By Hue Hoang (Safe & Sound 2021 alumna).
I landed in Bergen in late August when the summer is hesitant to leave, and the autumn is reluctant to come. This is the photo I took on the way from the dorm to the grocery store. I bet it can surprise everyone; who would have thought that the scenery around student housing could be so stunning! And yes, you can randomly find picturesque views in every corner of Bergen, which I named “the city of wanderlust.”
Bergen greeted me with on-point weather. The sunshine kissed my cheeks, and the wind ran through my hair slightly. In that moment, I completely forgot the warning about persistent rain in Bergen. I even thought the weather forecast was just exaggerated.
However, I never let the cloudy days prevent me from exploring this poetic city. If the sunny day is an exciting welcome, the gloomy days are a well-earned chance to rest the eyes, the soul, daydream, and breath in a calm, reflective mood. I enjoyed walking around Bryggen in a mesmerizing scene of ancient wooden houses. Sometimes, the rain and the wind could attack you heavily enough to break your umbrella. But don’t worry, my survival tip is hiding into some “Jule Huset” nearby and glancing at souvenirs which can spread the Christmas vibe to your mind at any time of the year.
It would be more perfect if you finish your wandering with a piece of cinnamon roll with vanilla cream on top and a mug of hot latte at Godt Brød. Honestly, I am not a fan of cinnamon but the combination between cold weather in Bergen and the uniquely aromatic-spicy cinnamon can fit everyone’s taste and powerfully boost your mood even on the darkest days.
Not only sightseeing but also the student life in Bergen was appealing to me. I know the ultimate goal of this trip was academic exchange. Still, lectures and homework were not the only main character of my experience. The student life was so amusing by making friends with new classmates. We bonded through “taco night,” dates at a local coffee shop, and trips to Fløyen. We shared points of view on various subjects from daily concerns about the massive cultural differences between Vietnam and Norway.
Sometimes, the student in me enjoyed being alone as well. So I would spend a Friday afternoon at a library. You might think I am a bookworm, but I am not; I just have a weird interest in being drowned in the atmosphere of productivity. UiB has a vast campus with several libraries, so it’s not a bad idea to visit one of those every weekend.
I am writing this post after arriving back in Vietnam. I miss Bergen and the student life there. It was not an easy trip; the pandemic impacted everything so hard. But finally, I made it, we made it, it was an unforgettable semester.