The hanseatic wharf in Bergen. Photo: Andrea Giubelli – Visit Norway
Fløyfjellet. Photo: Rolf Sejersted – Bergen Base Camp
Ulriksbanen. Photo: Espen Haagensen – VisitBergen
Bergen is known as the city in between the seven mountains. It sounds like an excerpt from a fairytale, but is as real as the nature outside your window. The seven mountains are called Mt. Lyderhorn, Mt. Damsgårdsfjellet, Mt. Løvstakken, Mt. Ulriken, Mt. Fløyen, Mt. Rundemannen and Mt. Sandviksfjellet. The topography affects the climate in the city and contributes to an average of 231 days of rain per year. You will therefore become very grateful of the sunny days. When the sun shines on a beautiful spring day, the bergenser (a person from Bergen) will enter the streets with joy and cheers. Similar to a dusty brown bear that waddles out of its cave after hibernation or a viper that crawled up on a rock to warm up its body. The first “utepils” (outdoor beer) of the year is a big happening for the bergenser, then they sit, walk or dance around with stars in their eyes and outgoing excitement. Those who have the opportunity will leave work early to go outside, and catch the glittering sun, take part in the teeming city life or maybe take a hike in the mountains.
If you ask a group of bergensers what they like about their city, you can rely on that some of them will say closeness to nature. It is a short distance to both the mountain and the sea from the city center. Also the infrastructure is built to facilitate you, so that even people with disabilities can get to the highest peak, which are Mt. Ulriken (643 meters above sea level) and Mt. Fløyen (320 meters above sea level). At these mountains you will find souvenir shops, cafés and restaurants in addition to them being the start point for different beautiful hikes. In no time you have left the city life behind, and can walk around in fairytale forests or weathered landscapes. You can be all alone with nature, silence and fresh air.
Another thing that is nice about the mountain is that people greet each other. This rarely happens in the city streets, unless the sun is shining. In the mountains this is normal, no matter the weather, and some will even stop and chat for a bit.
The seven mountains offers exercise in different levels, or can be therapy and mindfulness for those who want a break in a hectic everyday life. On the mountain peaks you get clarity and perspective. It can be used as an arena for social life. Why not bring your friends for a hike instead of sitting inside and watch TV? On the mountain you get a refill of energy, inspiration and you feel renewed when you come back down. Have a good trip!