Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Travelling to Bergen - a metapragmatic digression with semantic underpinnings

In this blog everything is a subject, - remember? And as a Topic Mapper I sometimes get some weird associations that need more than one sentence explaining. Everything is about context, and semantics often needs some context to be understood (ref pragmatics).

When writing another blogpost I desperately wanted to digress a little and tell some stories related to the city of Bergen.

If you ever go to Bergen I can recommend listening to Michael Jackson.

Be sure to sample the fantastic variety of local beer. You can safely leave out the most popular beer, which tastes almost, but not quite, entirely unlike good beer. (You have probably tasted something very similar in most other cities you have visited, - that is if you like beer. I mean if you really like beer it's another story, but you would probably start to see where I am going with this.)

When we're talking about local beer, Brussels is definitely worth a trip, especially if you find yourself in Bergen. The Cantillon brewery beer museum there is one of the few places in the universe where they still believe in spontaneous fermentation. This is also a good reason that it's improbable that the museum will ever relocate or that the top floor will be redecorated. The mash is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies. This is the historic way of making beers, and all the beer in the world before 1800 was really lambic. (Be aware that Brussels and Belgium have more beer museums. Some people joke that Belgium has more beer types than people).

It is however not trivial to find your way there, and that's one of the reasons for this blogpost. Now when I think about it, The way I have started It's probably better to describe the journey the other way, - from Brussels to Bergen.

The best way to travel from Brussels to Bergen is by car (you will miss all the fun by going on the train). From the centre you start following E19 southwest. Then after a while you will see highway signs for 'Bergen'. Then after a while there are suddenly no more signs for 'Bergen'. - You have entered the french-speaking part of Belgium, the province of Hainaut, of which Mons is the capital. The city got it's name because it was located on a hill, and in Belgium any hill is large, so they decided to call it a mountain (context again I suppose). Mons is latin for Mountain.

Mons is the location of the museum where Paul Otlets Mundaneum is kept. After listening to Alex Wrights keynote at Topic Maps 2008 I have an excuse for going back to Mons, - apart from the beer of course. Which reiminds me of what Michael Jackson has to say on the subject. Bergen is also a very nice city however, so there's several good reasons for going there.

Calling the hills of Mons for mountains is however to strech it too far, - it's actually an insult to Bergen. (I won't even mention the fjords which makes quite a difference).

The fun part of this is looking up some webpages for the city of Bergen where you get all kinds of offers for traveling to and staying in hotels in Bergen.

1 comment:

Are said...

I really like the way the tags visually combined in the Topic Maps Planet heading:

"Posted by Are Gulbrandsen in
Topic Maps Beer
Semantic Web Pragmatics
Topic Maps 2008 conference Miscellaneous Travel Humor"