June 24, 2017 – Bergen, Norway

After a night of off and on sleep we arise and go down to breakfast. Apparently the Radisson Blu is a destination for tour groups so they have to accommodate a great number of people for breakfast.  The breakfast room is less than charming but the food is fine.

Breakfast served in a large event room at the Radisson Blu, Bergen, Norway
At breakfast the baked tomatoes and bread were especially good. John enjoyed creamed herring.

Our goal today is to see the Hanseatic Museum with its accompanying Assembly Halls and Fishery Museum. The sun is in and out early but as we start our walk towards the museum the rain comes and we are pretty much soaked by the time we get there. This is a scenario which plays out many times today. Sun then rain and over and over.

Misty morning with a hint of sun as we walk past the Hanseatic buildings
Mary in front of the reconstructed Hanseatic buildings that Radisson built to use as a hotel in the historic district
Selfie with the harbor behind

We buy the three part ticket which also gains us access to a bus that drives us to the Fish Museum which is our first stop. Inside we learn soooo much about fish and the Norway fishing industry. (See pictures for explanations) At the end we have a good discussion by the guy running the place about fishing but also about basketball. He was a great Celtic fan and as a youth mostly saw tapes from the 80’s about the team.

Cap’n John in front of the Fish Museum
A magnified krill
So many things we did not know about fish! Ear stones are like tree rings for fish!
Looking out a window of the museum
This diagram struck us funny. The names look like IKEA product labels.
Tree roots used to hold the beams up
Explanation of bulwarks in building
Outside bulwarks used to hold up the buildings in the water
Lastly the fish signs for the restrooms

Then we hop back on the bus and go to the Schotstuene or assembly rooms and kitchen. Any place where there were open fires such as a cooking area or a place to stay warm were separated from living quarters for fear of fire. As is, Bergen burned down at least four or five times. The last big fire was in 1955. Most of the stuff that we are seeing are newer constructions from after the great fire of 1702.

Mary outside the Shotstuene
In the assembly room is a pointer used to point at a misbehaving Hanseatic member (probably one of the apprentices). Offenses were written down on the chalk board on the left and punishments or fines were levied later.
These assembly rooms were the only rooms heated since they were separate from the sleeping areas.
This cooking area was so used for an apprentice hazing game known as the smoke game. The apprentices were hung upside down over smelly, smoldering leather.

We wander by an older church and think about going in but there seems to be some sort of ceremony going on so we have to take a pass and decide to have lunch instead. Our lunch is at Bryggeloftet & Stuene which is supposed to have authentic Norwegian food. We order fish soup and beer. It is good and satisfying on this cold-ish rainy day. Highs are only in the low 50s!

John enjoying a lunchtime beer
Delicious fish soup

After lunch we finish up at the Hanseatic Museum where we learn all about trade in Northern Europe starting in the 1300s and lasting until the 1700s. It was exclusively a German affair. The Hanseatic area was an enclave within Bergen where only German men could live and they had to stay separate from the Norwegians. They controlled the trade of cod and cod by-products which were shipped in from the far North and then sorted and graded in Bergen. We see a reproduction of their living quarters and there is a lot of info about cod or “stockfish” and cod liver’s oil, a valuable commondity for lighting lamps. In some areas of the Hanseatic museum, as was true in the Fish museum, there is a lingering odor of fish.

Interior of the Hanseatic living quarters
Hanseatic office

Now it is almost 3PM and I am really tired. We go back to the room where I am pretty much zonked out until 6PM. Then we watch a little television and catch up on the news before  heading down to the bar for a drink and a little light dinner. Here we meet fellow cruising people. They talk to us some. They seem nice, probably a lot nicer than we seem. Anyway we split a hamburger and exit dinner around 9:45PM. It has been a really full day!

John and I split a Norwegian burger and fries

 

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