True beauty – Bergen, Norway

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t’s been several months since I’ve last written here. I guess that is how it goes when one has many passions and is busy with travelling, that kind of travelling where you try to enjoy the places you visit instead of planning your next blog post.

While writing this post, I am looking at a rather run-down Hanseatic building across my hotel room in Christies Gate in Bergen. In a couple of hours I am flying back to the Netherlands after a (hopefully) fruitful business trip. Bergen is such a beautiful city, the kind of beauty that gives you peace of mind, not overwhelming like Barcelona. 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. Between the two, I must say that Bergen gets the price for being prettier. 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 boat house 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. Pine trees gave the fjord a sombre atmosphere but little wooden houses dotting the horizon add a charm to the panorama. I imagined months of writing here or reading by the window and having a fine, glass of Macallan while the sun is setting. But of course that would be impossible.

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 lack good lighting. But for the first time I did not care.

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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 have a connection with the place 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 Bergen.

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Edvard Munch’s Woman in Three Stages, my favourite among his works.

What would come closest to what the naked eye can see are paintings because they’re made with memories and emotions. I visited the Kode museums where works of famous Norwegian paintings are displayed, including those of one my favorite painters, Edvard Munch. There was a painting called Moonlight, where the moon is settled behind the rocks and shinning a faint light to the fjord. I wish I could bring 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.

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