So….. I’ve been in Bergen nearly a week now and I think it’s time I actually start updating all of you with what I’ve been doing here since then. I left Gatwick airport at 11 am and reached Bergen at around 2 pm after catching the Flybussen (the airport bus) which drops you off at the city centre.
Now at this point everything had went smoothly, I made the mistake of thinking that I had succeeded in travelling to a foreign country, but what I had forgot was that I had no idea where to store my bags nor where the student centre was, also the fact that all the street names are in Norwegian and I being the ignoramus that I am can’t pronounce anything properly, (I think you can picture the blank stares I got from Norwegians I had asked for directions). Luckily I had managed to get a better map so I could find the student centre- which was open until 8pm – so after getting lost 10 times, walking up hills which I can only describe as Cardiac hill’s long lost cousins (the hill of death in Aberystwyth) and knocking on the wrong building, I finally found the student centre BUT I was 202nd in line to get my key for the Fantoft student accommodation. Luckily enough instead of standing there like a mum child I was welcomed into a group of German, French and Spanish students who were also waiting and I caught the Bybanen (light rail) to Fantoft with them)
At this point you would think that I had actually sorted out all of my problems… but I forgot to mention that I had taken my sister to travel with me for the week. Where was she I hear you ask? Well I had left her at the bus station with all my luggage for 3 hours, she was feeding pigeons so to be honest I thought that would keep her content for a while, but to the contrary she started making plans on finding places where to sleep rough for the night if I didn’t return…. So you can imagine that she is never going to let me live that down.
So after finally getting here I decided to unpack and we tried to go to Ikea on the free bus, however we missed that and ended up walking around the town centre for a few hours before coming back to Fantoft.
That was basically my first day here! I’m just going to put some do’s and don’t for travelling
- Check constantly if there are any delays in your flight times or on any of the roads/ trains that you are going on
- Keep maps for the places that you need to go to and if possible check on street view on google maps so that you have an idea what the roads look like
- Triple/quadruple check your baggage weight- mine was 20 kg with Norwegian and I had to use part of my sister’s suitcase in order to stay under the baggage weight.
- Learn some basic phrases in Norwegian/language of choice- so that way you don’t end up looking like an ignoramus of a foreigner like I did
- Check up for local hostels that you can stay at just in case you have flight/travel delays which means you won’t be able to reach your accommodation.
- Stay calm- if things mess up ie getting lost- retrace your steps if not ask someone
If you’re planning to stay here for a while it’s advisable to get yourself a skyss card that allows you to use the bus, bybanen and a boat (for the islands) for free (well you obviously have to pay for it). It’s a good shout to possess with you if you definitely want to travel around.
- Assume that you know the way from the airport- it’s good to have a plan and if possible back up plans for travel so that way you don’t end up lost in a foreign country, especially if you’re like me who had little knowledge of my whereabouts
- Randomly jump off and on the bybanen, though most people are able to get on and off without paying, the fine is massive if you get caught without one.
I also brought my guitar with me, I had to leave more poor baby in special baggage as I couldn’t get away with taking it on board with me (Norwegian only permit smaller instruments) as I would have to buy it a seat, and as much as I love Benson (yes I named my guitar- I’m a sad person) I don’t love him that much so that he could sit with me throughout journey- I had a sister for that this time.
So before losing my guitar at the airport – since I don’t know how they work- I made sure that I had packed the inside with some of my smaller clothes (once again to reduce the weight of my main suitcase) as well as removing he strings and wrapping it up in clothes in my guitar case. Just in case you hadn’t guess already I was really paranoid about it breaking so I tried to make sure there was no way heavier suitcases could hurt it. However, despite travelling I still MANAGED to break it a way as one of the screws on the pegs just fell out, and without my normal kit with me I’ve found that the back end of a nail clipper makes a good make shift screwdriver.
Also, My wonderful sister was kind enough to make me a travel video of my (well our)trip to Bergen. Enjoy it guys!