Day 4 started on the place we would call our home for the next eight days: the Viking Sky.
It was here we met up with the last member to join our GSB team.
Terry had joined the GSB team for the 2017 Reformation Tour and Ann had somehow convinced her to return.
This day we were in Bergen, Norway, the 2nd largest city in Norway.
The Wife’s mother and father and Ann and Teri went on a two-hour sightseeing tour on a bus that drove around Bergen.
The Wife and I chose to spend the day on our own walking tour of Bergen.
The first thing the wife noticed was the presence of trolls in Bergen. Even their Santas looked like trolls. I attributed it to latent paganism, but who knows? After visiting a few shops filled with trolls and tourist chachka I set off on my own to explore the town.
Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the buildings that line its dock, looking much like it probably looked between the 13th and 15th centuries when Bergen was the center of trade in Norway and part of the Hanseatic League.
The Hanseatic League was a group of merchant guilds and market towns in the Baltic whose allegiance to a commercial trade pact and legal system transcended local loyalties and politics. The league even employed the help of the Teutonic Knights to protect its trade.
The impulse toward trade and away from nationalism and war is a good one consistent with Kingdom purposes. Isaiah prophesied that in the Kingdom age men would “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” and that “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4. In other words, trade and commerce will replace war as a means by which influence was wielded in the world.
The Hanseatic League eventually dissolved because of local pressures and political reasons, but Bergen remained as a major commercial center for Norway and the Baltic.
The rest of the day was relaxed as we continued to feel the lingering effects of the West-to-East travel and its disruption of our sleep patterns. Early evening the Viking Sky pulled out of port in Bergen and headed toward our first destination. GS