Ok then… how about the nuts and bolts of my weekend in Bergen in July.
I flew with Widerøe from Aberdeen. It cost £163 (€183) return, with hand luggage only at that price. For a 2 night trip in summer that was fine, but with winter layers it might have been a struggle. They use Dash 8 turboprop planes on the service, so the lockers are small, and so is the size of bag they allow.
The whole “Widerøe experience” was excellent, and really good value for money. The airline has few international routes, but operates many domestic services, particularly in the north of the country. It was founded in 1934 and operates 45 aircraft – so it is an established and substantial airline. It just isn’t a well known name outside Scandinavia.
I got off-airport parking for £21 (€24) from Aberdeen Airport Park & Depart. That was for early Friday until late on Sunday. Their shuttle bus service was great, and waiting time was a minute or two. Their site is just on the far side of the airport and is less than 5 minutes away.
I stayed the night before my outward flight at the Jury’s Inn at Aberdeen Airport – £68 (€77) without breakfast. It too was a happy experience in all respects. I had a salad in the bar/restaurant in the evening and although it was good quality it was very overpriced. On the other hand, you have plenty of other options nearby for food.
In Bergen I stayed at the Magic Hotel in Solheimsviken. It is located 2km from the city centre, but only 5 minutes walk from the Bergen Light Rail stop at Danmarks plass. As a result, the city centre is an easy walk away or a short tram ride. One advantage it gave me is that the tram line serves the airport, so transit was cheap and easy.
The hotel was (almost) all positive. The cost was kr881.50 (£82.55/€88.15) per night, including a buffet breakfast. I had a single room, and whilst it was definitely small, the hotel has plenty of communal areas for relaxation if cabin fever sets in.
I ate dinner in the restaurant both evenings. The first time it was just convenience. The second time it was because the first dinner was so good. It was expensive by UK standards, of course.
You will find a discount mini market next door to the hotel, and it offers a cheaper alternative for food.
I used the tram a lot. For most of the day it runs every 10 minutes. I bought 24 hour tickets for kr95.00 (€9.50/£8.90) each, giving unlimited usage. I used the Skyss app on my phone, so it was easy – no messing with machines at the tram stops – and paperless.
The tickets cover all public transport within the Bergen zone except the NSB trains, but it includes the ferry service to Askøy.
You can also buy single tickets for kr37.00 (£3.46/€3.70). If you want to avoid grappling with the automatic ticket machines when you’ve just arrived at the airport, the deli next to the information desk at arrivals sells them over the counter. They have to be validated using a terminal on the tram.
Writing this post reminded me how well all my travel arrangements worked. I cannot think of a single irritation or disappointment. So, if you know anyone who is looking for a travel planner, I’m available.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2018 🏴🇳🇴