Sunday Special – Bergen, Norway


A good friend of mine is travelling through Scandinavia and is enjoying herself very much. She has been sending me and our friends photos and videos of all the places she has visited, which I have to say I love seeing. One her favourite places so far is Bergen, Norway. So I thought I would post about it today. Let’s take a look!

Situated on the southwest coast of Norway, Bergen is its second largest city and sits on the Bergen Peninsula (Bergenshalvøyen in the Norse language). Historically it has played an important role as an administrative capital in the 1200s CE and been a key player in maritime trade and shipping well into the 1800s CE. Today it still boasts various industries including shipping, petroleum, tourism, and subsea technology in addition to being a hub for education, finance, and culture. Set in the backdrop of awe-inspiring nature this city has much to offer. 

  • Fjords – With 1,190 fjords in Norway it would make sense to take in the beauty they offer. Bergen is a natural stop to start exploring some of these amazing inlets in various ways. Bergen is only one of many stops along the ‘fjord route’. Many day cruises, trains, hiking trails, and kayaking options are in the general area.
  • Bryggen – This wharf along the harbour of Bergen is an important historical trade area and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The original buildings were built in the 1300s and repeatedly rebuilt after destruction due to fire, each time keeping meticulous care to the same building techniques as the original buildings. Today you see the buildings that have stood since 1702 CE.
  • Fløibanen Funicular – Spectacular vistas can be taken in at the top of Mount Fløyen. And to get there take this funicular all the way to the top. Not only does it have a great view it is a wonderful starting point for walks and hikes in the area. Additionally there is a restaurant and a fun children’s playground.
  • Bergen Fish Market (Fisketorget) – A part of Bergen since the 1200s it now has both an outdoor market (May – Aug) and indoor market (open year round). Its original location was in Bryggen but was moved in the 1556 to its current location and in later centuries buildings were constructed around it.
  • Museums – Bergen is home to a number of different museums. Some of them are the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene; West Norway Museum of Decorative Art; the Norwegian Fisheries Museum; University Museum of Bergen (with various collections); and the Edvard Greig Museum Troldhaugen (former home of the composer).
  • Bergenhus Fortress – This fortress is home to building dating as far back as the 1200s and as recently as post WW II. The castle is the one of the best preserved stone structures in Norway.

These are only some of the many ways to take in this Norwegian city of history, nature, and culture. My friend is have a great time and the photos she has shared certainly show how pretty Bergen is and that there is always some event happening.

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Bryggen, Bergan (Norway), UNESCO World Heritage Site – Photo credit: giggel, 2010-08-06 – Bergen – Bryggen – Kontore der Hanse-Kaufleute – panoramioCC BY 3.0

Fjord

Fjords of Norway – Photo credit: The original uploader was Eltouristo at French Wikipedia., FjordCC BY-SA 3.0

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Sunday Special – Tikal, Guatemala


Found in the dense Guatemalan rain forests in the northeast of this Central America country are the ruins of ancient Mayans. One of the largest and most significant archaeological sites is Tikal. This pre-Colombian city was an important political, military, and economic area and was inhabited from 600 BCE to 900 CE.  The site of  Tikal not only includes its buildings and monuments it encompasses the vast jungle and nature surrounding it. The area is located within Tikal National Park in the Peten Province and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, including both the historic buildings and the diverse nature of the land.  Tikal is a popular place to visit by both those touring Guatemala and day trippers from Belize’s San Ignacio Town as it’s only 2 hours away.

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A wild turkey making its way around Tikal – Photo credit: Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada, Wild Turkey Struts by Temple II – Gran Plaza – Tikal Archaeological Site – Peten – Guatemala (15870775832)CC BY-SA 2.0

Sunday Special – Hadrian’s Wall, England


The reach of the ancient Roman Empire was quite an expanse. At the time of Emperor Hadrian (117 – 138 CE) parts of what is now modern-day north Africa, Turkey, Europe and England were under Roman rule. In hopes of preventing invasions from the northern “barbarians” and to maintain his northernmost border Hadrian had the wall built. This wall, much of which remains standing today, runs 117.5 km (73 miles) from east to west from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway in Northern England. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visiting this ancient wall is relatively easy. Many sections have cycling paths or can be seen on foot. Hadrian’s Wall Path spans the length of the wall and is often quite close to it.  Walks, farms, castles and Roman history can be experienced at many places along the wall. Additionally, it is completely unguarded, thus allowing people to touch or stand on it should they desire. Though one may want to remember that doing so may damage this part of English history.

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Portion of Hadrian’s Wall near Housestead, England (photo is Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)


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Remains of Housesteads Roman Fort along Hadrian’s Wall (photo credit: Owned and taken by Mediatus via Wikimedia Commons)

The Map Project – India


Hello! Here is the next and last (but only for the time being I hope) installment of The Map Project. It has been great reading the posts and seeing what these kids have learned. Perhaps when I get back to doing a few short trips now and again they can give their insight once more. I hope you have all enjoyed this feature of this blog as much as I have. Today Rhiannon is telling us about India.

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Hi! This is Rhiannon again! I am going to be writing about Goa and the Taj Mahal!! Eeva liked Goa but she LOVED the Taj Mahal! Enjoy!

The day Eeva went to see the Taj Mahal was very hot and humid!  There were many people there but she really liked seeing it in person. She sent us many pictures on her cell phone of it.

Around 20 000 people worked day and night for twenty two years to complete the construction of the Taj Mahal. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653 and was started in 1632!

At different times in the day the Tah Mahal appears to be a different colour. Some people believe these changing colours depicts the changing moods of a woman.

The cost of the construction of the Taj Mahal was around $320 million dollars!!

Eeva sent me a postcard of the Taj  Mahal for my birthday!

Goa is a strip of land 110 kilometres long and 60 kilometres wide.  The climate is tropical with a June to September monsoon, when rainfall is approximately 400 cm.  Eeva was visiting Goa at the beginning of this rainy season.  For the rest of the year, humidity is surprisingly low and average daily temperature is 27 C. The coolest months are November to February when night temperatures can fall to 20C and a pull over maybe worn.

Most of the people that live in Goa, 1.2 million! are Roman Catholic.  There is a large minority of Hindus and various sects of Islam.   Goa’s own language is Konkani but Marathi, Hindi and Portuguese are also spoken, along with English.

The major industries in Goa are mining, agriculture (fruit and coconut and spices), fishing and tourism.

Can you name animals from India?

Here are a few!

  1. Indian Elephant or Asian Elephant
  2. Asiatic lion
  3. Lion tailed Macaque
  4. Great Indian Rhino
  5. Leopard
  6. Neelgai
  7. Royal Bengal Tiger
  8. Wild Donkey
  9. Nilgiri Tahar
  10. Chinkara
  11. Pangolin (an anteater!)
  12. Indian flying fox

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

The stunning Taj Mahal

The stunning Taj Mahal

Close up of the Taj Mahal. Agra

Close up of the Taj Mahal. Agra

Just a cow wandering the market area in Goa

Just a cow wandering the market area in Goa

Anjuna Beach, Goa

Anjuna Beach, Goa