A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about history

For the First Time in Forever...

Reporting from Bergen

sunny 14 °C
View Midnight Sun Run on aboo10's travel map.

Now, if you have an eight year old daughter, like we do, you would know that the title of this blog post comes from the Disney movie, Frozen.

So for the first time in forever, we are the furthest north we have ever been - we are 60 degrees north, and this is much further north than Harbin, China which was only 45 degrees north, almost level with Paris! We are even further north than the top of the United Kingdom!

But also for the first time in forever, Disney, when making Frozen, which is a computer generated movie, set what is otherwise a generic fairy tale (based on The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Anderson) in Norway. The developers visited Norway and drew inspiration for many parts of the movie from genuine Norwegian towns, costumes and forests.

When we were in the Historical Museum in Oslo, we came across a model of a Stave Church, which was not too far off the route we were heading along to get to Bergen... so we thought we'd stop by to have a look... And in the first time in forever, the Borgund Stave Church we visited was the inspiration for the castle in Arendelle...
For the first time in forever, we drove along through the stunning fjords, which were also inspiration in the movie, and at one point, Elsa freezes them all! And saw snow capped mountains

For the first time in forever, we drove through the world's longest tunnel - the Laerdel Tunnel - 24.51km long. It has 3 caves hollowed out along its length to give drivers a break from the claustrophobic feel of the tunnel, and you are allowed to stop in them! We didn't, but they are illuminated with blue lights and also give something to look forward to!

For the first time in forever, we got to Bergen, which is a UNESCO Listed Heritage Site, and was originally one of the Hanseatic Trading Ports, and so like in the movie becoming trading partners would have been desirable. The wharf area of Bryggen (where we had lunch and dinner!) is just gorgeous, with brightly coloured timber buildings, just like the township of Arendelle...

For the first time in forever, the whole family went on a hike! We got the venicular railway up to a view point to see a stunning view of Bergen, and then we started following a nature trail, complete with trolls, and streams and then realised that we could walk back to our AirBNB apartment... so we did...
and had a beer in the sun in the front garden.

Posted by aboo10 14:13 Archived in Norway Tagged landscapes mountains buildings children history norway ecotourism family_travel midnightsunrun Comments (2)

Road Trip (Part 2)

Reporting from Dusseldorf

semi-overcast 13 °C
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OK - so it's no secret... I'm catching up on blog posts now that school's out for the summer holidays... I had done the first part of this trip, with Mum and Dad in the family truckster... so now here is the second part.... Belgium....

So we left Delft, to head to Ypres, or Ieper in the Flemish West Flanders province of Belgium. Again, the drive wasn't too far, only about 3 hours. And we enjoyed the countryside, were stopped for a while by a bicycle race passing, and then eventually got into the town. It was cute. We drove through the Menin Gate to find our hotel. It couldn't have been in a more convenient spot - just down a tiny side street, right opposite the In Flanders Fields Museum. So once again, Mike unloaded the car and us and then drove it off to park... not too far away this time.
We found a quick place for lunch, but were admiring the chocolate shops and cute cobbled streets, and adorable buildings. And working out what we needed to explore! The purpose of our visit to Ypres, was largely to hear the Last Post - which is played by buglers from the Ypres Fire Brigade in the Menin Gate Arch every day at 8pm, come rain, hail or shine, since 1928!! Ypres occupied a strategic position for both sides in WWI, and the town was pretty much destroyed.

The main square and Cloth Hall (now In Flanders Field Museum) were painstakingly reconstructed, and are gorgeous now. Ypres in known now as the City of Peace, and thrives on a tourist trade of visitors curious to see remnants of WWI. Including us. We went on a tour with a British group, to see the Commonwealth War Graves, German trenches and several sites of key significance in various battles and also within the history of Ypres. We loved the In Flanders Field Museum as well, and it told many personal stories of the effects of war and was very well done.
We then headed back home to Düsseldorf for a few days to wash clothes and celebrate Easter... before the next bit of the holiday!! The kids and Mum and Dad played games in the car, ranging from eye-spy to making sentences up using number plate letters... we all enjoyed travelling together and driving in one big car made so much sense!!

Posted by aboo10 06:49 Archived in Belgium Tagged buildings children history family_travel Comments (0)

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