Did anyone ever tell you that committing to writing a travel blog could seriously undermine your mental well being?
There's only so far I can hang my head in shame so let's just agree to ignore the empty wasteland of time that has passed since I last entertained you with trip tales shall we?
Feeling a little tired but quite chuffed with our hike the previous day we left Priekestolen having decided that Bergen would be our next stop.
Having retraced our steps back over Lysefjord on the little ferry I took a right turn into Stavanger with the plan to find some LPG. Before leaving the UK I had a re-fillable bottle system fitted. Supplied by Gas IT (www.gasit.co.uk) with the express intention to make it easier to refill my leisure gas supplies and also save money as traditional bottles can be hard to swap out when not in the UK.
Armed with trusty local info (eg: the 'net) I went in search of Shell garages harbouring a slight anxiety about how to actually perform a refill as my bottle was full before we left so I'd not had to fill up as yet.
Which leads me on to another source of anxiety: why had my bottle lurched from 'full' to 'half full' to 'reserve' in a matter of days! I could tell my bottle capacity because it has a handy guage on it.
Anyway, after hauling Eileen around several Shell garages who did not have LPG I gave up and pointed her north for the long run up to Bergen. The route included 2 more ferries of varying times from less than 10 minutes to about 30/40 minutes long.
I'd already been advised that going over 6m in length sends you up an entire price bracket however as we are only a smidgeon over 6m with the bikes on I cruised up to the first ferry confidently. The ticket booth guy immediately assessed us at 6.5m and the cost of that ferry came in at a whopping 432NOK!! Our next, and final, ferry of the day was actually the longest distance and I hopped out before the ticket booth and unloaded the bikes and put them in the habitation area, lo and behold this ferry came in at 255NOK. With the first ferry costing 88NOK and under that day's exchange rate we spent £69 on ferries alone!
Still, I guess it was a good way to inspect the new skylight and see that the solar panel was still there!
So, as we came back to dry land and blacktop we started the last leg to Bergen and the grey weather continued to close in with intermittent rain showers.
We headed to the Bergen 'aire' as recommended on Camper Contact (Parkings) app which is essentially a glorified car park with a large amount of van spaces but only half the amount of electric points. No facilities other than a chemical loo disposal point, a sink and fresh water tap but a great location for getting into Bergen town centre and all the sights of the city.
We arrived late afternoon and got a slot but no electric hook up and we still had to pay 150NOK for the overnight parking. I switched the fridge onto gas and hoped the bottle would not run out.
We settled in for the night as the heavens opened. The rain came down all night without let up! Some find the patter of rain on the roof a wonderfully cozy reminder of being safe and warm inside your rolling home, not me as it seems a new anxious and neurotic mindset has manifested itself as an unwanted stow-away on this trip!
We awoke to the continuing downpour and consequently did not head out for our sightseeing adventure until around noon-ish.
https://youtu.be/a5InVOSynIg - a video of the rain!
Eventually we arrived in Bryggan and headed for Tourist Info which was utterly over run by tourists - annoying but predictable I guess (insert crying with laughter emoji here).
Whilst I had grand plans to fully absorb all the Unesco sights and sounds of Bergen Tabitha had spotted a leaflet advertising VilVilte, http://www.vilvite.no/english, a hands on science museum on the other side of town.
My sights had been set on the Hanseatic Museum but Tabitha won the day - we hadn't done anything especially kid focussed as yet so altho I was a bit disappointed it was only fair. Only having the afternoon (you can only stay in the aire 2 nights) I knew we wouldn't really have time for anything else.
Well, what can I tell you? If you have kids and you only do one thing in Bergen then this should be it. We both had an absolute blast! And the wifi was really fast and free!!
Despite being kicked out for 15 minutes after a fire alarm went off we managed to do everything at least once, several things twice!
Eventually we headed back to Bryggan on our 2nd tram of the day for a quick wander around the famous harbour front, during a brief break in the rain!
I'd decided previously that we'd have a treat of a fish supper in the famous fish market. Well, to be honest I wasn't massively impressed with either the harbour or the fish market but we were ravenous by now!
We wandered up and down shivering a bit and finally chose our restaurant stand. Tabitha ordered a basic fish and chips and I ordered a 'stick' with some bread and chips too. The girl asked about drinks and suggested a beer and a lemonaid and for some weird reason I said yes. She smiled broadly and told me that would be 480NOK, a grand total of £43 at the day's exchange rate.
I just about recovered to enjoy the meal and was grateful that the portion of chips was generous!
Another night in the aire tho I was less anxious as we'd scored an electric hook up point before going into the city so I wasn't cooking or using the fridge on gas.
The following morning in yet more rain we pulled out of town heading for Forde as I'd been assured there was LPG here! It was also on the way to the Jostedalsbreen National Park where we were going to hike to see our first Glacier.
That'll be Take The Weather With You Part II and I will endeavour not to make you wait 3 weeks for that exciting tale..........
To come: rain, rain, rain and more rain and an exciting climb, not to the glacier but to the roof for emergency repairs!
Driver & Author