The name 'Bryggen' means 'wharf'. Bergen is still a bustling port-city, and has been since the Middle Ages. When the Hanseatic League was formed, Bryggen was their Western headquarters.
Today most of the heavy lifting is done in the southern harbor, behind me and over the ridge. The old harbor is now trendy boutiques selling tacky souvenirs and some of the most beautiful, utilitarian sweaters you may ever have come across.