5 July 2018
For really the first time this trip, we all needed trousers and fleeces today, as the sun refused to come out and remained firmly hidden behind the clouds all day. It is surprising the difference it makes to the temperature. We didn’t mind too much, as we had planned a day in Bergen city centre, and we generally prefer cooler days in cities, and warmer sunnier days being more outdoorsy.
After a slow morning (Ian was doing the Times crossword with Cornelia helping him out), we drove to Lagunen Shopping Centre, where we parked for the day. We then found the “light rail” which took us to Bryggen, the main shopping area and old town of Bergen. Cornelia had declared that her tummy was starving, so we started our search for food immediately. There was a large fish market right by the harbour, which was enclosed with lengths of red tents, under which were loads of tables and chairs – the perfect spot! Each fish stall sold both fresh fish and seafood, as well as offering a menu of cooked food. Ian and Bugsy both had fish and chips, and I opted for scallops, which came out skewered and served with bread and potato salad. It was utterly delicious and as fresh as it could be.
Tummies full, we wandered around the streets (buying our obligatory fridge magnet), and happened upon a number of trolls hanging outside the shops! Cornelia was a bit anxious about touching them (given the last time she’d touched a statue, Ian & I had both roared at her and made her cry….) but was brave enough to stand next to one to have her photo taken! We also found a giant fish sculpture carved in wood that she was very happy to pose on.
We continued our walk, eventually arriving at the funicular – and you know by now how much Cornelia loves a good funicular! It wasn’t too expensive, given the usual Norwegian cost of things and only cost £10 for all of us to get to Fløyen, at the top. It is a really steep line, and provided us with the most wonderful view of Bergen, as well as popped ears for Ian!
Cornelia immediately spied the playpark and Ian took her off there via the fine-looking troll guarding the entrance, while I browsed through the souvenir shop.
I found them both still playing happily together, and we gave Cornelia the usual five minute warning that it would be time to go, and she could choose one more thing to play on before leaving. Unfortunately, Bugsy then decided she didn’t want to leave after all and proceeded to throw herself onto the gravelly ground sobbing her eyes out. I walked away and sat on a bench, and watched from afar as Ian tried to calm her down, but it was a losing battle and eventually he came over and joined me. I have learned now that if we just leave her to it, she will recover and then come and find us – a much better way of coping, than letting her scream in our faces, dribble or kick out!
Sure enough, after about five minutes, she gathered herself together, and ambled over to us very slowly and deliberately, before stating: “I’ve been having a think about it, and I’ve decided that I agree we should leave now!” and I had to cover my face so she wouldn’t see me laugh in astonishment! Apologies to Mummy and Daddy, and then it was business as usual. She had another moment when she realised that we were walking all the way back down (3.5kms), rather than taking the funicular again, but when she realised there was no alternative, she calmed herself with a banana and some more troll-spotting.
It was a long old walk back down the mountain, but really very beautiful. We zig-zagged down gradually, and saw plenty of statues, a robin eating a worm, and trees covered in crocheted blankets (to do with charity fundraising, apparently). And she only face-planted once on the way down, so all in all, a successful stomp!
We found our way back to Lagunen uneventfully (although I left Cornelia’s Paw Patrol bottle on the tram – eeeeeek!) and popped into the shopping centre there for some chocolate and beer to replace Ingvill’s depleted supplies, before arriving back in Fana in the late afternoon, to find our dinner already being prepared. How very lucky I feel to be so well looked after!
Dinner was delicious again – chicken Veronique, potatoes, carrots and parsnip root – and although Cornelia took a ridiculously long time, she ate everything on her plate. She had lost the opportunity for a third night of chocolate ice cream as pudding (due to the earlier playground incident…) but she was allowed a yoghurt which made her very happy.
She had a good shower, and then asked me to read her new Troll book to her (part of my successful visit to the souvenir shop at the top of the funicular!) before settling down to sleep.
We were all pretty exhausted, but as it was the end of Ingvill’s working week (hurrah!) and IS was not home at silly o’clock, the beers and wines were poured and we did, of course, need to check the quality of the chocolate we’d bought earlier, before we all admitted defeat and headed to bed.