Friday, January 21st and Saturday, January 22nd, 2022
Traveling during a pandemic is doable as long as you are prepared and aware of the restrictions and the COVID numbers for the area(s) you are traveling to visit! We were receiving emails from Viking about what preparations we needed to have for travel on an airplane and also to enter the country! They also let us know what Viking’s requirements would be to board the ship.
We filled out paperwork for entry into Norway, paperwork for Viking, and “Travel Ready” for the airlines. We were required to have a negative PCR covid test within 48 hours of flying! Norway which is where we were heading requires a negative covid test within 24 hours of arriving in the country. We had a folder with all of our documents ready for inspection as we headed to the airport on Friday.
We went through the check-in process and security without any problems. We had to show our passports, our negative COVID PCR test, and our entrance to Norway document! It’s a lot of paperwork for traveling and always wearing our face masks! Our first flight was from Columbus to Chicago, Illinois. We had about an hour and a half until we boarded our Chicago flight.
Our second flight was from Chicago, Illinois to Copenhagen, Denmark. When we landed in Chicago we had a little over a couple of hours before our flight. We had to leave our arrival terminal, go outside to catch the tram and then go through security again to get to our gate for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
Our flight from Chicago to Copenhagen was very comfortable. We put in a bid for business class and it was accepted! It was our first time to fly in business class and it will probably be our only time but we thoroughly enjoyed the comfort and extra attention! The plane was not full at all so we feel certain that’s why our low bid was accepted!
On Saturday, we arrived in Copenhagen a little after 7:00 AM and had to go quickly from terminal C to terminal A which was almost a mile walk and we had less than an hour before our flight was to takeoff. When we arrived at our gate to fly us from Copenhagen to Bergen, Norway we had extra time because our flight was delayed about 15 minutes.
Our plane from Copenhagen to Bergen was a smaller jet so we had to walk outside and climb the steps to board the plane. The sun was rising and it was beautiful! The flight was about an hour and 25 minutes long.
When we landed in Bergen, Norway we expected to get off the plane, collect our baggage and go through customs and border control. When we left the gate, we was two Viking reps who checked the 8 of us in and led us down for COVID testing which Norway requires within 24 hours of entering even though we had a test before flying out of Columbus! The line was so long for COVID testing that Viking arranged for us to take our tests between 8 and 10 AM Sunday at our hotel which meets Norway’s requirement. We just left the airport without showing anyone our documents or passports! We boarded our bus and went straight to our hotel, Hotel Norge, and checked in.
We went up to our room and put our luggage in our room and left to go explore the city. The weather was foggy and rainy and the temperature was in the 30s.
Our first stop was the wharf and saw the wooden houses in the Bryggen area. The row of houses along the wharf are one of Bergen’s most popular attractions. Bryggen is Bergen’s oldest district over 1,000 years old. A great fire in 1702 destroyed Bryggen. When it was rebuilt the town followed the architecture that was there before the fire. It still looks the same as it did in the 12th century. This area also is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The picture below shows a carving of a king’s head with three sides over the door of Svensgarden and is from the middle ages.
St. Mary’s church was along our walking path. It is Norway’s oldest remaining building.
We stopped for lunch/dinner at Egon restaurant. It was a quaint place with actual candles that were lit! We had to be careful with our menus that we didn’t get them near the flame!
Back to our hotel we walked in the cold drizzle because we were exhausted and ready for a shower and a chance to relax.
Pictures from our rainy first day in Bergen: