Me and Nathan in Bergen, Norway with Bryggen in the background.
This is one of my very favorite pictures of Nathan and I.


Looking back
I was so caught up in seeing Bergenhus Festning
I didn’t realize what a treasure I was overlooking along the waterfront.

February 15, 2016
The first night Nathan and I were in Norway
Trying to acclimate ourselves to a new time zone, we went out exploring.
The streets were vacant and cold, and all the shops were closed.
Enjoying Bergen’s nighttime cityscape across Vågen Harbor, Nathan and I walked in front of the iconic wooden buildings of Bryggen for the first time.

February 16, 2016
The following day Nathan and I walked around Bryggen.
However, we didn’t venture into the World Heritage Site.
All built out of wood…
It seemed a particularly dangerous place.
What happened if there was a fire?
Surely this place would burn down!

I learned later that the buildings of Bryggen had burned down.
Yet they would be built back up again.
Always replicating the original buildings from when the Hanseatic League did trading in Norway.

Schøtstuene entrance near St. Mary’s Church on Øvregaten.

Walking down Ovregaten, Nathan and I came across the entrance to the Schøtstuene.
“These rooms were assembly halls for the Hanseatic merchants during winter time. Due to the danger of fire, Schøtstuene were placed separately behind the other office buildings. In winter hot meals were served here. The buildings were also used for teaching and as courtrooms, meeting rooms and party rooms. The museum consists of three assembly rooms and a kitchen.” The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene

Mariakirken (St. Mary’s Church)

Right near the Schøtstuene entrance, Nathan and I came upon an old church. It seemed older than the other buildings in Bergen. I was excited to be able to run around the grounds and look at the old gravestones.

Me on the side of Mariakirken.

Apparently, Mariakirken is the oldest building in Bergen! It is said to have been started being built between 1130 and 1140 and completed around 1180.

February 19, 2016
I’m almost certain everyone in our crew decided to rest on this particular morning.
Becky and I however, went searching Bryggen for a wooden cod we saw a picture of our friend Alex riding. And to be perfectly honest, we wanted to ride that cod too!

The wooden buildings of Bryggen have wooden alleys in between every second building. These alleys lead to a common area where the Bryggen Wishing Well and Wooden Cod can be found.

I wish I would have taken more photos while investigating Bryggen with Becky.
I was just so caught up in the moment.

light footsteps echo
on the narrow wooden path
going behind the modern facade
of storefronts and restaurants.
the foreboding doom of fire
doesn’t seem to faze tourists
while I…
I imagine the stench of
fermenting fish
drying along the shore

all men.
no women allowed…

Bryggen from the corner of Strandkaien and Torgallmenningen.


Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf at night.


Manhole cover in Bryggen.


A view of Bryggen’s wooden buildings from Øvregaten.
Wooden Cod

I spent a lot of time learning the process of drying cod.
Way more time than any vegetarian should. I must admit I actually found it fascinating.
I always imagined that the fish were salted for preservation. The fact is, salt wasn’t a popular commodity until the 1600s, and therefore stockfish was cured by using the environment. Cool weather from February to May helped to naturally ferment the fish along the wharf, drying on wooden racks called hjell. When the weather would get warmer, the fish would be moved into the wooden buildings of Bryggen to finish drying.

The Bryggen “Wishing Well”

“We do not want to charge visitors to the Bryggen World Heritage Site an entrance fee. Instead, may we ask you to drop a coin or two into the wishing well (Norwegian coins, please). All the money collected will go towards the conservation of Bryggen. Thank you for your contribution.”
The Bryggen Foundation

Hanseatic League – London, Riga, Brygge, Skaane, Hamburg, Bremen.


Hanseatic Wharf

Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century. Many fires, the last in 1955, have ravaged the characteristic wooden houses of Bryggen. Its rebuilding has traditionally followed old patterns and methods, thus leaving its main structure preserved, which is a relic of an ancient wooden urban structure once common in Northern Europe. Today, some 62 buildings remain of this former townscape. UNESCO

All photos were taken by me and my friends.
For more photos of Bryggen… Click Here!
For more photos of Churches in Bergen… Click Here!

I love this so much. The photo of the manhole cover gave me particular joy! If only we opened those fancy things here. To be totally honest I think it would be an adventure to look in that manhole and see the old pipes. Older infrastructure is amazing 🙂