BERGEN, NORWAY – After a quick London visit, we took an hour and a half flight to the beautiful Bergen Norway.
It was my first time to fly within Europe and first time to fly with British Airways.
We arrived in Bergen around 10 in the morning. We waited in the airport for our other colleagues who will be coming from Manila via Amsterdam. I appreciated the hassle-free foreign exchange automatic teller machines at the airport. I was able to change my USD and GBP bills to NOK with minimal fee.
Getting a Schengen Visa in Manila
Even though I went to UK first, I have gotten my Schengen visa approved first.
Here are the steps that I can recall:
1. Register for an account in Norway’s Visa Application online portal. This one is shorter that UK’s visa form and pretty straight forward.
2. Pay for the application fee online using a credit card. However, VFS Norway processing/handling fee will be paid separately on the day you submit the documents.
3. Schedule an appointment with VFS Norway in Ecoplaza Building.
4. Print and sign the filled-out form and. Complete all the needed documents as per the checklist to be given based on the type of visa application.
5. Bring all documents on the scheduled appointment. Do not be late. Pay the VFS fee that includes the SMS tracking service. Get your bio-metrics done. VFS Norway is smaller but much organized with the whole application process.
6. Wait. Norway process Schengen visa really fast. Based on my experience, my visa was released for less than a week.
VFS Norway has a very helpful team that can assist you for any questions. This is for free! You can call them or email them using below contact details.
Norway Visa Application Center
VFS Office Address:
Norway Visa Application Centre,
Ground Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg.,
Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila
Phone (07:00-16:00 Mon-Fri): + 63 2 790 4902
Email (Mon-Fri): firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiry in Person (14:00-16:00 Mon-Fri)
To ensure that you get the latest contact details, kindly check the VFS website.
Staying for a week in Grand Terminus Hotel
Our rooms were not yet ready when we arrived in the Grand Terminus Hotel.
We decided to leave our bags and go for a stroll and find a place to eat lunch.
I was just wearing a lousy sweater since all of my jackets were in my luggage. I did not anticipated the chilling cold of Bergen.
We ate lunch in Peppes Pizza near the Fish Market (Fisketorget). Before we went back to the hotel we visited Bryggen.
Grand Hotel Terminus is an old and established hotel across the main train station of Bergen. The hotel is also just a walking distance to Bergen Storesenter and Marken Road shops. The staffs were friendly and accommodating to our needs throughout our stay.
The room itself was small. I particularly had an issue with the combined two single beds. It was not comfortable sleeping on them if you need to push them together every now and then.
The hotel breakfast buffet was not really over-the-top but not below average so to speak. The buffet offerings for the whole week during our stay will be the same. As I have learned from past experience that this will be the case, I just ate breakfast per section of the buffet selections.
One thing not really convenient though was that ironing of clothes can only be done in a common room in the second floor.
Bergen hotels/accommodations recommendations you can check out:
Roaming the beautiful Bergen Norway and riding the funicular of Floibanen
It was still early that day that we decided it was the best time to check out the Floibanen.
Along the way we did see some sights. Nearest to our hotel was the Leprosy Museum. It was closed for that day though.
Domkirken or Bergen Cathedral is part of the Church of Norway and dedicated to Saint Olaf.
Bryggen (Norwegian word for wharf) is a former Hanseatic market town stronghold in Bergen. The famous buildings of Bryggen reminded me of Nyhavn of Copenhagen, Denmark.
It is a very famous tourist spot in Bergen. There are a lot of shops, restaurants and pubs. We bought some souvenir items here.
On the other hand, Floibanen is the name of the funicular that runs uphill to the Floyen mountain.
In Fløien, the last stop of the funicular you will see a restaurant, a souvenir shop and a playground. You can start a mountain hike from here as well.
You can marvel at the picturesque view of the whole Bergen. The can see the fjord, the coastal towns and merchant ships.
It was raining a bit after a while we went down the funicular. The two-way trip will cost you 85 NOK.
Other places of interest in Bergen are the Byparken, KODE museums, Bergen Maritime Museum, Bergen Aquarium, etc.
Where to eat in Bergen
Peppes Pizza – the service can be quite slow. The pizza was just average but enough to fill our tummies.
Ma Ma Thai – Ordered pad thai and was amazed that it actually taste good. I should have ordered the mild one though.
Bergen Storsenter – Lots of restaurants in this mall. There is a Burger King that is open even on Sunday. I forgot the name of the restaurant where we have ordered food for dinner. It was on the second floor.
Horn of Africa – A one-of-kind experience. It felt really an authentic Ethiopian dinner. The whole dining experience was really unforgettable. Paired it with good food and cold beer. It was an awesome night!
Zupperia – The Norwegian fish soup was superb. I have high expectations with the served spareribs but it was just average.
Saying goodbye to the beautiful Bergen Norway
It was a short stay but it was lovely. We get to experience getting wet, chilled and surprised at the same time. I have to be honest that I should have see much more. I guess it is a way for me to look forward once again in visiting this city.
It was a long flight back to Manila but Bergen will also be in my heart.