The Joy of Rain











Before the weekend I returned to my hometown Bergen, Norway after a longer period away. It was nice to be back, but the pleasure was somewhat broken by heavy rain and kind of nasty weather. It met me right at the airport. Bergen is a rainy city, so I shouldn’t have expected anything else. I mean I arrived from Seattle, which is supposed to be the rainy city in the US, but literally on a yearly basis it rains twice as much in Bergen. Not surprisingly then, I always enjoy being in «sunny» Seattle whenever I am there.

It seems to be raining more in Bergen these days than I remember maybe ten or fifteen years ago, maybe because of the climate changes we apparently are in the midst of right now. The notion made me think twice, though. This summer I have been visiting Sahara and I have visited Black Rock Desert in Nevada, and I know what it’s like in areas with no rain or hardly anything at all. And with the imminent climate changes those areas as well as half-dry and less rainy places will only get drier and receive even less rain in the future. The realisation made me revoke my first thought after returning to Bergen. After all shouldn’t I enjoy the blessing of the rain we in fact get here? Because it is indeed a blessing, if you can look beyond the mere fact that rain makes you wet and cold. Rain is what makes this area so lush and green – and really a very pleasant place to live. In other places in the world water is a scarcity and a huge survival problem. But not in Bergen. Here we may swim in water till we are all soaked and beyond any worries about survival. I mean literally.

This realisation made me want to make a little pictorial tribute to my hometown. After all it’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen – when it’s not raining…

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About Otto von Münchow

Photographer based in Norway
This entry was posted in Photography, Travel Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

132 Responses to The Joy of Rain

  1. You are wise to appreciate the rain. I lived in Montana and have family in Colorado where I will reside for the winters starting this year. To much rain and to much dry is a problem for all areas but the drought has been deviating for my friends in the west. Ranchers can not feed their cattle and shipping them before winter. It takes years to build a good herd. My son in law who is a farmer in the midwest has no yields on some of his corn crop so food prices will be high soon. Wildfires in Montana and Colorado have devastated many peoples homes and lives. Here in Belgium it has been a bit dry and our plants are suffering. Yes flood can be just as bad but regular rain does make things lush and green. Beside rain makes for beautiful photos as you have posted here.

    • munchow says:

      Generally I would believe drought is a bigger problem than too much rain. But, yes, flooding is the other side of the coin. Would it be nice if we could share both sunshine and rain…

  2. semprevento says:

    beautiful city …!
    .. and then there is the sea …. I love it.
      rain is a strange time .. sometimes love, sometimes hate it.
    but the observation that you did is very true.
    I wish you a beautiful day with the sun …
    vento

  3. Reggie says:

    What a thought-provoking post, Otto. And I love the fact that each of those photos above tells a story – sooo intriguing. A beautiful gallery of images. I particularly like taking photos just *after* the rain has stopped, and the sun has come out – everything looks like it has been freshly washed and reinvigorated and the colours are brighter. So I wish you some wonderful sunny moments inbetween all the rain!

  4. RuneE says:

    September i Bergen i er nøtteskall 🙂

  5. niasunset says:

    Dear Otto, how beautiful post for your hometown. I loved Bergen. The view, especially from the high hills/mountains is amazing… The winter should be so cold and also covered almost by white! You are amazing photographer and also traveler. I can’t imagine myself how it would be to travel to the different climates… I really dream to visit your beautiful town. Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

    • munchow says:

      Let me know when you take the trip to Bergen! Otherwise it’s not really very cold and we don’t have lots of snow in the wintertime, due to the Gulf Stream. Thanks for the nice words, Nia.

  6. Chillbrook says:

    We have a had a miserably wet summer this year in the UK. It’s definitely much wetter than it used to be but seeing blogs from drought torn parts of the US made me realise, like you Otto, that the prospect of little or no rain is quite terrifying. Very little sunshine this year but we must count our blessings. Bergen looks to be a very beautiful city. Lovely photographs.

    • munchow says:

      It seems like it’s been a wet summer here in Bergen, but lucky for me I have mostly been in sunnier parts of the world. Maybe the winter will be better?…

  7. fabrizio says:

    Many years ago I made a wonderful holiday in Norway, I remember with great pleasure this beautiful town and its typical fish market, but also the breathtaking views that gives..

  8. nomadcitizen says:

    I really love the colors of your shots. Very surprise to see already some snow ..I saw some snow last month in the North of Sweden, it seems winter is at our door already 🙂

  9. I’m sure Bergen is a nice city and the rains is part of the life. I have never been there but many years ago I arrived to Stavanger and I still remember we were in the cafeteria of a Youth Hostel late in the afternoon waiting for the weather forecast and when it arrived, with many drops on the television screen everybody saying “ohhh….” but it was a beautiful place anyway!
    robert

  10. How satisfying for you to post photos of your own home town. It’s a lovely and very scenic place. There is probably no place like home. Interesting name, your Bergen. I have been to Bergen, NJ and my brother lived in Bergen, Belgium back in the 90’s.

  11. Love Bergen…thanks for taking me back there

  12. Bergen is a nice city, much more beautiful than my hometown Oslo (which also has been rainy this summer).

  13. With such a beautiful home, I have to wonder why you’ve got such a travel bug? Beautiful photos!

  14. wow, your hometown looks comfy, lovely and clean… thanks for sharing.

    regards and glad to hear you’re back… 😉

  15. drawandshoot says:

    It is a beautiful place, Otto.
    We’ve had unusual drought here this summer, I am a rain appreciator myself.

  16. Michelle Gillies says:

    A beautifully stunning pictorial of your hometown, Otto. I’m glad you decided to share it with us.
    I’m not always a fan of the rain. Sometimes it is just inconvenient. Other times I can think of nothing better than to just stand in the rain and let it wash away the day, splash in the puddles or turn your face toward the sky and catch the raindrops in your mouth. Like most things, the rain has its moments. 😉

    • munchow says:

      As we say here in Bergen, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. And, yes, nothing is like rain after a hot summer day to cool off and clean the air.

  17. These are lovely portraits of your hometown, which blend well with your sentiments. Your topic is a conundrum and yet another sign of how we must pay more attention to Mother Nature in relationship to ourselves. But more importantly we must be privy to the effects of the subtle and blatant changes that are occurring. I agree that we must revere the gifts from nature–moisture of any kind. I believe without a doubt that water is the number one issue of our future. The health of the planet and therefore humankind is at stake.

  18. Alli Farkas says:

    Love Bergen! I can’t remember any rain when I was there, but that was back in 1985! Photos brought back pleasant memories. Thanks!

  19. likeitiz says:

    These are lovely photos of your hometown, Otto. Bergen must be lush most of the time. Rain is inconvenient but very much necessary. But too much of anything can be problematic. Does Bergen get mudslides from being too wet?

    • munchow says:

      No we hardly ever get any mudslides. Bergen is pretty much built on mountainous ground and so hilly that water just run off to the sea without damaging anything. This place is made for rain!

  20. David Hall says:

    Excellent series of photos Otto, Some scenes are familiar to me from my previous visit to Bergen and yes, it was raining. Though the rain did keep my wife and I cool, whilst walking down from the funicular station atop the hill. Beautiful place. By the way, the first photo is my favourite.

  21. Well I try to see all the norwegian rain as a blessing, but it is difficult. Anyway, I enjoyd your crisp pictures from a sunny Bergen, Otto, it is a town I still haven’t visited….

    • munchow says:

      Oh, I would say it’s about time then. But rain is indeed a blessing, even if it doesn’t always feels like that. Just ask those how live in drought-affected areas.

  22. It absolutely IS beautiful, Otto. I’m so glad you posted photos of your home. I know that because you travel so widely you must have a deep appreciation for what you have in Bergen. Your comment about rainfall and desert climates is right in keeping with where my interest is at the moment. I’m doing a study (just for me) of the settling of California and the sprawl that has developed over two hundred years (we aren’t exactly an ancient city) with the requirements and subsequent disputes over water. Southern California, huge as we are, was established in a desert. I find the whole discussion fascinating! Troubling, too, given the climate changes you reference. I think you’re very correct in appreciating your rainfall. It may get “old” sometimes, but it’s lifegiving! Debra

    • munchow says:

      I did read your post about the fight over water in your area. Very interesting. And I think we will only see more of these disputes as the climate changes take more effect. We are in for some interesting times, to say the least.

  23. Patti Kuche says:

    Beautiful photos Otto with some lovely shots of sunshine between the rain! It is also raining more in the UK than before with this being the wettest summer in 100 years, and we thought the last three or four were wet enough!

  24. mcolmo says:

    Ah rain, can’t live with it and can’t live without it. It rains a lot in my country too, and sometimes it pours, like any other tropical place on Earth, so I know what you mean. Your photos are beautiful, Bergen is a lovely place.

  25. Yes, it is a stunningly beautiful place! Lovely collection of photos, nice one through the trees and the 1st, 2nd and last really make me want to be there looking at that view. I have lived in Seattle and Oregon (14 years), so rainy (it does get to you around March) and green and lush and damp, and now I am in Arizona, so dry, dusty, sunny (HOT for about 4 months) and beautiful. There is a balance everywhere, hopefully. It is a beautiful world depending on your attitude. 😉

    • munchow says:

      It’s kind of paradoxically that I have chosen to spend most of my time in the rainiest city in Norway as well as in the States – or at least one of the rainiest cities. Maybe I have a hidden affinity for rain, after all?

  26. sonali says:

    There are too much rains in some places and too less in the others. The rains do bring along a very different cheer and lightens up the mood. The drying up places, alas! very difficult to survive. The drastic climatic changes that the earth is facing offlate is really scary. Who knows, but yes, we can live for today and try our best to do better for the greener earth. Thank you! 🙂

  27. Rick Diffley says:

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful home images. Living in WA ST… Ah yes, rainy Seattle, Bellingham, Vancover, Olympia. Eastern side = Much less rain, more sunshine, but snow /-:

  28. Inge says:

    I am speechless by your beautiful shots of your hometown. 🙂

  29. I always love the light in your photos – the time of day they are captured. Our son just moved from Seattle – Besides the land being so beautifully green the food up there is really good!

  30. Sunshine says:

    Thank you for sharing your hometown, Bergen, and how you can leave this place for very long must be a bit heart wrenching. I loved how you shared a bit of the countryside, city life and waterways…beautiful! You must get some flooding if it rains a lot and I can see how this would be a bummer. 😦
    I enjoyed your version of Bergen…and truth be told, I was clueless about it.
    Thanks, again!!

    • munchow says:

      As mentioned above, we don’t really get much flooding here. The terrain is really made for taking away the water. Glad you got an idea about Bergen. 🙂

      • Sunshine says:

        Oh dear, so much for my reading comprehension…:(
        but yes, Otto, I did get the general idea of your beautiful Bergen.
        Thanks again. 🙂
        Happy Thursday to you!

  31. dearrosie says:

    Thank you for taking us home with you. I’ve never been to Norway and of course seeing Bergen through your lens was an enjoyable trip.

    What you say here is so true:
    if you can look beyond the mere fact that rain makes you wet and cold. Rain is what makes this area so lush and green – and really a very pleasant place to live.

  32. fotonita says:

    Herlige bilder fra Bergen – en flott by!
    Var hjemme på 2 mnd ferie denne sommeren, været var selvsagt det store temaet! : ) Det var ikke mange sol-dager jeg hadde, men det er deilig å være hjemme i Norge, uansett vær! : )

    Ønsker deg gode dager i Bergen!

  33. starlaschat says:

    Beautiful tribute to your Home town. There is no place like home.:+) Where I use to live in Northern Montana it too is lush and green at times reminding me of a rain forest. It can be difficult because there are so many over cast days and at times seeing the sun is a cause for celebration. Where I am living now the sun shines surrounded by blue sky most of the winter. Making the winter’s a lot more bareable. Although, I do miss the intese beauty of Northern Montana it is a trade off that’s for sure.

    Seeing your photos makes me want to add your beautiful town of Bergen to my wish list to visit maybe someday if I am lucky.:+)

  34. mikemcmurray says:

    Your collection of shots in this post are awesome!

  35. Melusine says:

    Mange fine bilder fra denne fine byen vår 🙂

  36. CherryPie says:

    It looks like a very beautiful place to live in.

  37. Bergen looks beautiful Otto. Norway is definitely on my list of places to visit. Beautiful images.

  38. restlessjo says:

    Beautiful your photography certainly is- especially the pink sea and sky shot. I covet that one.

  39. Arindam says:

    Your hometown is really beautiful. Loved the place. Now I can see from where your love with photography started. 🙂 I loved the part where you very rightly pointed out that, we need to appreciate that we live in a place where there is no shortage of water. I was born & brought up in a small town, where we had no shortage of water at all. But when I moved to city to pursue my dream, I realized there are places where there is not enough water available for everyone.
    And I always enjoy rain,(if there is no warning of storm ) and since past few weeks we are also having heavy rainfall here.
    Enjoy the Rain! It’s the blessing from sky!! 🙂

  40. Truels says:

    You live in a wonderful country and city. These photos proves this. And we who live around here and are so fortunate, that we can travel around the world, we learn to appreciate to live here. Even if it rains. Or is very cold and dark part of the year.

  41. beautiful photos of your city, and its light. I appreciate your discussion about rain as I can identify with it- I’ve also realised how in need others are for it. that said, in urban cities, it’s seen as a hindrance… sometimes, for good reason 😉

  42. Angeline M says:

    A beautiful city. When we live in such a place, it is good to realize that we must take the bad with the good.

  43. Louis says:

    I’ve not had the good fortune to visit Norway and it clearly has places of great beauty. This is a splendid selection – and I particularly like the varying perspectives.

  44. The Hook says:

    Your talent is boundless, my friend…

  45. Robin says:

    Beautiful images and words to go with them. Having experienced a moderate drought this summer, I’ve learned to truly appreciate rain, too.

  46. aFrankAngle says:

    Wonderful tribute to your hometown. Second and fourth pics my favorites.

    By the way, I hope you can visit my celebration this weekend. I would be honored with your presence … and your friends are welcome. After all, plenty of food, beverages, entertainment, and conversation for all.

  47. It is a beautiful place! I love how you adjusted your thinking back to gratitude. It’s finally raining here, where we’ve been so dry. But, alas, I would still get grumbly if it rained more than a few days! Hope you have a great visit home!

  48. Beautiful place. I love the tall ships!

  49. A good weekend.
    Greeting, Wolfgang

  50. So that’s where all the rain went! 🙂 It is indeed a beautiful city. Not much of a traveler, so I thoroughly enjoyed your tour!

  51. starlight says:

    thank you for sharing those wonderful photos.. my husband’s main office is located in Bergen.. he was there for a training and (keeping my fingers crossed) he is scheduled for another training probably next year (wish..wish) .. this time, hubby said he’s taking me there.. oh i really wish that the company’s plan will push through.. and yes, i hope to take lots and lots and lots of photos.

  52. Leovi says:

    Great colors, I love these beautiful photos.

  53. Indeed your hometown is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Every photo is picture perfect with the bay, the wonderful architectural designs, the warm smiles of the people. I’m glad you shared it with us and these words as well, “Here we may swim in water till we are all soaked and beyond any worries about survival.” Have a great day my friend.

  54. eof737 says:

    Like you, i always have to remind myself that the rain has a purpose… especially when it interferes with my plans… Great photos. 😉

  55. Lisa Gordon says:

    I am sorry about the nasty weather, but oh what a beautiful place this must be.
    How very fortunate you are to be able to call it “home.”
    This is a wonderful series, especially the first image. I love all of the wonderful lines.
    Have a great day!

  56. Carrie says:

    Thank you for your recent visit and comment. So glad you brought me here. You photos and commentaries are just wonderful. I will enjoy dropping in now and then to see what new thoughts and photos you present to us. Have a wonderful week.

  57. Beautiful photos from my home town 🙂

  58. hotlyspiced says:

    I love all of your images not only because your photography skills are so good but because you show me a part of the world I’m yet to see. I love the image of the houses all lined up in the row with their golden colour. We’ve had 10 years of drought followed by 2 years of rains and floods. A little bit of balance would be nice, especially for the farmers xx

    • munchow says:

      Balancing the rain would indeed be nice, but it’s none of ours to do, is it? Except start becoming a little more environmental conscious and hope the amount of extreme climate will decrease again.

  59. joshi daniel says:

    nice city view and light 🙂

  60. Bindu says:

    Thanks for sharing those amazing pictures. Each looks like a perfect postcard. Ah! rain! We are awaiting the rain in the desert. Hope it won’t be destructive this time.

  61. ladyfi says:

    Such beautiful shots of Bergen in the rain.

  62. Desde luego la belleza de las fotografías muestran un lugar muy hermoso, el problema es que odio la lluvia. Solo puedo decirte que como siempre me encantan tus tomas, impresionantes!!, besos

  63. munchow says:

    La lluvia sólo es algo que uno debe acostumbrarse a. Muchas gracias por las hermosas palabras

  64. KarenAnn says:

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful spot on this earth. We are in the midst of a drought here in the Dakotas and so are careful about not wishing rain away…even when we think we have enough! There is nothing without water!

  65. Martina Egli says:

    What a wonderful tribute to Bergen! I love how beautiful you’ve captured the warm light in your images.

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