Friday, 16 April 2010

The Times of the Hanseatic League

Well, MV FRAM is not precisely an old schooner, but as we approach the pier in Bergen, old trade center of the Hanseatic times. In spite of all the fire hazard, the wooden old town Bryggen is still there, although you can spot fire extinguishing devices on the roofs now. The creaking of the planks creates a feeling of old times, of heavy ledgers on tiny pedestals in candlelight, blocks and tackles lifting barrels and heavy bundles of wool, fur or spices, while the clumsy hulks of galleons are heaving in the port. OK, this impression fades quickly when you step outside of Bryggen, where Norwegian daily life is taking place with all the hustle and bustle of a modern city. It is a place of theatre and music, too, Grieg and Ibsen are famous names. The day passes quickly, city tour, Grieg concerto, shopping, going to caf├ęs or simply wandering around, tasting delicacies at the fish market. Or all of that. Certainly a very suitable place to finish our fabulous trip, because over night and the following day it will be the transfer to Oslo, city of disembarkation. To prevent everybody from getting too dreary the MV Crew Show is held tonight, and all participants are really doing their very, very best.