Unfortunately, the National Museum was closed for a year for refurbishment, so I was disappointed to miss that. But the National Aquarium (Akvariet) was only about 30 minutes’ walk from the hotel and the weather was perfect for it. Bergen is a pleasant city to walk around – small (about 270,000 people) with pretty buildings and parks, and lots of history in evidence.
A pair of European otters (Gizmo and Bella) were doing the ‘cute’ thing – I’m always surprised at how big otters are.
There was a small waddle (yes, that is the collective noun for penguins on land; in the sea it’s a ‘raft’) of the world’s northernmost penguins, gentoos. (The only wild penguin that lives (just) above the equator is the Galapagos penguin.)
There was an ocean sunfish (either taxidermy or model) on the wall. When I was working at the South Australian Museum, I saw one washed up on the beach.
The marine stuff was centred on Arctic waters. I was very pleased to see a live basket star …
It lives only in the freezing regions.
I guess rays are easy to keep.
There was a surprising number of reptiles and amphibians, from all over the world. I took only a few shots of the many animals and did not get names.
The aquarium was quite crowded with families, so it was difficult to get shots without people in them. On the way back, I window-shopped (it was Sunday and the shops were shut – bad luck as I might have found strange and interesting things in them). The Norwegians are very proud of their culture, and the traditional costume, the bunad, is still worn on their national day and other important celebrations. These were in the windows of stores, so are modern takes on the costume. Different regions of the country have slightly different designs.
The rest of the afternoon was spent meandering back to the hotel, looking at the lovely old buildings and pondering my surroundings – so much history!
Back at the hotel I decided to treat myself to a local beer in the lobby (the world’s northernmost beer? No – that goes to the Longyearbyen brewery) at A$16 a schooner. I was sipping, writing up my notes to the pleasant music, then the receptionist turned on the TV to the World Soccer and half a dozen people appeared to watch it (our rooms didn’t have TV) – time for me to retreat to my room!
The following day we caught a coastal ferry to Balestrand, which I covered here and the day after Sognefjord, which I covered here. After that it was time to catch the ferry to Flåm, then the rail to Oslo, which I’ll cover next time.