It's been a busy few months with a few trips for work, holidays and weekends away keeping me on the move pretty much constantly - or so it feels!
Latest trip was to Bergen, Norway, where I was treated to a much bluer sky than London, and even some warm sunshine. The Hanseatic Wharf on the harbour side in the middle of the city proved a beautiful and fascinating place, with its 18th century rebuilt wooden houses, many of them a bit lopsided and all of them looking pretty ramshackle.
Part of the conference social programme included a walking tour, during which I learned all about Bergen's historic role in the stockfish trade and the fact that the city fell under control of the Hanseatic League after most of its indigenous population was wiped out by the Bubonic Plague that arrived on a boat from England. Luckily the Norwegians don't seem to bear a grudge about that, they are too busy feeling aggrieved about various historic wrongs visited on them by their neighbours in Denmark.
As well as the wooden houses, there's quite a bit of 20th century architecture in the city, including this wonderful department store which was designed by architect Per Grieg and built in 1938 as the city's first shopping centre. The statue on top of the tower is apparently Mercury, Roman god for trade, commerce and profit.
Close by the Sundt store is this rather dramatic Sailor's Monument which was completed in 1950 and is surrounded by statues representing sailors through the ages, topped with four panels showing different seafaring scenes - including whaling, naturally. You can't get away from whole whaling thing here.
No visit would be complete without a trip up one of the city's hills - this is the most popular one Floyen, which is reached via the Floibanen funicular railway.