True beauty – Bergen, Norway

 

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It had been several months since I’ve last written here. I guess that is how it goes when you one has many passions and are busy with travelling, that kind of travelling where you try to enjoy the places you visit instead of planning your next blog post.

I am looking at a rather run-down Hanseatic building across my hotel room in Christies Gate in Bergen, Norway while writing this post. In a couple of hours I am flying back to the Netherlands after (hopefully) a fruitful business trip. Bergen is such a beautiful city, pretty as a button and that is probably the reason why I am blogging about it.

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When I arrived on Thursday evening and walked towards one of the wooden houses in the Bryggen wharf to make my powerpoint presentation, I thought that Bergen looked familiar, that I have seen a city like this before. I was not entirely wrong because Lubeck, another pretty place in Germany, is also a Hanseatic city. But I must say that between the two, Bergen gets the price for being the most beautiful. There must be a reason why this is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Apart from the old town, I was given the rare chance of visiting the estate of one of Bergen’s biggest shipping family. The family has a little boathouse that overlooks the fjord. The view from the window was breathtaking. It is that kind of serene beauty that makes you cry. The water was very calm, almost noiseless. Black pine trees around are giving the fjord a sombre atmosphere but little wooden houses dotting the horizon add a unique charm to the panorama. I imagined months of writing here or reading by the window and having a fine, glass of whiskey while the sun is setting but of course that would be impossible.

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Last night, when I settled on my tiny bed after a day of walking around Bergen, I browsed through the photos that I took. Of course, Bergen being itself, colorful but almost always overcast and raining, most of my photos lacks good lighting. But for the first time I did not care.

True beauty would be impossible to capture even with the most expensive or advanced camera. Beauty is not only seen but felt. Most especially felt. A person must feel that connection between himself and the place in order to be able to really say that one thing is beautiful. And no amount of technical settings or technology would be able to translate what the naked eye sends to the brain whenever it sees something that pleases it, especially when it is as gorgeous as a place like Bergen.

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What would come closest to what the naked eye can see are paintings because it is made with memory and emotions. I visited the Kode musems where works of famous Norwegian paintings are displayed, including those of one my favorite painter, Edvard Munch. There was a painting called Moonlight, where the moon is settled behind the rocks and shinning a faint light to the fjord. There was also a boathouse and dark skies with clusters of clouds. I wish I could have brought it home.

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I will definitely return to Bergen. There are only very few places which can make me wake up in the morning, run uphill and jog even when I am soaking wet. And that means a lot to me. I guess the only way is to get more business here.

And I hope this trip will help me return to travel blogging.