Beautiful Bergen...

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Upon leaving Austevol, we traveled by ferry to Bergen, Norway's busiest port and second largest city. (I hope you are enjoying traveling along with me as I relive this trip and share with you another peak into a beautiful Norwegian home.) Once again we were privileged to stay in a beautiful home owned by one of my cousin Lyle's relatives. 

Views from the ferry ride...

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Upon arriving at Eva and Svein's lovely home, we were warmly greeted and then enjoyed appetizers and beverages out on their deck, overlooking their beautiful view. They told us their home was originally built as a "cabin" on the outskirts of Bergen, but now the city has grown out to encompass this area too. 

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Their home was so charming, filled with wonderful artwork and lovely decor pieces. The pine ceiling and window trim was so warm and Nordic. 

The entry...

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The living area...with a few American accents!

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The lovely rustic fireplace...

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The dining area...

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The kitchen...

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Eva and Svein's young son, Isak, gave up his bedroom for me...so sweet! 

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Adorable young Isak...

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Awaking the next morning, we were served this tasty Norwegian style frokost (breakfast) with delicious breads and cheeses that melt in your mouth. 

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One of Eva's brothers, Svein, and his wife, Kirsten, stopped by on their way to a baptism service. Kirsten was wearing her beautiful native bunad, the traditional festive dress, that varies depending on the region of Norway you come from. 

 Svein, Lyle, Lois, Kirsten, and our wonderful hosts, Eva and Svein...

Svein, Lyle, Lois, Kirsten, and our wonderful hosts, Eva and Svein...

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After breakfast, we hopped on a bus to head down to the Bryggen area of Bergen. Bergen was hosting one of the world's largest bicycle races that weekend so we were told many streets would be closed and parking would be challenging. Waiting at the bus station, we spied many people carrying Norwegian flags, or wearing them (!), including this darling family. 

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I just loved these umbrellas hanging over one of the side streets as we walked along!

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The famous Bryggen area was all set up for the bicyclists to come through,  yet the shops and restaurants were still open. 

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The whole city embraced the bicycle race with cycling decor, like this shop. 

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Bergen, like other Norwegian towns, has areas with charming cobblestone streets with many restaurant options. 

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Art just permeates many random spaces...like this portrait on the side of a building. 

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A local shop selling festive bunads...

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The city has recreated an old Norwegian fishing village...

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The Bryggen storefronts are colorful...loved this one!

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We joined the crowds along the bicycle race route for lunch outdoors...

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I just had to get a picture of this darling Norwegian girl in her knit dress...

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That was our full day, ending with a delicious dinner of Eva and Svein's home. 

The next day, we rose to head out of town a short distance to make several stops. The first was a visit to the Oleana sweater factory. I've always loved the Oleana colorful sweaters and was so excited to see how they were knit and made.

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Once again, like the Porsgrund factory, I was amazed by how small, clean, efficient, and well treated the employees of this factory were. The employees were proud of their work and seemed to enjoy what they were doing...in a beautiful setting. 

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This woman is wearing one of the more neutral Oleana sweaters...Svein has a talent for making people laugh!

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Some of Oleana's ideals...

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The beautiful setting and views from the factory...

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This boat was tied up just outside the factory window...

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Our next stop began with a short boat trip out to a minimum security prison on an island outside Bergen, where Gisle, the husband of Inger, (another of Lyle's cousins) works. The prisoners here wear street clothes, live in houses, raise some of their food in gardens, and work or attend school in the local community without ankle bracelets...amazing!

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One of the houses for prisoners...

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One of several lamas roaming around... 

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Several of the craft projects made by the prisoners...

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The views from our boat ride back...

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We also stopped at a Dale sweater outlet, but I didn't take any photos. I did buy a discounted sweater, however, so that was fun! The day ended with a delicious dinner of reindeer, wonderfully prepared by Svein and Eva. The hospitality of our hosts on this trip was simply incredible! Mange tusen takk, Eva and Svein!

The following day we prepared to leave Bergen by boarding a ship in the Hurtigruten cruise line. I will wrap up this trip soon, I promise! Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends! Warmly, Gracia