Waking up in Norway for the first time, I noticed something that I found quite welcome. The bathroom floor was heated from below with a radiant system. After all the cold weather we had been through the last few days it sure was nice to warm up before even hitting the shower. Since this was the first of three days in Bergen, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and get an early start on our first trip into the offices we were working in for the week. The half-hour cab ride went by quickly but we got our first real views of the area in the light of day. It hadn’t stopped raining all night and it was easy to see why the landscape stayed so green. The lush green of the trees was a welcome sight after all the dull stone buildings of the UK.

Arriving at the offices we were to call home for the next few days, we quickly found out the security system in the building was more restrictive than we expected and nearly found ourselves stuck in the elevator with no way out. We finally met our host, settled in and went about the normal introductions. We got a chance to meet some of the people we we’ve never met but talked to on a regular basis as well as catch up with a few familiar folks who have already been to California to visit.

Lunch in the office in Bergen was quite an adventure in taste. The cafeteria in the building provided a daily lunch that ranged from pickled herring to bell peppers, always served with fresh bread. There was one caveat, you had to clear your own dishes and fill up the trays for the staff to wash. It was an interesting take and the complete opposite of our synthetic, throw-away culture in America. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best food but it was another experience to take back and share.

The rest of the day went smoothly and we shared a taxi with our gracious host back to our hotel to rest before heading out to dinner. Dinner that night was served at a local, somewhat traditional restaurant in downtown Bergen. The restaurant’s name loosely translated to The Harbor Attic…I think. We were joined by the whole team we met earlier in the day. We had some great conversations about Norway and its culture, the high price of everything (by the way, Norway is apparently one of the most expensive places on earth to live and visit) and trying to get our hosts to translate the Norwegian menu into English for us. I had the wolf fish and was pleasantly surprised since it is probably the ugliest fish caught in the waters off Norway, and was not even served in most restaurants until quite recently because it was deemed to be too ugly to be any good. One of my co-workers tried the reindeer, another recent addition to the menu, which he mentioned was quite good and tasted very much like venison. After some good food and a few local beers, it was off to the hotel to get some sleep and prepare for the next day.