Cycling In Norway, 2007

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Updated January 07, 2008

Day Two- Friday 27 July, Bergen

If you've ever seen the gates open at the start of a greyhound race, you'll have a pretty good idea of how the trolley dash to the departure hall went the next morning.

Actually it went pretty smoothly and people sensibly gave our three trolleys with bungied-on bubble-wrapped bikes a wide berth.

Not so good was the long wait near the top of the queue for the check-in desk to open, or the confusion on the faces of the staff when presented with three bicycles - fortunately, it only took a large cash payment (about £100) for both outward and return trips to secure tickets for them, and some monkeying around at the Special Baggage Security Post where each was probed for explosives, bikes being too large to go through normal channels.

The flight was fine and disembarkation in Bergen was straightforward. We kept everything bubble wrapped, and squeezed on to a large hotel bus, taking up the entire forward locker space under the deck and leaving a bemused crowd of visitors with nowhere to put their more modestly sized suitcases and valises.

We stayed on the hotel bus with our noses pressed against the fogged-up windows all the way to the very end of the route into the city. We were the last passengers to be pushed out into the wind and rain outside another SAS-Radisson hotel on the tip of the Bryggen peninsular. So far so good! The plan worked!

Disguising ourself as city council refuse operatives, we rapidly set to work on the huge mound of baggage, tearing at the bubble wrap with Swiss Army knives and Allen keys. Several bicycles slowly emerged from their cocoons to be swaddled with panniers and drysacks.

At this point I discovered that Janet's headset had taken a really big knock en route to Norway - the front break cable hanger was badly bent and offset twenty degrees from its usual position, which meant that the front brake pads were binding on. "Oh well, one for the application of leverage later on", I thought. The rain fell harder and it began to grow dark, so we set off down a rain-lashed Bryggen towards the Skansen Pensjonat, about ten minutes away on foot.

On arrival at the Pensjonat we were quickly shown around the Annexe, which is ideal for us - two small rooms for the bikes to go in downstairs, and a spacious and light-filled one-bedroom flat upstairs.

Went out soon afterwards for an early supper at the Cafe Aura on the pedestrianised and pleasant Marken; tomato soup and lasagne for three at a table by the bar with three or four tea lights on it. It's a nice relaxing place for a meal, families seem to meet there to read books and magazines over coffee. It does a good line in whole food, joss sticks and candles too. We were done by half past six, tottering back to the flat with some things for breakfast from the Bunpris at the end of street.

  Cafe Aura
  Lasagne x3 @ 55 kr
  Soup x 3 @ 89 kr
  Pepsi & Sprite @ 29 kr
  Fruit juice x 1 @ 32 kr
  Tax ---- 104 kr
  = 522.00 kr


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