Discover how Norway first achieved international recognition during this journey to Norway's island paradise of Lysoen.
Depart the pier for a drive through the City of Bergen, then across the beautiful forests and scenic fjords of the Fana Mountain region. About 18 miles south of Bergen is Lysoen, the island paradise once belonging to legendary settler and violinist Ole Bull. Born in Bergen in 1810, Ole Bull was a renowned violinist who played concert tours throughout the Western World, brought international recognition to Norway and inspired other noted composers of his day, including Edvard Grieg.
Upon reaching Buene Pier, you'll embark on the 35-passenger boat, aptly named Ole Bull, for the 5-minute ride to the Island of Lysoen. Upon arrival, you'll take a short walk from the pier to Little Alhambra, the spectacular former home-turned-museum of Ole Bull that was built between 1872-1873 for use as a summer home. Crafted from Norwegian pine, Little Alhambra features an onion dome and elegant trellis work. Ole Bull transformed the surrounding 175-acre island property into a fairytale kingdom by incorporating romantic paths, ponds and gazebos into the landscape, and planting exotic trees and bushes in the native pine forest.
Inside Little Alhambra, you'll view a presentation of Ole Bull and his life as a leading proponent of Norwegian Romanticism and the national movement of independence. A century later, the estate was donated to the Norwegian Society for the Preservations of Historical Monuments by Ole Bull's granddaughter. After a period of extensive renovation, Little Alhambra reopened to public in 1984, and has served as a museum ever since. Following the presentation, some time will afforded for you to tour the other rooms on the ground floor and take a stroll in the garden.
When your visit to Little Alhambra is concluded, you will retrace your route back to Bergen making a brief stop at the ruins of the Lysekloster (Light monastery), founded by monks from Fountain Abbey in Yorkshire in the 12th century on your way back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking. To reach the home from the pier is a 200 yard walk up an inclined sandy path. There are also some steps and steep stairs to negotiate at Little Alhambra. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility concerns. Smoking is strictly forbidden on the entire Island of Lysoen. Flat, comfortable walking shoes, umbrella and layered clothing are suggested.