Bergen’s close vicinity to nature makes it a wonderful starting point for hiking trips. I decided to walk the popular but very scenic hike from mountain Ulriken to Floyen across the Vidden plain. The 18 km trail is well marked with signs and cairns, so it could be done safely even without a map.
I already went up on Ulriken on the day of my arrival, but was thwarted by Bergen’s notourisly fickle weather. I had to turn back after an hour as it was raining rather hard. Thus, I tried a second time and got lucky: blue sky, bright sun, no rain forecast. Perfect conditions for a hike in the mountains!
Having walked Ulriken already on my first try, this time I opted for the cable car, carrying me up to the mountain top in just a few minutes. Today, the trail was mostly dry in contrast to the first time, where the paths had been boggy and I often had to bypass bigger and deeper puddles.
I set out at a brisk stride, following the trail sloping down into a meadow, passing several cabins and crossing a marsh. The path winds up and down ever so often but the climbs are neither steep nor difficult. It’s an easy hike, if the weather is fine. When reaching Vidden plain, the view opens up and one has a spectacular view over the mountains and fjords.
A line of cairns marks the way across the plain, and there are always enough people about, so it’s easy to know where to go. The route is not only popular with tourists, but seems to be a major training course for local trail runners. Many passed me fleet-footedly, jumping easily over boulders, only a light-weight bag on their backs. I almost felt a bit overequipped with my loaded daypack, hiking boots and trekking poles.
Half way, the trail leads down a steep bank to Øvre Jordalsvann lake, after crossing a dam one follows on its western flank.
At the foot of a telegraph pole the path splits and as there were no signs I turned left on a narrow trail winding its way through heather, which looked much more enviting. Due to missing trail marks I did get a bit lost, but I finally reached a gravel road which led me around Blåmanen and down to Ulriken.
After five hours I arrived at the Floyen viewing platform from where the views over Bergen and the fjords are breathtaking. Originally, I had planned to treat me to tea and cake in the restaurant at Floyen, but when meeting the crush on the platform, I quickly abandoned the idea. It was a lovely day, and naturally, locals and tourists had come up to enjoy the views.
Instead I managed to attain a seat on the Floyen funicular, which whisked me back down to the city.