Busy but fabulous day. Went into Bergen mid morning and left car to walk around town. Spontaneously got a pair of fab leather boots (excuse: don't have anything waterproof!) which got their first outing today. Bergen seems a bit more culturally diverse than Oslo. Saw more ethnic minorities than we have in a while. Em decided to go up the mountain first so we made our way to the Floibanen funicular, which goes 320m up Mt Floyen. Very modern glass funicular - great fun. Views at the top were spectacular and the sun peeked out. We went to the restaurant for a very expensive coffee/juice and local pastry - yummy. Then (wrong order!) found a picnic table overlooking the city and had our picnic. I walked around the headland while everyone ate. After lunch em found a fabulous playground (all carved wood) so we stayed for a while. I love swinging with felix - a good excuse to swing myself and he loves it! I did suggest walking back down but after our experience in Eidfjord...
Back in the city we wandered the beautiful cobbled streets, marvelling at the local food available like reindeer sausages! Guided by trusty Lonely Planet, we went to the Hanseatisk Museum which was basically one of their old warehouses in Bryggen dating from early 1700's. It was decorated as it would have looked with incredible carved and painted wooden furniture including (very short) beds built with doors into them. Creaky floors and steep stairs, very atmospheric. The girls loved the beds and the dried fish especially!
Bryggen itself was much smaller than I expected - about 200m of beautifully painted and characterful wooden houses from the 1700's. They look directly out onto the harbour, cobbled street at the front and I enjoyed walking down some of the little alleyways. We visited Rosenkrantz tower (impressive but empty) where my favorite bit was the open air walk around the top. Next door was Hakonshallen which I would highly recommend NOT going to! It was virtually destroyed in an explosion in 1944 and has had a modern reincarnation with lots of 70's style open wooden stairs and rooms chock full of empty chairs and tables. Odd. The hall itself was big...
At least we got a free cuppa in the cafe for our troubles. Unfortunately were too late for the Leprosy museum - lots of attractions close 31/8 so walked back via the fish Market to the car. The fish Market was closing up by that stage but still mouthwatering. A zillion different cuts and types of salmon, prawns, crayfish and...whale! Was surprised to be offered tastings of whale, and more so at it's appearance. Large slabs of black solid looking fish. Black because it had been smoked. Not an altogether unpleasant taste but quite a strong flavour and a very meaty texture. Couldn't eat much of it. They did whale burgers and other seafood dishes, cooking them for you. Was tempted by a skewer of tiger prawns, but at over £10???
Back at the cabin I took the girls canoeing while Jason cooked dinner. Beautiful and peaceful on the lake surrounded by mountains and clouds - until meg starts singing and emily chatting!! Meg kept wanting me to paddle on 'the dark' (the shadows of the mountains) and got quite annoyed that I could never get there! Discovered a goat and a zillion pet rabbits on the campsite - took me back to my childhood picking dandelion leaves for the kids to feed them :-)