After nearly two weeks of rain, today we were rewarded with sunny skies and warm weather. And so this marked the perfect day to go for a hike! But of course, whenever there’s good weather in Bergen, Norwegians will take any opportunity to get some fresh air and be outdoors as well. This meant that coupled with the Bergen City Marathon, a decent percentage of the population was out and about.
Since moving to Bergen, I feel that I have become quite accustomed to a smaller city life and fewer people around. Smaller shops mean fewer shoppers and walking through the city centre usually doesn’t involve having to dodge people like in a game of Frogger.
What’s my point? Not much, except that I wonder what would happen to me when I travel back home to Melbourne again. Last year in October I went to London for a week, and after having lived in Bergen for only two months, I was quite overwhelmed by the number of people on the streets!
Normally when I have gone out for a hike, I see the odd passerby. But today the tracks and paths were quite crowded with people and I think I just began to realise how much I had been taking ‘smaller crowds’ for granted. People cycling up hills (up to 500 m, I have no idea how they do it), runners and people with prams, dogs and children.
I also noticed something similar happen over Easter when I went skiing. My Norwegian friends were commenting on how long the queues were and how crowded the slopes had become. I admitted to them that I hadn’t noticed this because I was used to waiting longer as well as dodging children and other people on runs back home. But then after I had become used to the (previously calm or quiet) Norwegian pre-Easter ski queues, I met my match. A long line for the pommel lift!
So: (limited days of good weather + weekend) OR public holiday(s) = more people. I look forward to seeing what the 17th of May (Constitution Day or “Norway Day”) will bring! Having said that, I really do appreciate fewer people around and having a larger sphere of personal space when outdoors. But hopefully I don’t develop a case of agoraphobia next time I decide to travel to a big city or go back home!