To begin with, I can say that after several visits to Bergen I have seen it in beautiful weather and under a blue sky. But I have also very often seen entire days of rain that never seemed to stop. The town is on the western coast of Norway and therefore receives a lot of precipitation arriving with western winds over the North Sea. The mild climate means that even in winter, most moisture comes down as rain - although when it is cold, it can be covered in a thick layer of snow. This makes the beautiful Bergen even more beautiful.
Rain in Bergen is legendary - according to statistics, it rains some 265 days a year, while many locals claim it rains 300 days a year. As recent as January 2007, Bergen had a record period of eighty days of rainfall. While the climate is mild, it can mean that even in summer, you can be very cold. I once joined a fjord tour on a boat in July, which ended in everyone on the boat being wrapped in blankets provided by the boat staff, shivering instead of enjoying the marvellous views of the mountains.
The rain also brings chances of course. There are shops specialized in rain clothes, where you can find elegant water proof clothes to protect you from the climate. For years, I have even seen umbrella machines in the streets, but they seem to have disappeared. Still, umbrellas are a very common sight in Bergen, although some locals seem to be so used to the rain that they just walk the streets enduring the heavenly waters without protection. A local joke tells the story of a visitor asking a boy when the rain will stop, to which the boy answers that he doesn't know because he is only twelve. Humour seems to be the best way to cope with the grey and wet environment!
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Rainy Bergen (Norway). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Rainy Bergen. Read more about this site.