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.
My trip to Bergen was made even better by my Couchsurfing hosts, who turned out to be not ONE Argentinian guy but a group of FOUR Argentinian friends. We hit it off straightaway and ended up hanging out together the whole time, cooking huge meals, strolling around the city, watching a movie, and swapping travel stories. By the time they came to see me off outside the train station, I was reminded of everything that can be awesome about couchsurfing! [caption id="attachment_5512" align="aligncenter" width="940"] I had a blast with those guys! [/caption]
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!
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