city guide: bergen with aurora

Take a trip to South West Norway's old Viking settlement as the city’s young musical export shares her favourite hometown hangouts.

by Francesca Dunn
12 April 2016, 11:49pm

19-year-old Aurora has the shining. She sees things that others can't; looking upon the world wide-eyed and taking it all in before spinning what she discovers into shimmering tales laced with dark skies and plenty of emotion. She writes, she sings, she enchants those who encounter her, and she hails from Bergen. Known for its mountains, fjords, and lush forests, the city has a UNESCO World Heritage dock at its centre and more inspirational vistas than one place needs.

Bergen has been Aurora's home since she was just three years old and she lives deep in the countryside, far from neighbours but surrounded by nature. She writes music because it makes her feel like she is not just a product of evolution, but someone who can create something meaningful. And while we like to imagine Aurora's childhood was something like a less deadly version of that of Saorsie Ronan's character in HANNA, it seems that it was much more chill. It is clear that her homeland filters through to her music, not just lyrically but in the sound itself; with pounding drums almost psyching the slight teen up for battle and her crystalline voice sparkling as it echoes in the wide open spaces of her homeland and melts ice and hearts simultaneously.

"I think the weather inspires me to dwell. And when I dwell my thoughts dance around in my mind and all these ideas about life and death appear in my mind. It's a very nice place for me to write." She told i-D. "I love Bergen, I never want to move." Having already released her debut album, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend, and just toured the US picking up fans like Joe Jonas (who proclaimed her "the future") along the way, Aurora's adventure is just beginning. 

With that in mind, press play on Grieg's Morganstemning - the song that she feels best represents her city - take a deep breath of fresh air, and enjoy this future star's guided tour of Bergen...

For eating: Ichiban
"The best sushi I've ever had."

For drinking: Muskedunder.

For coffee: Kafè Spesial
"They have this amazing coffee made from these very special good beans. The process of how these beans are prepped is another story, you can read about the whole process at the place itself. It's a very interesting piece of reading."

For dancing: anywhere there is music
"Dancing is always a good option if you feel restless. There is this gay-bar called Fincken though, I've never been there but it always sounds like it's a place full of life if you're there at the right time."

For music: USF Røkeriet Verftet
"It's mostly a good venue because the sound in that room is good. I also like Grieg Hallen (if you like classical music); it's more formal and in the main hall there are chairs for the audience to sit on. Watching an orchestra play there is quite a magical thing."

For escaping: Fløyenfjellet
"It's a little mountain in Bergen that people like to visit. It's about 400 meters high. If you walk away from all the other people, as far into the forest as you can, you'll feel as free as the hobbits did in Lord Of The Rings.

For record shopping: Apollon
"It's a really nice place where you can buy the records you like and then have a drink afterwords. I always go there if I want to buy new vinyls or CDs. and then I celebrate with a cup of chocolate."

For clothes shopping: anywhere in Skostredet
"You'll find lots of small independent shops and some vintage. It's very nice there. It has a nice energy."

For a first date: Folk og Røvere
"It's a bar. With candles. Candles are always good when you're on a date. And it never gets too quiet. And the chairs are comfy."

For inspiration: It depends what inspires you.
"I would go down to the dock (bryggen) to breathe the fresh ocean air, and watch the boats and the people. If the sun is awake, I like watching its reflection in the waves.

For performing: Lille Ole Bull
"It's very traditional. Like a theatre. It's not the biggest venue in Bergen - I think there's room for around 600 people - so it feels nice and intimate."

For walking: Nygårdsparken
"It used to be a bit dodgy there, but now they've cleaned it up and it looks really nice with a little pond and really nice old trees."

For sleeping: on the grass behind a little tower near the dock called Rosenkrantztårnet.
"It's a very nice place to be if the cold isn't killing you."

For people watching: I have this bench up the hill just behind the little funicular station that can carry you up to Fløyenfjellet.
"I like to sit there and watch people from afar. It's like being a bird looking down at all these busy creatures. Like ants. It's nice."

For the best views: on the top of Fløyenfjellet!
"You see the whole city and the horizon. I've been there many times. It's most beautiful when it snows, at wintertime."

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