It’s semester start and there are all kinds of events to help students get to know the city and makefriends. Whether it be city tours, concerts, speed friending, or taking a hike or a ski-trip, it feels like there are more available activities than time. Today I joined in as Christophe Balin and one other guide took students on part two of a city tour courtesy of The International Exchange Erasmus Student Network. Did you make it to part one of the tour? Share what you saw below!
Let’s face it, today was not really even that wet for a Bergen winter day, but the hand-numbing cold was enough to discourage more than a handful of students from setting out to discover the city. Today’s excursion consistent mostly of exploring the peninsula next to Vågen (the bay in the center of the city), this area offers beautiful views of Bryggen, and the tour guides offered historical facts as well as practical tips for students.
The tour began in Torgallmenningen, Bergen’s main square and former market place. Here students were treated to advice about seasonal sales (up to 75% off), recommendations on H&M, a mention of all you can eat pizza as well as a look at the Sjøfartsmonumentet, a monument to Norway’s seafarers.
The tour would offer looks at other statues, both modern and historical, as well as some of the following highlights:
One story Christophe offered us was that, historically, the folks who moved onto Fløyen (a mountain close to the city center) were living in a slum in Bergen and that they raised their elevation along with their economic status. He also said that some of the current Fløyen inhabitants choose to walk to and from the center for groceries and commented generally on their fitness, including older Bergen citizens who may be seen running up Fløyen in all kinds of weather.
We made a short stop at Bergen’s shortest street (Berges Korteste Gate) – only 16 meters long!
We took another pause at Nykirken, rebuilt and redesigned in 1764 after a fire, now being used primarily as a “children’s church”.
Christophe’s guide partner gave us some good tips about where to look for Bergen events including USF, which offers music, theatre, films and contemporary art; folk music concerts at Hotel Augustin (the link provided is in Norwegian, if you don’t speak Norwegian or use a translator on your web-browser, it might be hard to read!); and the Kunstakademiet (Art Academy), which sometimes offers free art exhibitions, again the link is in Norwegian so be prepared with Norwegian language skills or an internet work-around!
One of our final stops was Hekse-steinen på Nordnes – the witches stone – which commemorates the place where 350 women were burned as witches from 1550–1700 including Anne Pedersdotter, whose story is one of the most well-documented witch trials in Norway.
Missed the tour? Not to worry, there are plenty of other events to attend:
For more information about upcoming events, remember to follow the International Student Union, the Erasmus Student Network and the Student Parliament on Facebook; explore Study Bergen’s upcoming student events, and their student culture calendar; and utilize UiB’s campus life information as well as their gateway to tons of student organizations.
Want to share your favorite part about the Bergen tour? Your favorite activity in Bergen so far? Please comment below.