Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday's postcards: Two neat vintage scenes from Norway

Greetings on the final Saturday afternoon of September!

Today's first postcard, shown above, is an undated, unused postcard of The Fish Market (Parti fra Fisketorget) in Bergen, Norway.1 It was published in Oslo by Eberh. B. Oppi.

I'm sure the Fish Market has changed greatly over the decades. Here are some recent descriptions and reviews from TripAdvisor.
  • "The Fish Market is often labeled as a major tourist attraction in Bergen, mainly because of its long tradition in Norway's fish trade center, but the fish market today is not what it once was. Depending upon your personal tastes and interests, the Fish Market may seem overrated and oversold by guides and tourist information. In the tourist season it is crowded by makeshift souvenir shops, some of which sell high quality (and high priced) items, others sell junk. Beware of pickpockets as it tends to be crowded. Many tourists leave the market dissatisfied and disappointed." [written in July 2008]
  • "What a shame. I was there 38 years ago when I was a backpacking hitchhiker and it sure seemed authentic and local to me. Just part of everyday life there. I am going back this summer and hate to see everything commercialized." [written in June 2009]
  • "Yes, there was fish for sale, but really it is an overpriced outdoor restaurant. My mussels were delicious but incredibly expensive, even by Norwegian standards. Plenty of atmosphere. Most of the punters looked like tourists. I wonder where the locals buy their seafood?" [written in September 2012]
  • "In a country where Burger King whoppers are $18, finding a good deal for food is hard to come by. That is, unless you come to the Fish Market. My husband and I decided to splurge on two King Crab legs each at approx. 340 NOK for two King Crab Legs (about $58 US dollars). Now, the surrounding restaurants...ONE King Crab Leg meal was about 700-800 NOK (approx. $120 or so dollars!!!!) so $58 was a steal! My parents got an amazing and delicious salmon dish. I highly recommend dining out here for the fun of it and to save some big bucks!" [written in August 2012]

There are many more interesting blurbs (positive and negative) that you can check out on TripAdvisor, which seemed to have the most extensive collection of online consumer reviews of Bergen's Fish Market.

To me, the best things about this postcard are the gorgeous photograph, with its overcast sky, and the amazing baby stroller...

That hoodie-clad baby is riding in style! It almost looks like the baby carriage version of a Linjebuss.

Speaking of gorgeous photographs, though, here's today's second postcard:

The text on the front of the Normann postcard2 states: "Geiranger. Utsikt fra Dalsnibba"

The Norwegian to English translation would be: "Geiranger. View from Dalsnibba"

Geiranger is a village in western Norway. It is located at the head of the Geiranger Fjord, which affords it spectacular views such as this one. Lonely Planet, in fact, calls it the top tourist experience in Norway. Geiranger primarily exists because of tourists — more than 100 cruise ships pass through each summer.3

Dalsnibba, meanwhile, is the 4,843-foot mountain that is located about 13 miles south of Geiranger and Geiranger Fjord. The photograph for this postcard would have been taken near Dalsnibba's summit.

1. The Hanseatic warehouses in Bergen were previously featured in this July 2011 post.
2. Arne Normann took more than 300,000 photos in Scandinavia between 1940 and 1990 and became synonymous with Norwegian postcards. I also stumbled upon Foto Normann, which "is a documentary film about legendary Norwegian landscape photographers Arne Normann and his father Carl Normann who led the tourist postcard photography business in Norway for over a hundred years."
3. According to Wikipedia: "Geiranger is under constant threat from the mountain Ã…kerneset which could erode into the fjord. A collapse could cause a tsunami that could destroy downtown Geiranger."

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