Friday, 29 June 2012

Bergen #9: Gullfjellet-Livarden: from Gullbotn to Haukeland

Finally a day off again after 2 weeks continuous microscopy, and perfect weather for a hike in the mountains. This time I decided to walk up Gullfjell, the highest mountain in the Bergen district. I started from Gullbotn, a 40 minute bus ride east of Bergen, from where a good track leads up the mountain. Once on the ridge you can follow large, 2 m high, cairns that lead the way to the top. This area is a bit further from the city and, probably because it was a week day, I only met a handful of people along my route. It is a beautiful area, higher and more alpine than the local hills around Bergen, with still quite a bit of snow around. The golden plovers are nesting and I saw lots of cloudberry leaves on the ridge to Livarden. Once down from the mountain in Haukeland I missed the hourly bus by 5 minutes and with the long wait in addition to more than an hour travelling by bus-tram-bus it was quite late before I got home, but the walk was absolutely worth it.

I had forgotten to put my battery back in my camera after charging it the night before, so these photos are taken from my cheap mobile phone to give at least some impression of the area. 

Route and location relative to Bergen

Near the start of the walk from Gullbotn

Looking east to Samnangerfjord

Following the large cairns to the top of Gullfjelltoppen

The steep western slope of Gullfjelltoppen with lake Svartavatn at the bottom

With all the snow on the top the temperature is only just above 5°C

Still a fair bit of snow and ice around on Gullfjellet


The idyllic Rambjørgvatnet, northeast of Livarden

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Venus passage 5-6 June 2012

I have come back to Tromsø for a few days to watch the last Venus passage for more than a hundred years. As the passage happened in the middle of the night here, between midnight and 7 am, Tromsø, with its midnight sun, is the perfect place to watch it. We hiked up to the top of the cable car at Fløya to get a good view of the midnight sun and Tromsø. Quite a few people had the same idea, and there was an impressive collection of telescopes set up on the deck outside the cable car station. We don't have a telescope, but we still got a good view of the sun with sun spots and Venus through our binoculars. Once back home at around 3 am we could see the passage from our upstairs north-facing bedroom.

Taken with a ca 8x zoom on the camera, through an 8x binoculars, with eclipse glasses in between, from our bedroom.

Midnight sun over Tromsø.

View over the southern part of Tromsøya with the mountains on Kvaløya in the distance.

Venus passage watchers on the deck outside the cable car station.

Tony trying to take photos through the binoculars, with eclipse glasses in between.

Double projection of the sun and Venus through the binoculars onto Tony's knee.

Tromsdalstinden basking in the sun behind us.

Starting to walk down at ca 1:30 am.