Monday, June 15, 2015

Norway Day 3: Resistance, Whales, and Reindeer

On Facebook this morning, I got into a back and forth with someone who read yesterdays report and commented "Who goes to Norway for steak?" after I had indicated I was headed to dinner at the Big Horn Steakhouse.  His point of course, that Norway is famous for seafood.  My point back was that I didn't come here for steak, I came here for work.  But that I liked steak.  That said, if the taste of the ribeye I had last night at one of the better places in Bergen is a sign of Norwegian talent for the art, then perhaps I should avoid it.
Big Horn--Nice decor, steak needs help
Bergen, 2230 hrs

After dinner, I spent the evening screwing around online and watching movies--to include Kingsman  (pretty good, very bloody) and "I Am Legend" (also pretty good).  Making my evening even more fun was the very straightforward geographically, but still cool to experience personally, long evening in of daylight.  It simply was harder to get tired while it was still light out.  Every so often, I'd run downstairs and pop out of the hotel to take a picture and to feel what a city alive and lit by sunlight at 2230 hrs actually felt like.

At midnight, I closed the room darkening shades, put my mask on, and put my earplugs in, thinking I'd wake by nine, have a few coffees in the room, hit the gym and then get to the (free) breakfast served here by 1000.  And then I woke up at 1030.  Ordinarily not a bad thing, but I felt like I was behind, and I would now have to pay (more) for both of my meals today, whereas under the old plan, one of them (breakfast) would be free.  So after a few slugs of coffee and a quick expenditure of 350 calories, I headed down the street to what had been recommended to me last night as an authentic Norwegian Restaurant.  I would not suffer the indignity of a second day of gustatory criticism.

Lunch Restaurant
Lunch Restaurant
The restaurant was great--really attractive on the inside, and chock full of great things on the menu.  I determined that everything I ate this day would be Norwegian, and I took this self-mandate seriously, starting with the most interesting thing on the starter menu, "Whale Carpaccio".  It was delicious, but it made me feel a bit like the Marlon Brando character in the movie "The Freshman", who holds dinners in which his guests dine solely on fare consisting of endangered species.  After this delight, I had a heaping cup of an authentic Norwegian Fish Soup--and it was extraordinary. So far so good on Norwegian food.  On my way out, I made a dinner reservation for myself.
Whale Carpaccio

Fish  Soup
For today's cultural moment, I ambled up the wharf to the ancient fortress that guards this quiet harbor.  I did touristy things, I walked and took photos, I read placards.  But my real quest was to get to the Museum of the Resistance, a place noting the exploits of the Norwegian resistance against the Nazis in WWII.  There were some really brave people here, a land that the Nazis did a number on--though not on the scale of Russia, or Poland.  Lots of great memorabilia (radios, sabotage equipment) and informative exhibits.
Smoked Salmon

I returned to my room at about 1500, where I dove into work for a few hours, before breaking off at 1915 again.  Having had time at lunch to peruse the menu, I knew exactly what I would have.  Wanting to indulge my red meat
cravings, I had already settled on reindeer for my main course, with a starter of smoked salmon.  Again, all of it was sublime--but especially the reindeer.  Oh my.  This was some really good meat--and it had a sauce with it that was to die for.  I am very pleased with finding this restaurant, and will return.

Rosenkrantz Tower
Got to get up early in the morning, exercise, pack, check out, and head across the harbor to where I'll stay for the next three nights.  They'll probably not check me in that early, so I'll leave my bags behind and take off on a day-long train/boat tour of Western Norway.  The weather appears to want to cooperate, so I got that going for me.

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