Do you know much about Bergen, Norway’s second city? Yeah, I didn’t either…
To be honest, the only reason I put it on my Norwegian itinerary was so I could catch a train from there. The Oslo-Bergen train journey is hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful, so my plan was to:
a) fly to Bergen (only 50 minutes from Oslo and 40ish euros with Norwegian – and wow, you get free in-flight wifi [but very little time to use it!])
b) avoid having to sell one arm to buy decent accommodation for a single night there; and
c) make a quick railway exit the next day.
Because, really, all I could hear about Bergen was that it was cold and rainy. (Okay, and maybe that it was pretty. And that it had a wharf with colourful old houses. And mountains and fjords all around.)
But I don’t know, I wasn’t excited. I guess I was just focusing on the rainy (I mean, it is even nicknamed the ‘City of Rain’!)…
So, I flew to Bergen with a Couchsurfing offer from an Argentinian guy and no sightseeing plans (but guys, I had just spent a weekend living the life in the mountains – I needed to recover!).
And oh, it didn’t rain. (But then again, that did seem like a one-off, considering how over-eager the locals were to go out and soak up the sun!)
Beyond that, Bergen also has a much more European and ‘old world’ vibe than Oslo, with its German-built Hanseatic merchant area, terraced cafes, and cosy pubs.
Have you ever been surprised by a destination you didn’t expect much from? Do you have any great Couchsurfing stories? Let me know in the comments below!
If you would like to follow the rest of my adventures, consider subscribing to the blog to receive all updates by email, and connecting with Camille in Wonderlands on Facebook, where I regularly post snapshots and musings that haven’t made it onto the site.