Disney’s Magic in Norway – Bergen

Bergen-sceneryOn Thursday, June 11th, we arrived at our final port of call, Bergen.  All ashore time was scheduled for 7:45 am and we were to be back aboard by 5:15 pm.  Our family intended to make the most of the time we had in this incredible city!  Of all the things we’d done and the amazing places we’d visited on this vacation, Bergen was my favorite port.

We were up, had eaten breakfast in Cabanas, and were waiting at our assigned group meeting area in Fathom’s for the day’s excursion:  Walking tour of Bergen (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with a visit to both the Hanseatic Museum and the overlook on Mount Floyen. Bergen-Ship-in-Harbor Bergen-Norway-Waterfront Bergen-Norway Bergen-Norway-Buildings We love history and Bergen has wonderfully well-preserved buildings dating back to the 18th Century in the Bryggen area of the wharf.Bergen-tour-guide

Our group headed off the Magic and found our guide, Elena, waiting for us on the dock.  Elena, originally from St. Petersburg and married to a Norwegian, was cheerfully enthusiastic and full of interesting facts about Bergen’s past and present.  She was a wonderful guide and took time to answer questions and make sure everyone had plenty of time to take pictures of all the amazing things we saw that morning.  Bergen-TowerWe walked from the ship to the museum, stopping along the way to learn about Bergen, which was originally founded on a Viking settlement in 1070.  We walked past the Bergenhus Fortress and Rosenkrantz Tower and learned about Bergen’s medieval history before making our way to the Hanseatic Museum.  Bergen-Hanseatic-Museum-ExteriorHere we were able to see how the German merchants who ran the sea trade in Bryggen lived and worked.  One building,  Finnegården, originally owned by merchant J. W. Olsen, gives visitors an excellent look at living and working conditions during Bryggen’s heyday.  Bergen-Hanseatic-Museum3 Bergen-Hanseatic-Museum2 Bergen-museum-old-photo Bergen-museum-seals If you’re into history, this place is incredible!  Norwegian fishermen supplied the stock fish for the merchants, cod being the most popular.  The fish, once dried, had a shelf-life of 4-5 years and was shipped all over Europe.  Cod liver oil and other fish products were also produced. Bergen-Hansiatic-Museum1 Bergen-Museum-artifacts

Moving on from the museum, we walked a short distance to the building where we would catch the funicular to Mount Floyen and end our tour with a spectacular view of Bergen.  The crowds were heavy and Elena did her best to keep us entertained while we waited for our turn to board the funicular.  Bergen-funicular-viewBergan-to-Mt.-FloyenThis enclosed tram runs up and down the mountain all day and is a popular mode of transportation for the people who live on Mount Floyen as well as tourists.  The view was spectacular, but it was cold and windy on that mountain!  Thanking Elena, we headed back down to Bergen to find the fish market and lunch!Bergen-View-from-Mt-Floyen

This was such a treat!  At the fish market, customers can check out the different vendors’ fresh fish, select a meal combination, and wait at a patio table for the selected fish to be cooked and served.  Bergen-fishmarket-counter Bergen-fishmarket-selectionThe choices were amazing!  Cod, shrimp, whale steaks, oysters, crabs, salmon, and much more – cooked while you wait.  Our seafood was served with potato salad, a green salad, and a couple of slices of rye bread.  Bergen-fishmarket-display Bergen-fishmarket-seatingWe ordered what our server called “light beer” (due to the low alcohol content street vendors are restricted to serving) to enjoy with our meal.  As we placed our orders with the sweet young lady at the counter, she had one question for our family, “Are you from the Disney ship?” When we told her we were indeed sailing on the Magic, she wanted to know what was a Disney ship? We had fun explianing it to her!  Bergen-fishmarket-tableI feel terrible for not taking a picture of our food for you!  One minute we were waiting for our meal, then the server brought our plates, and the next thing I knew, I was scraping up the very last bit of potato salad with my last bite of bread.  Delicious!!!Bergen-Street

Until reaching Bergen, we really hadn’t done much shopping for souvenirs.  Fortified by our excellent lunch, we had plenty of time to explore Bergen’s shops – and explore we did!  The shopping in Bergen was really fantastic – we were glad we’d waited.  (No, we didn’t purchase any Disney dolls, but there were plenty to choose from!)  Bergen-Window-Shopping Bergen-shopping-area Bergen-Moose-Leather-shopCraftsmen and artists had workshops attached to small shops selling everything from jewelry to moose-leather goods.  We shopped in antique stores, Christmas stores, clothing boutiques and the artists’ shops.  Bergen-manhole-cover Bergen-cobblestones

Dried Fish Statue

Dried Fish Statue

Megan and Joseph went one way and Raymond and I another – we had as much fun exploring as we did picking out our souvenirs and even had time to relax over beers in an Irish pub.  When we found the giant dried fish statue, we were able to tell some puzzled tourists what it was and its significance to Bergan’s history.  Bergen-Irish-Pub Bergen-Pub-interiorOn the way back to the ship, I stopped trying to resist the lure of the bakeries!  Megan and I selected treats to munch on while we walked.  Bergen-bakeryI can tell you this:  Skolebrod (School bread) in Norway is incredible!!!  Dense, moist, loaded with custard and generously sprinkled with coconut, it was the perfect snack and a wonderful way to end the day.Bergen-Skolebrod-wrapper Bergen-Skolebrod

Ahead of us that evening would be the Freezing the Night Away deck party and the next day would be our last at-sea day – our vacation was winding down, but we felt like we were getting to see and do so much fun stuff!!!  I’ll be back to let you know how we ended this fabulous vacation.  Thanks for reading!DCL-Frozen-Menu

As always, if you have any quesions about this trip (or any of our other ones), I’ll be happy to tell you what I can.

Links to the other parts of this trip report:



Disney Cruising in Norway

I have so much to tell you about the Disney Cruise vacation we just took through the fjords of Norway!  I’m virtually overflowing with experiences to share, food to discuss, adventures to describe – so much happened in such a short time, I can scarcely decide how and where to begin.  I know there’s no way you’ll be as excited to hear about our vacation as I’ll be telling you about it, but I figured that by offering you some of the trip’s highlights, it might give you the big picture about what you can expect in more detail over the days and weeks to come.

Disney Cruising in Norway – 33 Favorite (Random) Moments!

The excitement began long before we landed in Copenhagen, Denmark where we would board the Disney Magic.RM-View-From-the-PlaneJetlag could only be beat by making great plans that kept us moving forward!  First, a Segway tour of Copenhagen where we saw some amazing sights and learned a lot about the Kingdom of Denmark.RM-Segway-Tour-Copenhagen RM-Segway-CopenhagenThen, a much anticipated visit to Tivoli Gardens – the amusement park (originally opened in 1843) that  was an inspiration for Walt Disney in planning Disneyland.RM-Tivoli-Gardens-ArchWe were thrilled to find some awesome rides, an interesting and beautiful aquarium, and…RM-Tivoli-Octopus-Ride Tivoli-OctopusRM-Tivoli-Gardens-Big-Beerthat they serve very large beers with dinner.

At the port in Copenhagen, the Disney Magic was waiting – as beautiful as ever.RM-Disney-Magic-Stack RM-Disney-Magic-DeckThe Disney service and wonderful Cast Members made us feel pampered.  April and Andres were our servers – the best we’ve had in a long, long time.RM-Disney-CM-AprilWe tried new foods and enjoyed some old favorites.RM-DCL-Lunch-Lumiere's RM-DCL-Mickey-BarWe learned about Mixology in Keys and enjoyed incredible Irish music in O’Gills.RM-Mixology-Keys RM-Runa-O'GillsOf course, our stateroom host, Kenneth, was a towel-animal artist of exceptional talent!RM-Towel-Elephant-DCLI got to meet Commodore Tom, the Magic’s captain, who is from Norway and was beyond excited to take the Magic’s passengers on this inaugural voyage through his homeland.RM-Meeting-Commodore-TomMegan and Joseph were busy meeting new people, too!RM-Meeting-Captain-AmericaIn every port, we enjoyed incredible, amazing adventures – the likes of which we’d never experienced before!  In Stavanger, we took an extraordinary hike to Pulpit Rock – I really cannot wait to tell you all about this particular excursion.RM-Pulpit-Rock-MapIt was a LOT of hard work walking uphill for such a long way, but then?  I was sitting on top of the world.RM-Pulpit-Rock-SelfieAlesund, the next port we visited, was a perfect place to explore by kayak.RM-Alesund-Sea-Kayaking RM-Alesund-NorwayGeirangerfjord was better seen by bicycle.  I’m not going to lie – it was very cold with sleet and rain, but SO worth the effort.RM-GeirangerfjordRM-Geirangerfjord-Snow RM-Geirangerfjord-Bicycles  In our last port, Bergen, we learned the most about Norwegian history.  We discovered the meaning of this statue…RM-Bergen-Fish-StatueExplored one of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited…RM-Bergen-Museum RM-Bergen-Norway

And found out what everyone’s favorite Norway Pavilion snack in Epcot tastes like in its natural setting!RM-Skolebrod

We celebrated…RM-Joseph's Birthday RM-Cheers!We Froze the Night Away…RM-Freezing-the-Night-Away-PartyWe enjoyed breathtaking views…RM-Geirangerfjord-Waterfall RM-DCL-Norway

And we had the most amazing time!

Come back soon for the entire trip report, excursion details, food and beverage reviews, and tips for taking your own European Disney adventure.  If there’s anything in particular you’d be interested in knowing more about or if you have any questions, leave me a comment here or over on Facebook.  Thanks for reading!!!