Locals have long been wont to brag that Bergen hosts the largest gingerbread city in the world. The whole world people! I have no idea if this claim is true or not, but they do throw together a pretty big ass gingerbread city every year. And it is a cherished tradition of just about every family in the area (mine included) to open the holiday season with a visit to this spicey, winter wonderland.
Schools, barnehages, businesses, and individual households are welcome to donate a gingerbread creation to the city. Over a thousand are collected every year, and set up in an elaborate layout complete with snow capped mountains and trains that run throughout. It smells wonderful inside, and it really is pretty neat to walk through.
Over the weekend, a couple of as yet unknown jackasses broke into the place where it was being built (finishing touches were just being put on everything, as it was supposed to open this coming Friday) and wantonly destroyed the entire city.
The citizenry is up in arms. Completely beside themselves with rage. Indeed, I find myself rather furious about it too. Such a shame! Especially for the kids. As you can see, these are not professionally made, delicately constructed works of art. Though there are always a handful of larger perfessional looking pieces, by and large you'll find a motley collection of rough, crooked, wildly over-embellished houses pasted together with pure whimsy. They're the obvious masterpieces of some very eager, very imaginative children. How heartbreaking that someone felt the need to stomp all over them.
Not to worry though. Time, resources, and raw determination are being donated from all corners, and they're hoping to have a new gingerbread city (complete with night guards this time around!) constructed by the middle of next week. Indeed, by Thursday, which is when they've asked to have all the new donations delivered, I'm guessing they'll have twice as many gingerbread houses as they've ever had before.
Hear the Grinch! Christmas is still coming to Bergen, so there!