Popular as the City of Rain and Fjords (rivers), Bergen holds the record for receiving 85 days of consecutive precipitation, at least once a day. The plentiful rain has led the government to provide umbrella vending machines or Paraplyautomaten for the public. The plus side: all that rain is followed by luminous beams of sunlight shining through the clouds.
Going to Bergen? An umbrella won’t do—the wind will simply blow it away. Carry a rain coat or waterproof jacket.
So, is Bergen gloomy and grey from all that rain? Far from! Dotted with lush green mountains and colourful buildings, Bergen presents a picturesque backdrop for enjoying a hot cup of coffee in a cafe on a cobblestoned street. Plenty of street art, museums and galleries for lovers of art and culture.
Iceland experiences four different seasons in a day. A popular saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather right now, just wait five minutes.” The rain comes in torrents, and is teasingly unpredictable. It rains for up to 10 days every month.
Iceland, the ‘Country of Rainbows,’ is a paradise for adventurers and hedonists alike. Enjoy the great outdoors, or explore the coffee shops, book stores, patisseries. Kick back a microbeer in a pub, with live music to boot.
The joke goes that in Seattle, it rains only twice a year: from August through April and from May through July.
The sun is an infrequent guest in Seattle, gracing its skies just about three months in a year. Locals are known to suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder that causes mood swings and even depression, from lack of sunshine.
The rain is incessant throughout winter, fall and spring seasons. Statistics show that six out of every seven days are categorised under cloudy, rainy or windy.
But don’t let this stop you from heading to Seattle. Take the ferry to Tillicum Village on Blake Island for an authentic native American experience. Marvel at their architecture. Learn fishing. Explore the hills. And if you are lucky, spot a whale! By the way, Seattle is billed America’s fittest city.
Mawsynram, Meghalaya, India:
This is the village that knocked Cherrapunji off its ‘rainiest place’ pedestal. Mawsynram sits just 16 km away from Cherrapunji in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
In this still-untouched region, you can see and experience the rustic simplicities of man, admire the inhabitants’ symbiotic relationship with nature and soak in the pleasing hospitality of the natives who love offering tea or ‘kwai.’ The Mawjimbuin Caves and Shivalinga stalagmites are a natural and religious marvel.
Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela:
One of the largest lakes in South America. Goes back about 20-36 million years, also making it one of the oldest lakes known to mankind. But what makes it really fascinating is the ‘Everlasting Lightening Storm’ phenomenon, which continues to baffle the scientists till date. Startling 140-bolt lightning strikes along with heavy rains. Bellowing winds rage for 140 to 160 nights in a year. The repetitive flashes have their use: known as the ‘Beacon of Maracaibo’ or ‘Lighthouse of Maracaibo,’ they help boats navigate easily at night.
Planning to go? Here’s a bit of a scare-off: any region within 50 miles of the Colombian border houses drug traffickers, guerrillas and armed gangs.
Mount Waialeale, Kauai Island, Hawaii:
Mount Waialeale literally means ‘overflowing water’ or ‘rippling water.’ With a whopping 460 inches of rain, it is among the wettest places on earth. Always shrouded in deep clouds and mists, this is a botanical haven for studying endangered flora and fauna. Sadly, hiking and camping is prohibited here, due to the hazardous landscape. But get on to a helicopter, and take a stunning aerial view of the ‘Blue Hole,’ an awe-inspiring vertical drop.
Compiled by Prerna Madan. Parts of this article have been sourced from online write-ups—we intend only to inform, not pilfer.