can see, I tested my regular hiking clothes gear for the walking tour in Bergen and they are perfect. Perfect for a long, medium-wet, clambering-bushes, mud, sunny, but also windy day walking clothes.
Walking lifestyle – keeping you fit, mentally and physically
Don’t forget we all need time-off from our daily lives. Walking is the easiest and accessible thing to do that. Go out for a walk, share your thoughts and inspirations with me via e-mail. My aim is to show how easy it is to find little walks, little time-off-chunks in life to keep you mentally and physically fit. Wherever you are.
Liisi Toom is a communication executive and lifestyle coach who spent 9 months in Ibiza walking, doing walking tours and blogging about it. She has also done and blogged about walking in Estonia and Norway. She coaches people on finding their lifestyle. If you wish to find and live your lifestyle, e-mail at liisitoom (at) gmail. com or follow her Twitter @liisi.
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