Bergen has grown a lot since I last visited almost 15 years ago but not this classic waterfront. Oil has brought prosperity to Norway and the outlying areas are now all connected with bridges and undersea tunnels and the like.
If you love wooden boats, like I do, Bergen is the epicenter with lots of activity going on even in the winter. It’s been very mild north of Oslo with no snow on the ground. There are two forest fires burning in the north.
Stormfugl or Shearwater. A Northsea trawler.
This is Ostereidet where my cousin, Ragnhild & Tor live. Theirs is the white house center left which includes the red boatshed.
About a mile away is a perfect cove which serves as the winter moorage for the Oster, a 120′ steamship. Tor, a retired merchant marine/engineer put this boat back together in a couple years for about $1.2M. The Virginia V, a comparable boat in Seattle took 6 years and $6.2M….. I vote for Norwegian boat builders every time.
Let’s go aboard!
Here Tor demonstrates some of the machinery.
Here’s another shot of the Fjord with Osteroy in the background. It’s one of the largest islands on the Norwegian coast; ranking #14 at 329 square kilometers–we drive around this island on incredible roads.
Opps, here are the roads:
This is a good stretch of road with many tunnels–all stop-lighted.
There is one small orange light from a barn in this isolated farm. This is rural Norway. The waterfalls above are frozen in motion and await spring.
But down to brass nails, or copper ones actually. I came here to study the faerings so first visit the Maritime Musuem in Bergen. There are a dozen or more perfectly executed ship models based upon Bernhard & Oystein Faeroyvik’s “Inshore Craft of Norway.
It’s only a two hour drive over to Hardangerfjord and what a surprise! A small city devoted to rebuilding traditional faerings in the Hardanger style.
These faerings are for sale–about $20,000 each which would include the 25% VAT.
Rooms full of bent wood ready for selection.
Here is Peter Helland-Hansen who is authoring a book on these boats. After seeing how these are crafted, it’s easy to see that Norway ruled the seaways 1000 years ago.
A pile of knees.
Tor and Peter contemplating Hardangerfjord and their next viking adventure. Me too!
Two faerings under construction–everything under control here.
The perfect life…..in Norway. Alesund and Kristiansund are next! Can’t wait!