View from the top of Mount Floyen in bergen

Little Update: EXAMS ARE FINALLY OVER and I can officially say, "HELLO SUMMER!!"
Im heading to a couple of eastern/central european cities next week and I'm definitely excited about the warm weather and getting to explore again. But, I have yet to share all of my spring travel trips with you guys (oops!)
I blame the one month of exam preparation! Being on a year abroad and travelling as much as I did meant that I had a TON of catching up to do for finals. So, for the last month, I did nothing else but study. Well, study and watching an occasional YouTube-video for a break.

Anyway, it's all over and I'm back to blogging with probably my final post on my spring solo Scandinavian trip.

Image of the back alleys of bergen

Whilst I was in Bergen on my solo-trip a month ago, I went up Mount Fløyen for a panoramic view of Bergen and part of the Nordic Sea.
Bergen is surrounded by 7 different mountains, and there are so many options when it comes to hiking and getting an amazing view. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a mountain-climber/hiker, nor am I a person who is great with directions (leave me to hike up a mountain alone, and I probably wouldn't make it down).
Even though I imagine myself to be as cool as the main character in Into the Wild, I am not. My mum was adamant that I should not be hiking alone.
Thus, the most convenient way for me get a panoramic view of Bergen and to imagine I'm exploring a mountain was to head up the most touristy mountain in Bergen - Mount Fløyen.

As I was navigating my way around, I realise I was upwards at every turn. Turns out, once again, I failed at map reading and was heading up towards Mount Fløyen instead of the Fløibanen (the funicular that takes you up). I had half a mind to just wing it and head up on foot, when I chickened out upon realising that I had no wifi, and my maps might not work since there aren't any hotspots up on a mountain. So I headed back down and took the funicular.
Better safe than lost on a mountain, they say (by they I mean my brain cells haha!)

Entrance to the floibanen of bergen norwayTaking the floibanen up to the peak of bergen norway

The funicular went up to the viewing point in a couple of minutes, which was rather surprising. I expected it to take a lot longer.
Upon arriving at the viewing gallery, everyone rushed out to the edge whilst marvelling at the wonderful view.

Thankfully, I went up early in the morning which meant fewer tourists, and more photo opportunities!

Panoramic view from mount floyen of bergen norway
Panoramic view from mount floyen in bergen norway
Panoramic view from mount floyen in bergen norway

The viewing area is so wide that walking from one end to another, you get a great 360 view of Bergen and even parts of the Nordic Sea (?) It was brilliant!
Being a moderately chilly spring morning, the clouds were thick and low such that they float by occasionally engulfing the view,  leaving the little peaks of mountains and tiny houses below, behind the trees.

Panoramic view from mount floyen in bergen norway
Panoramic view from mount floyen in bergen norway
Panoramic view from mount floyen in bergen norway
Trees and view from mount floyen in bergen norway
Trees and view from mount floyen in bergen norway

Eventually the clouds got so thick I felt like I was swallowed in the middle of one huge cloud cover. As the wind blew them towards me, I could feel myself walking straight into it.
It was a pretty odd feeling; similar to walking in smoke, except not quite.
It was sort of smokey and misty without the crappy burning smell I would say. Well, basically, I liked the feeling of walking into clouds.

Thick cloud cover in bergen norway on mount floyen
Girl taking a photograph of the view on mount floyen

After admiring the view to my hearts content, I decided to take a little walk into the woods and mountain pathways marked out on Mount Fløyen. Most people who go up on Mount Fløyen do it solely for the view, and rarely venture past the viewing deck. So heading into the "woods", I was completely alone with no one in sight.

Everytime I see something resembling the woods, Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift pops into my head, and I start humming to myself.
Are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods, are we in the clear yet are we in clear yet good ~

Trees and woods of mount floyen in bergen norway
Children playing in the spring snow on mount floyen

I walked past tall evergreen trees and snow covered ground making squishing noises with my boots and leaving deep indented footprints on the snow covered pathways.
As I was wandering, I manage to spot quite a few families having their morning hike. Little children playing, running around, and tugging on each other, whilst parents sit at a corner sipping tea or strolling leisurely behind them.

rustic children play ground statues on mount floyen
statues on mount floyen

Going down another path, I stumbled upon the weirdest looking statues and the most interesting signboards with sayings like "Don't scare the baby dinosaurs" or "Beware of Witches". When I first saw the dinosaur notice, I ACTUALLY THOUGHT IT WAS REAL.
I know. Silly. Because they're extinct.
In my defence, I thought they meant some sort of a wild animal that looks like a dinosaur, you know, one of those flying bird like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Yeah. So I was a little apprehensive strolling around all alone.
I told Jerald about it, and of course he had a good laugh at me.

yellow and white painted dragon eggs in bergen norway
wooden sign boards and warning signs on mount floyen in bergen norway
Trees and woods of mount floyen in bergen norway
Trees and woods of mount floyen in bergen norway

Regardless, it was a lovely morning spent up on Mount Fløyen. I just wish I lived in Bergen or grew up in Bergen. That way I could go on family walks in the mountain, have campfires up here (there was leftover campfire wood all around!), and pretend to find dinosaurs or meet witches on brooms.
With my over active imaginations, I'm pretty sure a 5 year old carina would love to spend her saturday mornings up on Mount Fløyen!

Panoramic view from Mount Floyen in Bergen
Panoramic view from Mount Floyen in Bergen

If you're ever traveling around Scandinavia alone, and want to spend sometimes among tall trees, whilst admiring a picturesque view, head up Mount Fløyen! If you're a tad bit more adventurous, you could choose to walk up, or if you're one of those ala Reese Witherspoon in Wild kind of people, you could consider hiking up one of the other mountains. I'm pretty sure the view is just as incredible :) Who knows, maybe up on another mountain, you could attempt to look for hobbits, and talking rabbits instead of witches and dinosaurs?

Into the (Snow Covered) Woods + Mount Floyen Panoramic Views

9 June 2015 Fløyen, Bergen, Norway

I cannot emphasize how beautiful Norway is. I have always known Scandinavia was gorgeous, especially from the multitude of photos online. But nothing I've seen in pictures has prepared me for the beauty I saw through out my days in Norway. From the bus rides, to train rides and fjord cruises, it was perfection. I finally understand the beauty of God's work and why the term "natural" beauty exists. For real, Mother Nature is the most beautiful.

After everything I saw through out my whole scandinavian trip, I thought that was it. Especially since my final bus ride to the airport too provided me with a first class seat to "stunning view of Norway" part 10 (that's the title of the movie in my head). This was until I got on the aeroplane and it started moving.

Typically airports are pretty blah. They have the usual runways, maybe some interesting looking architectural buildings (ala the tower in Singapore airport) but nothing too special. Most people just await the point where the plane flies high enough so you get a nice aerial view of the city, bonus points if it is a night flight. BUT, this lift off from Bergen Airport made me want to both cry and squeal with delight at the same time. It was like a short film.
We first started off beside lush greenery and blue waters (I know!! How?! What?! Omg!) and then after the plane took off, you get the most stunning view of the islands dispersed around the Nordic sea. When the plane entered a cloud, I thought that was it. End of the movie, but no. We emerge from above the clouds to see a nice sunset and probably the prettiest thick fluffy cotton candy clouds I've ever seen. It felt so unreal. Like magic. But it WAS real and the clouds were moving. Occasionally the clouds would separate and reveal part of the ocean and more tiny islands; like a game of peek-a-boo. Eventually we cruised high above the clouds and the sun gradually disappeared beneath the horizon as the night crept in.

I highly doubt my words fully captured what I was trying to express, so here's a pictorial description in chronological order. 

bergen airport runway
bergen airport take off
bergen airport plane taking off
norwegian waters from the plane
view of norway from the plane
airplane in the clouds
sunset view from the airplane
view of the sky from the aeroplane
gorgeous view of the sunset and clouds in the sky
aeroplane view of the sunset and clouds
best view of norway from the clouds
airplane take off view
sunset from the plane
best plane take off views

Norway was impressive right from the beginning till the end of my time there, right till I left the Norwegian airspace. 

Photos were taken on my iphone6.
Although it barely captures half the beauty of what I saw (plus has some annoying reflections off the plane window), I had to share this experience! 

Best Plane Take Off Ever - Bergen Airport, Norway

6 June 2015 Bergen Airport, Flyplassvegen 555, 5258 Bergen, Norway

Picture of outfit with spring flowers in bergen norway

Hello June! Its officially summer, but I'm just starting on the week of intense examination (one paper everyday!) So as much as I would like to be basking in the sunshine, galavanting around Hyde Park in warm weather clothes (hello bare legs), taking photographs and sharing them on this space, i'm alternating being stuck in an examination hall, or my room preparing for the next paper.

Well, guess i'll just reminisce the good times I had during my spring Scandinavian trip.
The weather was rather gloomy for a significant amount of time whilst I was Scandinavia, my last few days in Bergen were welcomed with sunny mornings and rainy evenings. It was the same cycle, bright sun in the morning, but by 3pm, it would be drizzling. By evening? Rain.
Thankfully, i'm pretty uppety when I'm traveling, so I'm always out and about by 9-10am!

Picture of main church and street in bergen
Old man reading outside a café
picture of watering flowers in the spring bergen norway

Despite the less than ideal weather (Meaning the lack of heat. Ok, its expected for Scandinavia), the sight of blooming flowers never failed to make the day a little happier.
Having lived in a (HOT) tropical country my whole life, this year is the first time I literally see flowers bloom!
I never thought it would have such a great uplifting effect to my mood. But it did. It was almost like magic, you sleep, wake up the next day, and poof flowers are just casually looking all pretty and cool, like they were there all along.

You can probably tell that I love flowers. Yeap. I really do. People say diamonds are a girl's best friend, and maybe it is because I can't afford diamonds, so I don't comprehend, but I think flowers should be a girl's best friend.
I love that they are different, and yet all so beautiful and special in their own way, just like women ;)

Bikbiok top and forever21 skirt white outfit
outfit of the day picture with flowers
Gold Carlo rino shoes, forever21 skirt and bikbok shirt

Bergen has loads of quirky stalls, interesting motifs, and walls and walls of vibrant graffiti, but out of everything, my favourite was this quote I passed by every time I came out of my hostel.
It was on a building just round the corner, and it said, "There are a lot of good people around."
It wasn't part of a decoration for anything, it was just there, reminding people of the goodness in this world. Lovely isn't it? We should have more slogans like this plastered on walls.

picture of bergen streets "There are a lot of good people around" wall text
Picture of interior deco store in bergen
Image of bergen Gratten Old houses by the harbour
Bergen colourful wooden houses by the bryggen

After spending most of my mornings exploring the city, by the time afternoon came about, I find myself looking for shelter from the drizzle. Typically, I'm not one to advocate the idea of café-hopping, but Bergen had one too many lovely, artsy cafés it was so hard to resist!

I love food, that's a fact. Come 3pm, when the rain starts to get heavy, my brain loses, and my stomach wins. I crave cake and a sweet drink, so naturally, I look for a café.
One of my favourite place to hang out in Bergen is the Bryggen. Not only is it wide, spacious and you get to see boats sail by, the old wooden houses line up side by side just along the harbour brings a wonderful rustic charm to the place. These old wooden houses now house interesting shops, and the way they are designed meant that there were several back alleys. Best of all, I found a hidden café on the inside courtyard called Café Basement.

Old wooden houses in bergen
old wooden houses image of bergen bryggen
wooden houses image in bergen norway
Picture of quirky shops in bergen norway near the bryggen
Exterior of cafe basement in bergen norway

I know, its located on the ground floor, so technically it should be café ground floor, but that doesn't have a nice ring to it. Ok, the exterior does look like its located in the basement of a house considering there are a few floors above it. Anyway, the café was nice and cozy, with dim lights, cushions on the chairs, and a cute succulent on each table.

Interiror of Cafe basement in bergen norway
picture of banana cake and elderflower tea in cafe basement

I'm not all that great with food photography, and the dim lights, though add to the vibe and atmosphere, makes it hard to take a good photo. Even though it is not particularly photogenic, that was the best banana cake i've ever had. Chocolate coated banana cake with caramel on the bottom and topped of with toasted nuts - trust me it was good.
I had a nice elderflower/lavender mix drink that had a really weird name. I wanted to go for a latte, but when I saw that name (that I can't remember) on the menu, I just went for it. It was something along the line of a "Bergen Special"? Definitely something quirkier than that, but you get the gist.

bergen norway white stripes on white skirt outfit
interior of a cafe in bergen norway
pumpkin soup and seed bread in cafe

I know I said I'm not a fan of café-hopping (I like going to cafés its just not very budget friendly for me), but I did it anyway. It is quite ironic considering Norway is really expensive. Regardless, the simple minimalistic interiors coupled with nice friendly norwegians, and my need to try everything food wise, made it too hard to resist.

After enjoying my cake, I continued walking around for a short while until the rain came back, and found myself at café number 2. This time I went for pumpkin soup with seeded bread.
When I was at the counter, the lady asked what type of bread I wanted. I looked up and saw a range of 10 different options, but none of it was white. Backstory: I only eat white bread, and I'm not a fan of wholemeal, seeds, or anything else. So, I just stared back with a blank look on my face.
She recommended one of them, and assured me that it would be nice. To my surprise, IT WAS.
Now I'm finally able to give brown coloured bread with seeds in them a chance!

striped bikbok top and forever 21 skirt outfit spring gold shoes
What I Wore
Shirt: Bik Bok
Denim Skirt: Forever 21
Gold Shoes: Carlo Rino
My meal at the 2nd cafe was more than satisfying, and after I was done, the rained had stopped, the sun was out again, and the skies were blue once more. I was too full to hop to a third café, so I opted for a nice walk around the park to work off the food I had, and to soak in as much of the sun as I could before the rain came back.

Park in the centre of bergen norway

I'm definitely looking forward to more lovely chilled out days like that. Roaming around stranger's backyards, admiring the flowers by the street, leisure strolls around the park, and enjoying a (few) good meal, something I would enjoy doing once finals is over.
I need my summer vacation right now!

Outfit Diary: Wooden Houses, Backyards & Café-Hopping - Bergen, Norway

4 June 2015 Bryggen, Bergen, Norway

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