Impressions of Europe - Bergen

Impressions of Europe - Bergen

Ahhh, my wallet, I miss it so....

Yes, the Scandinavian countries are high trust, but hanging around tourist areas like the funicular and the crowded old merchants district can result in enough distractions and people packed in that predatory types looking for out-of-towners have ample prey.

The good news was that nothing important was in my wallet.

Interestingly, it's one of the northernmost full cities, and has the northernmost university in Norway. A fair number of american students were tending the registers at various shops, and a few other signs of diversity.

I also got an education on the differences between high and low trust people simply by observing the line at the funicular, aka the Fløibanen. Think a tram train up the steep side of a hill to an inn, restaurant, and quite spectacular view up top.

Stock shots, but hey.

As it was, a Mediterranean-based cruise line full of Spaniards had pulled in and one of the tour groups had gotten to the ticketing station shortly after us. As a tour group they were going into the prepaid queue instead of the "buy your tickets" queue.

Here's the thing - until they got there, there were two, moderately long, orderly lines no more than 3-4 people across depending on family or other groupings, one after the other. When the Spanish got there, they flowed in around the side of the prepaid line, to the point where the staff started telling them, getting increasingly flustered, to please extend the line back out instead of trying to cram in and blocking traffic. In response to the requests, the few groups up front looked puzzled, maybe shuffled a half step to mollify the staff, as if the request surely didn't apply to them, and went back to cheerfully packing in.

It was like they didn't understand "get in line, you will get your turn,", or "the rules apply to you too."

A side observation, overheard, "I'd always heard hispanics were loud but good god I could hear them a block away." Oddly, I'm sure the person, obviously American, was chatting with relatives in spanish.

The trails down and up, fairly steep but graveled and graded, were almost entirely occupied by Germans on Holiday, followed by Americans and Brits, a fairly high percentage of the Asians that were on tours, and of course Norwegians/etc.. Given the multiple tramloads of other ethnicities, I barely saw any on the trails.

Funnily enough, Germans have a bit of a rep for obliviously getting themselves into trouble.

In the light of that, one of the funnier bits in the movie Troll Hunter was an offhand line about some Germans found dead in the woods from a "bear attack."

Interestingly, the buildings in Bryggen, the Hanseatic merchant district, would not look too out of place today, yet date in style and actual construction from the 1300's to the 1700's

One bit of rhetorical wizardry was seeing a BBC news self-spot "they say traitor, we say divisive", playing to the "we know better, no one's truly eeeevil except those pasty-looking nationalists" crowd.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.