In the following post, I’ll take you through a step-by-step process that led me to Pepperkakebyen (Gingerbread Town). It began with discovering Pepperkakebyen is an annual event here in Bergen and culminated in my visit to the town on opening day. If you could time-travel back to mid-November, these ‘instructions’ would allow you to replicate my experience in seven steps.
Step One: Listen as a kindly Norwegian tells you that the world’s largest gingerbread town* is right here in Bergen. Find this inherently charming event inherently charming.
Step Two: Go to the Pepperkakebyen website. Use google translate, laugh at google’s translation. Eventually find the English version. Discover that it costs 70 nok (almost 11 usd, or nearly 9 euro) remember that you are a student on a budget, ask the kindly Norwegian for advice.
Step Three: Learn that if you contribute a submission by 17 November, even as a team, you get in for free. Immediately call into action a team of your friends.
Step Four: Gather supplies, including pre-made dough (if you’re lazy like me), and decorative candy. Search how to make a gingerbread house online, or have a friend call someone who knows how.
Cookie Break: take a break, eat a cookie.
Step Five: Bake, assemble and decorate (the link provided in step four gives some guidance). Forgive our house its imperfections, it was our first attempt.
Step Six: Submit your house (or maybe your friends will do it for you because you went out of town and they’re the best). Collect your free ticket.
Step Seven: Enjoy the expansive, glowing gingerbread city. Breathe in the sweet scents of ginger and cinnamon. Try to avoid stepping on children as the sound of their enthusiasm surrounds you. And of course, find your house tucked among its new friends.
Did I miss any steps? Is anybody else attending Pepperkakebyen this year? I would love to hear your experiences!
*That Bergen’s Pepperkakebyen is the world’s largest gingerbread city is actually contested. However, having seen it personally, I’d vote for it hands down. It may not fit into the Guinness Book of World Record’s parameters, but it is whimsical, impressive, and enormous.