Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Juli i Norge - Happy Birthday Smooch Smooch

31 Juli: Selbu, (http://www.dehistoriske.com/hotel/selbusjoen-hotell/) Norway- Røros, Norway.   The hosts at the Selbu Hotel surprised us with a large tray of fat free bread hand made by the owner's wife. How nice is that!!! We will add links to the hotel later.  The first stop was a farm museum for immigration.  The farmer owner impressed everyone with his craftsmanship and humor as he pointed to a glass wall with curtain panels of Norwegian handwork saying, "The men will push the curtains aside to look outside while the ladies close the panels to admire the handwork."  We drove through Tydalen, above the tree line, saw three reindeer. We arrived in historic Røros. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Røros), the old wooden mining town, founded in 1644, has recently won UNESCO's World Heritage list with it's well preserved buildings begun when copper and zinc ore were discovered.  The first stop was the bakery which surprisingly had fat free bread.  After checking into the Roros Hotel, we had a walking tour through the beautiful old church, the downtown, and past centuries old homes.  We are being well fed!!


Favorite farm to visit - 

View from Farmer's home

View of Lake from farm

Lovely green farmlands

Large Roses

Non-stop views

Colorful farm buildings against green hills

above the tree line 

View as we neared Lillehammer

Ron is too cute!

Where the Reindeer Disappeared

Røros, Norway Photos:

Roros 12th century church

Steeple of 12th century church

Once wealthy mining town Roros built mega church

King's Pews High in Center 

High Pulpit 

Close up of pulpit 12th century

Baptismal Font from Old Church 12th century

Beautiful blue altar and pulpit

Original Windows

Fascinating Old buildings in Roros

Wood preservation is fascinating

Original stable and hotel

Mayor built this  house for his daughter's wedding gift

Street in Roros

Side Street in Roros

Old mining Facility

Ron entertaining the crowd

River once used for hydropower for mining

Hi Ron!

Imagine everyone emptying the chamber pots here

Roros, 12th century city built around mining for Denmark

Original House

Look at that foundation

Roros from a distance

The river runs through Roros

30 Juli: The WORST part of today was the wakeup call at 7 AM at the Radisson Blu Royal Garden. We enjoyed breakfast with Lars S., a Forest Finn descendant Cynthia met through the Swedish Colonial Society, whose business is library design.  At 9AM almost promptly, except for Ron two minutes late, we departed for Stiklestad to learn what actually happened during the drama last night; we toured recently built look-alike Viking buildings and learned about the Viking age.  Imagine our chagrin upon arriving in Hell;  Cynthia could not get in and they kicked Ron out.
Hell, Norway!

Somewhat awakened we arrived at three PM in Selbu, a romantic, historic hotel in the mountains with cool breezes blowing, rain falling, but not so much we could not take a short promenade to the Grillplasse.  The photos below are from St. Olav's Drama, Nidadros Cathedral (we entered the morning service as the liturgy was being chanted), tour of Stiklestad,  Ron in his Long House.  The wealthy farms are breathtaking palettes of gold, green, red, brown.

29 Juli: Trondheim Tour in the morning followed by rental car pickup disaster almost. Manual shift. Cynthia raced across the street from the car to the rental company only to discover they were closed for the day. She raced to Ron who said he could not remember the last time he drove a stick shift but he would try. Ron_the_HERO arrived with the car to four happy women waiting at the hotel requesting only a kiss from his beloved wee-fee.

Charming village representing Viking Days
Barns and living quarters combined -- viking Days
Viking Days
Long House 
Inside the Viking Long House 
Fascinating architecture reproduced
Loom, Decorative Motif in Long House
Guide Demonstrates Sword 
Guide Explains Viking House rules
The Sword Again Displayed
Wealthy viking 
Handsome Scots Irish Swede
Fascinating Motif
Unique Icon Resembling Native American
Sword and Hand carved moldings
Welcome to my House!
Soooo What Say You???
Our Viking Guide
Always Helpful - Roasting the Pig
Viking Dramatization
Viking children at Play
Medieval dining room
Contemporary Norwegian Kitchen
12th century Norwegian Kitchen
Norwegian Girls in Costume
More of the Dining Room
Enjoyed seeing the children in Viking Days costumes
Long House of the Medieval time period
Dramatization at Viking City

Nidadros Cathedral Section built 1100 AD

Stikklestad Performance of Martyrdom of St. Olav
The Martrydom of St. Olav - Holy Ole
curtain call at 1:30 AM !!

We arrived in Stiklestad for the famous outdoor drama and music presentation of the Martyrdom of St. Olaf in plenty of time! We had a three hour wait after dinner to watch the drama in Norwegian. Volunteers from the best of Norway's musicians and singers volunteer for the event heralded as the finest and proudest accomplishment for Norwegians. The colorful and masterful event ended at one PM with none of us the wiser except we knew King Olav Tryggveson was martryed. A year later he was named a saint. Our drive home was not eventful, arriving at 3:30 AM!

Beautiful Farmland

Seagulls following our ferry on the Gerainger Fjord Cruise

Seagulls attacking us at Geiranger Fjord
Sea gulls in abundance
Seagulls and seagulls 
Seagulls and More 
The Gierganger Fjord Trip
Snow capped mountains overlooking the Fjord
Beautiful Norwegian Alps Scenery on the Fjord
The Norwegian Alps
View from Molde - Norwegian Alps
Ship Across from our Room

28 Juli: the Norwegian Alps of Molde to Bud, a fishing village with a German bunker in WWII. The lunch of delicious fresh Atlantic salmon filled us completely. We drove to an interesting island over a very unique bridge before returning to the highway through Eide towards Trondheim and the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel. Pictures will be posted once we have more secure Internet.
Bud, Norway

27 Juli: Loen to Molde, Norway with a cruise on the Geiranger Fjord, spellbound watching the waterfalls, another ferry to the Trolls Road, climbing high above the tree line on hairpin curves; a truck pulling a camper did not wait for our bus to turn but pulled into the turn and had to back down a ways. The waterfalls were in abundance. Two more ferries, and we arrived at Molde, Norway (city of Roses) for dinner and the evening. The view from our room is spectacular, like floating on the water.
View of Norway's Alps from our room
Our Hotel in Molde, Norway

Troll's Highway
The story of Trollstigen 
Trolls' Highway - eeek
Storm Approaching
Electrical Storm 
Storm approaching Lets get outta here!
I love you!
This is silly!
I know you are taking my  picture!
I caught you!!!
Storm did look fierce
Yes, I can see the storm!
Lovely Walk 
Loen, Norway
Large and small craft ahead
See the 7 Sisters Waterfall
7 Sisters waterfall
Farm on the hill where they tie the children to the porch
Incredible blue green waters
Fascinating view of Fjord, snow, rugged peaks 
Love those mountain ranges
More of the Trolls Highway
What's that you said???
Troll's Highway

26 Juli: Flam to Loen, Norway, ferry across the Sognefjord, lunch at Skei, Jolster Glacier Museum and the Jostedal Glacier (the largest glacier in the European continent. Most of the photos will be uploaded to Picasa with a link posted on the blog. Editing a trillion photos will be a full time job once we finish this trip. Seeing the glacier up close and personal was amazing. Pictures don't really capture the magnificent color of the Norwegian countryside, its rich red buildings against many shades of green. The waterfalls today were splendid. Loen is a fascinating little community with Europe's longest suspension bridge, a tiny church with history dating to early Christianity, a 1000 year old cross, a unique carved pulpit that dates to 1640; vistas passed by on through the lush land of Gudbrandsdal Valley, the setting of Ibsen’s drama Peer Gynt and saw some of the oldest farms in Norway.

1000 Year Old Celtic Cross
Close up of Loen Church
View of Loen Church
Loen, Norway
25 Juli: Bergen to Myrdal to Flam: we first had a tour of composer Edvard Grieg's summer home and museum.  Of special interest was the cottage where he composed his music.   Strains of Peer Gynt sang in my heart standing on the rocks in the fjord behind his cottage.  Our tour took us to Bryggen (Bergens old wharf), the old wooden buildings dating to 1660 that have burned, been restored, bombed, been restored, etc. Tall ships in the harbor are preparing for the tall ship races.  Bergen was the largest and most influential city of Norway until 1800  due to king cod fished in the North Sea, brought to Bergen to dry and to be shipped to Europe and America.  We had a great lunch of Halibut and boiled potatoes with a fresh salad in a fine restaurant on the wharf.   The bus took us to Voss where we boarded a train to Myrdal, changed trains (forgetting Cynthia's backpack on board but someone spotted it for her).   The trip from Myrdal to Flam is the most scenic train ride in the world.  The pictures will tell the story once we have good Internet service again and don't have to get up to catch a bus at the crack of midnight.
Grieg's Home and Fjord:
Grieg's Cottage

Grieg's Fjord

Waterfall with Beautiful Woman Singing and Dancing:

Flam to Myrdal Rail Trip
Woman in costume singing and Dancing
Incredible Waterfall
Loved seeing the folk costumed dancers and singers
Breath taking view of Norwegian folk Singers

Bryggen Wharg
Bryggen Tall Shipes
Add caption
Bryggen Wharg
Bryggen Tall Ships
24 Juli:  Arising early was bad enough, but the omelet chef was not yet available, so we had to eat cold stuffs. Oslo to Bergen: the 7 hour train ride to Bergen took 9 hours.  We still arrived early enough to enjoy dinner with the Brekke tour group at the Radison BLU Royal Hotel, our first experience with that superior accommodation.  Photos soon. We walked Bergen in the evening, late, but before sunset, mesmerized by the tall ships.

23 Juli: Oslo, Norway:  Happy Birthday to Sistah Carol and our Precious Little Carole Anne!!!!  July is not only the birthday month of extraordinary women but also National Ice Cream Month, now celebrated with fat free sorbet.  We don't have the honeymoon suite at the Grand Hotel this time, but this room seems the tinest bit cooler.  The housekeeper checked that the room controls were set appropriately (the fan was on) and brought an extra fan that didn't work; there is no air conditioning here since it is seldom warm (despite Norway's current heat wave).  We walk three flights of stairs in this hotel instead of using the elevator; EXERCISE!  The breakfast Maître D' purchased a loaf of fat free bread especially for us; quite the royal treatment.  We walked in the noontime heat to the Sentral Rail Station to exchange our voucher for tickets to Bergen for tomorrow morning's early departure to join a tour of Mid-Norway historical sites for 12 days.  The walk doubled as exercise and a sauna.  After lunch at the hotel, Cynthia found a salon and became Goldilocks shorn.  Ron found the genealogy section of the Bibliotek (library), only to discover everything written in Norwegian (IMAGINE !)  Then he got lost and walked endlessly in the wrong direction before asking for help.  We've repacked to leave the HEAVY bag of motorcycle gear until we fly back to the U.S.  Ron would rather hike than navigate roadways in a foreign tongue.
22 Juli: Norwegian buffet breakfasts are huge.  How to stop eating the delicious food is the question.  The strawberry jam is incredible but not quite so great as Lene's.  We departed for Oslo about noon; the ride through the mountains was spectacular!  Wish we had the GoPro recording movies on the car top.  The three hour ride took four because we became lost in downtown Oslo; thanks to a Kontroll ... officers directed us through an underground parking lot beneath a large bank building, out the other side going the right direction, but to no avail.   The pedestrian and auto traffic is considerably heavier today than a week ago.  No wonder most Norwegians refuse to drive in Oslo; one way streets, pedestrian streets, lane blockages/ street blockages, trolly only lanes and construction detours abound.  Interesting to know that Houston, TX population is 6 million; the entire population of Norway is 5 million people.  The speed limit is 80 km or about 55 MPH.  Driving is very pleasant, drivers are very courteous, and the fatality rate is very low: about 215 fatalities annually.  One wonders if those fatality folks were from Houston or Mexico City.  Pedestrian watching from the hotel restaurant was great fun; obviously everyone is enjoying the warm weather except for the mime dressed in heavy clothing.  Ron enjoys the fact that beautiful young women feel comfortable in scanty clothing.

21 Juli:  Pleasant morning, marvelous afternoon, late afternoon hike on the Gaustablikk Trail that led to the lakes.  We saw an unusual rodent, furry with black markings and a light tan spot on the head.  Curious to know what the plant is that resembles the silk in milkweed with pods, but this is much smaller.  Maybe it is Norwegian cotton or flax?   The terrain remains spongy, maybe some variety of perpetually damp tundra.  Unseasonably warm temperatures continued throughout this week.  Photos below are from yesterday's hike above the tree line followed by interior of Gaustablikk hotel including weavings and a carving of a dog asleep in the chair.  The last photos are from the lake hike today.
Gausteblikk Mountain at Telemark
Telemark Hiking 
Telemark Hiking 
Hiking to the top of the peak
Telemark Views

Telemark Views while Hiking 
Gausteblikk Mountain in the Distance
We are hiking towards the top - will we make it?
Views in Telemark Hiking 
Yes! That is a strawberry!
Norwegian Woven Rugs in Gausteblikk Hotel
Norwegian hand carved stool with rosemaling
Lake and wildlife reserve  behind Gausteblikk Hotel 
Wildlife reserve at Telemark
Fascinating Wildlife Reserve at Gausteblikk
Canal at Wildlife Reserve 
View of Gausteblikk Mountain from the Reserve
Gausteblikk Mountain

20 Juli:  We hiked above the tree line to see three huge lakes and panoramic views. http://www.visitnorway.com/no/product/?pid=93053   Being Sunday without a Sudoku,  Ron worked on Vol. 6 and proofread an article.  Cynthia recommends a book by Barbara Brown Taylor, "Learning to Walk in the Dark." Barbara, an excellent writer, recently appeared on the cover of Time magazine, which named her one of the worlds 100 most influential women.  Cynthia met her at a College for Preachers many years ago.

19 Juli: Gaustablikk Norway.  This area of Telemark is famous for a WWII account of heroism involving the Norwegian Resistance who tried to foil the Germans use of heavy water for nuclear power.   In 1965, actor Kirk Douglas starred in the movie, Heroes of Telemark, filmed  on location with the owner of this  hotel as the doing Mr. Douglas' skiing.   After our late (almost missed it) breakfast we hiked up the ski run and behind the mountain for a great four hour hike; we went up; we went down; we survived to hike again tomorrow if our sore legs and feet heal.
Entrance to Gausteblikk Hotel
 Location of the Movie the Heroes of Telemark
Another View of the Great Gausteblikk Mountain
Snow Topping in July
Hiking Down the Ski Trail 
YES! You can do it!  
Yes! you can FlY!
So now it is time to rest from the flight
Yes! You are too cute!
You Might Fall!
Yes - Gorgeous View!
View Hiking Ski Run
Telemark Valley 
View of the Valley and City below
Yes, let's eat!
Our New Home in Telemark
Time to Clean the House
More Breathtaking views of Gausteblikk
Amazing View of Telemark
The Germans in WWII tried and failed a Nuclear Experiment 
The hiking was spectacular
Gausteblikk Mountain Again

18 Juli: we don't need to eat for a month; Erling and Lene fed us well. Butter.  It is bright yellow and unlike any we have eaten before.  Ron tasted a tiny piece.  Strawberries so sweet no sugar needed. Departing at 10:30 AM Cynthia drove the distance to Gaustablikk Hotel in Telemark, Norway, high above the tree line with snow visible across from our room. The hairpin curves were TIGHT! We accidentally by-passed the turn to the hotel having expected a hotel sign on the road. After stopping to ask three motorcyclists from Switzerland, a couple from Ireland, a man from England and finally a Norwegian who has a cabin near here, we found our way to the famous ski lodge hotel. The  three or four photos on the bottom below are from today's trip. Ron slept. Cynthia did a good job driving. We are both proud of her. Tonight we sleep. Tomorrow Cynthia is filled with optimism: we are going to swim the lake to the trail opposite side of the lake and climb to the top of Gausta with Gusto!

17 Juli: And the party continued to the forest.  Lene and Erling transported us to their magic kingdom in the mountains by car where we were captivated by the summer cabin built in 1844; Lene is a famous rosemaling artist with works in the US; she painted the charming decor in the cabin.Cynthia met her when she took rosemaling classes in Houston at the Norwegian Seamen's Church. Lene traveled from Norway to teach classes across the US.  Erling's creativity was also very evident!!! He built the grill, a guest house, and numerous unique tools besides grilling the delicious venison he captured for our lunch.  Wild blueberries are in abundance.  We admired Lene's garden, snacked on some strawberries, and delighted in the unique outdoor bathroom with portraits of the royal family gracing the walls.  After dinner we walked up to the highest point named Moiseidvarden 319 o.H to see Kristiansand and the ocean some 30 miles away.  We signed the guest book, noted the telephone hanging in the tree and hiked back to the car and returned to our hosts home to enjoy cheesecake the very talented Lene made for Cynthia's birthday.   The low-fat, lactose free cheesecake was delicious.  Cynthia decided to eat two pieces of "HER" cake.  The photos below are from 14 July - 18 July PM; the last three or four photos were taken on 18 July (today) from Dalen, Norway on the drive to Gaustablikken, Norway. Captions and editing to follow tomorrow:
The most Southern Point of Norway
Isn't he too cute?
View from the Lighthouse
The most Southern tip of Norway
Watchtower during WWII
Guns Once Mounted Inside
Lene, Erling and Ron
Pond on Lene's Farm
Sculpture Park Restaurant Art Cafe
The Guardian
Dear Dear Lene!
Lighthouse at the South Point of Norway
Art Cafe Restaurant with Lovely Sculpture
Visit to Lene's Cottage to see her splendid Rosemaling
Lene created all of the Rosemaling
Three Corner Cupboard Painted by Lene
Three Corner Fireplace at Lene's Cottage
Lene's Handiwork
Lene's Rosemaling (Rosepainting)
Beds at Lene's Cottage
Lene's Rosemaling
Lene's Beautiful Rosemaling
Handpainted by lene
Ron in Lene's Cottage
View from Lene's Cottage
Ron and Lene
Handpainted  by Lene 
Amazing Rosemaling Everywhere
Lene Captured the Deer No Doubt
View From the Cottage
Too Cute For Words!
The Bathroom with the Royal Family
Lene' and Erling's Cottage Bathroom
Yes, it is an outhouse!
View of the Cottage and Picnic Area
See the dog's nose!
The Stove
Lene in her cottage
Lene's Handpainted doors
Everything is too cute!
Handmade Reindeer
Norwegian Flag Flying in the Wind
Beautiful Rosemaling Treasures!
Dear Friends Erling and Lene
Every Corner is too cute!
Our Picnic at the Cottage
Lene at her Cottage Home
Blueberries to eat!
Glorious Geraniums 
Ron and Erling in Deep Discussion
Guest Cottage Built by Erling
Beautiful Picnic - Delicious Food - Awesome Hosts
View from Lene's Farm
Driving to Kristiansand

16 Juli: Lene hung the Norwegian flag outdoors in honor of Cynthia's birthday. The party continued with candlelight breakfast and happy birthday song for the girl. We hiked around the lake nearby and dined at the Art Cafe, a marvelous restaurant operated by a German couple. He is the chef and she is the sculptor/artist whose work made dining very special

15 Juli: awesomely awesome day at the most southern tip of Norway, climbing the lighthouse and dining at Kristansand's most famous seafood restaurant.

14 Juli: Ron is up early once again, but Cynthia was too warm at night and had trouble falling asleep, so we are letting da sleeping WeeFee lie, despite likelihood of missing breakfast.  The views were spectacular on the three hour drive from Sandefjord to Kristiansand; we enjoyed lunch en route.  Cynthia officiated at the wedding of our delightful hosts in 2006 at her ranch in Texas.  We enjoyed champagne toasts celebrating her reunion with two people very special to Cynthia's life.  Internet is not strong.  Cell phone does not have a signal.   Good Night until the next update!

13 Juli:  Good Morning from Flå, Buskerud County, Norway.  Last night was hot with no A/C; We opened the window, killed uninvited mosquitoes, the room cooled down and we slept.   We enjoyed a Norwegian breakfast that included scrambled egg whites.  Several choices of newspapers contain a number of Sudokae.  Some formats take longer to do without presenting a more difficult challenge.   A quick stop at the Flå Church for photos of the interior and onto Cynthia's  Gandrud ancestral farm for photos followed by breathtaking views on a most pleasant four hour drive to Sandfejord via hwy 7 to 230 to 35 to 283 to E-134 to E-18.  Cynthia drove with one minor scare thinking she had missed the E-134.  She accidentally did it right.  We are still wrestling with trying to rent a motorcycle or not for the drive to Sweden.  The first few photos are from our walk to the pier for dinner where we say Good Night from Sandefjord.

Harpooning a Whale Sculpture
Wharf at Sandefjord
Watching the ship turn 
Sandefjord Wharf
Sandefjord Wharf
Colorful Wharf in Sandefjord
Italian Restaurant for Dinner on the Wharf

Gandrud Playhouse
View from the Farm House
my GGgrandmother's Home built in 1832
View of the Lake from the Gandrud Farm
A German U Boat was in this Lake During WWII 
Gandrud Farm 

Gandrud Farm Buildings

View of Lake from Gandrud Farm Home

12 Juli: Norway was having a heat wave.  There is NO air conditioning in Norway, so our night at the Grand Hotel Oslo was miserably short of sleep.  The breakfast, OTOH, was a feast.  The Maitre' d'  surprised us by running out to the bakery for a loaf of non-fat rye bread for Ron, giving him the entire loaf of bread.  Leaving our luggage at the hotel, we walked  the ten minute distance to the Hertz Car Rental agency.  The car is a Diesel engine Audi,  automatic with A/C.  IPad worked fine for a GPS.  Cynthia maneuvered the one way streets around to the hotel to retrieve our luggage learning quickly how nice it is to drive in Norway - even in Oslo.  The drivers are courteous, cautious without speeding.  Cynthia ran one red light and learned about round-abouts after taking a wrong street.  Once on the  E-18, the super highway, to travel to Flå. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flå  - we marveled at the scenery especially leaving the E-18 and traveling north east on the E-16 to Hwy 7 to Flå stopping for Norwegian style open-face sandwich lunch in Rustad, Norway.  The shrimp sandwich was delicious.  It was very disappointing to discover cousin Kolbjorn and family went to the mountains so we will miss seeing him after all.  Our accommodations at the Thon Hotel Bjørneparken are fine - maybe.  The hotel has NO A/C. We have been assured the temperature cools off nicely with the window open.  The mountain air is marvelous.  Flå has changed immensely since Cynthia's last visit 20 years ago.  We walked to the BjørneParken hoping to have a nice hike before dinner discovering that it is an amusement park for families.   The park is home to reindeer, bear and other creatures.  Too much over-tired we opted to walk to the Flå Church instead where the cemetery is filled with Cynthia's dead relatives.  Her great grandparents were married there in 1860; the groom had to walk across the street to the church from the farm home of centuries past.  Fortunately - the hotel is next to a supermarket with fat free sorbet which  did not melt sitting under the table while we ate dinner.  And... the internet is working good - a very different experience from the last six weeks in the UK.

Interior of the Church:

Brynhild Gandrud & Ole Halgrimson 1860

Vis-Kari, Mystic

Church in Flaa, Norway

My great grandparents Vold and Gandrud married 

Baptismal Font

Two Norwegian Chairs

Cynthia in the Flaa Church where her great grands married
Pastor Cynthia Forde-Beatty

Congregation of One

Gandrud Stabbur

Flå Kirke

The Preacher

Fire and Brimstone

The Congregation

Vold Farm with John Deere

Vold Gaard

11 Juli- Oslo, Norway:  The shipboard scenery at breakfast was wonderful as the fjord narrowed allowing us to see shoreline features clearly.  We were just finished eating when we docked in Oslo at 9:45 AM after our second long ferry ride of 16 hours.  The extremely, STRONG steward was sitting on the deck in a tee shirt as we watched the ship docking in Oslo; he laughed heartily when Ron complimented him on his superman strength in front of his comrades and enjoyed a later opportunity to tell him how distinguished he looked in his uniform.  Ron generously tipped the steward that assisted us with our luggage to the taxi asking him to share with the other man. Our room at the Grand Hotel in Oslo was not ready when we arrived, giving us the opportunity to take a short fjord cruise to the Viking Ship and the Kon-Tiki Museums. The pictures taken with the cell phone do not adequately tell the story of discovering the 1200 year old Viking ships or the decay that is happening from within the wood right now creating a current crisis.  A desperate race is on to discover a way to preserve the ships and their treasure or this is the last generation to see them.  The Viking ships were used as burial chambers for two women and one man; likely the woman was a queen or very wealthy person who was gifted with food, animals, utensils, etc. for her journey to "beyond." Fascinating to learn 15 more Viking ships have been discovered this past week exciting everyone with the new discovery.   From the Viking ship museum we walked to the Kon-Tiki museum to view the bamboo and balsa raft constructed by Thor Heyerdahl and five other men in 1947. Some of the photos below are from the sunset last night and the rest were taken as we approached Oslo; the others are from the day's journey. We have an upgrade to our room, car rented for tomorrow's journey to Flaa, Norway.

The Viking Ship Museum
Discovered Shoes from 1000 AD Ship
Ship was a Burial Vessel
Sled for the After World
Designs on Ship
Viking Ship Used for Burial at Sea
Design of Viking Ship Discovery
Kon-Tiki Raft
Kon-Tiki Museum
Thor Heyerdahls' Famous Balsa Raft

Sunset sailing to the Oslo Fjord
Sunset Sailing to the Oslo Fjord
Approaching Oslo
Oslo Harbor
Island offshore Oslo 
Viking Ship Museum
Burial Vessel 
Oslo Viking Ship Musuem
Ron the Viking Ship Inspector
Interior of the Viking Ship
Body was placed inside the Small Hut on the ship
Handsome Ron at Viking Ship Museum
Beautiful Design Work discovered on Ship

Copenhagen mid-day
Downtown Copenhagen Noon
Departing Copenhagen for Oslo
Copenhagen Wharf
Danish Windmills
Danish Windmills
Departing Copenhagen
Ron and Steward
Ron checking out the life boats
Ron found something very interesting
It Stinks!
10 Juli- Kobnhavn: Arising early (haha); the food at the hotel for breakfast was fine, followed later by lunch at Jensens Bøfhus with a lovely salad buffet and a view of traffic, people and congestion in this very busy city. It was interesting that the bicyclists rode upright instead of leaning over - sans helmets - females in billowy short skirts - all variety of bicycles with babies in tow, all kinds of hauling devices like front end loaders or double baskets. One woman fell over because she insisted on hanging her shopping bag from the handlebars so her flowers could stay in the basket.  A man rode a motorized skate board with a steering apparatus. Very interesting city. Departure for the ferry to Oslo at 2:30 was interesting; the Turkish taxi driver and Cynthia discussed Turkey, Alacati, Cesme and Izmir. But the best/worst part of the trip was loading onto the ferry.  Ron was weighted down with the luggage and opted to wait for the long lines to pass before boarding. Cynthia went onboard fast (she does everything yesterday); Ron did not show up onboard (worrying Cynthia considerably) so she asked the steward greeting people to check on him because sometimes he gets distracted visiting people and forgets the time. The steward located Ron the second time he checked asking, "Are you an American?" Ron answered, "Yes, my wife must be worried!"  The extremely strong steward picked up all three bags in one hand and whisked Ron past the security checkpoint and past about 100 more people waiting in line!  We have a happy weefee.
(Here is Ron's version:  Our boarding challenged Cynthia's psyche because my bags were unGodly heavy and the lines were unGodly long.  After picking the bags up several times to move ten feet forward before stopping for five minutes, Ron simply decided to wait for the line to clear before picking up the bags again.  Cynthia, in contrast, moved along in line until she eventually passed the passport check station and boarded the boat.  Then she began to worry (needlessly of course) about Ron's heart, etc.  When she noticed the boarding line diminishing slightly, briefly, she trumpeted her worry to the boarding staff.  Meanwhile Ron was somewhat perplexed that the line kept being replenished from the rear as more and more people showed up closer and closer to departure.  About then a burly shipmate confronted Ron and asked if he was American.  Ron replied by asking if his wife was worried about him.  YES !  That was one strong dude.  He picked up two of the bags in one hand, Ron got the other two, and they set off at a rapid pace, proceeded directly to the passport check (which was amazingly quick !) and onto the ferry, where Cynthia was relieved and delighted to see her Smooch intact.  The shipmate asked for our cabin number and announced that we should follow him across the vehicle deck to our room, a shortcut.)
The photos below are of the cyclists on the main thoroughfare in Kobnhavn, sights from the ferry departing Denmark, Ron on board with interesting lifeboats, and the stunning sunset we thoroughly enjoyed to the last dregs.

9 Jul:  The ferry arrived on time in Esbjerg, and we requested help with our bags to debark.  It is wonderful to have a crew member in charge; we flew past lines directly to the cab stand and caught a cab to the train station.  There we were disappointed to find that they don't take credit cards, so Cynthia had to take to the streets to change money.  That done, the train ride was pleasant, smooth and convenient, and the scenery was interesting for us foreigners.  From the train station in Copenhagen, another cab took us to our lodging for the night, the Comfort Hotel Vesterbro.  We asked for seafood recommendations for dinner and walked a few blocks to Kødbyens Fiskebar and enjoyed a fine meal.

Sunset Departure Harwich, England
8 Jul:  Our driver arrived very early to the cottage because he is experienced at finding obscure places and knew to allow extra time to backtrack twice.  He was an interesting sort and kept Ron entertained with pleasant conversation until time for Cynthia to be fed.  He then called a buddy and inquired for a good restaurant in our current vicinity.  Our resultant meal at the Plough in Cambridge was excellent, a testimony to the efficacy of cellular communications.  We arrived early for our 5:45 PM DFDS Seaways ferry from Harwich, England to Estjerg, Denmark, a 19-hour ride.  We paid 60 euros to transport the motorcycle we didn't have, because the reservations had been made far in advance and were non-negotiable.  This is an overnight ferry with separate bunks (ugh), and we paid 66 euros for dinner (for 2) and 29 for breakfast, both of which were surprisingly good with a lot of fresh fish & food we can eat.

8 Juli: Accidentally removed the photos from Settle to Harwich, England.  Updating will happen.

7 Juli: Accidentally removed the photos from Dent, England where we hiked with Katja.

6 Juli:  Here are photos from Katja and Chris' stone cottage, our hike in the dales, and while walking through Settle today, with photos of the  Victorian Train Station:

Yorkshire Dells England
Visiting Katja's Lovely English Cottage
Katja's English Garden
Charming English Cottage Katja and Chris Re-do 17th C
Lovely English Garden

Yorkshire Dells 
Ron and Katja
Settle England Train Station
Settle England

Here are Photos from our ride to Settle yesterday in North Yorkshire Dales National Park; we stopped for lunch at MacDonald's (not at all like the Big Mac double arches) with awesome views of the Lake District. The sailboats are visible on the lake.

McDonald's en route to Settle, England
McDonald's Restaurant Lake District, Engand
McDonald's Lake District
McDonald's Restaurant in the Lake District 
Ron at McDonald's in the Lake District

5 Juli: Our driver is  here to transport us to Settle, England in North York with millions of best friends out on the roadside to see the Tour de France that began today in Yorkshire. Photos from yesterday and last night of the formal lounge,a truck company named John Beaty, our walk after the rain, the lovely rainbow across the bay, and the salmon traps; notice how narrow the roads are; our driver said, "they are as wide as they need to be.":

Balcary Bay Hotel, Scotland
Rainbow View from Balcary Bay Hotel in Scotland
Sunset at Balcary Bay, Scotland
Amazing changes in Sky in one hour from Storm to Sunset
Walkway to Balcary Bay Hotel
Entrance to Balcary Bay Hotel
Lobster Traps

4Juli: Wishing you a Beatty Happy 4th of July!!!

Looking in the rear view mirror: 1300-1600 AD the borders of England and Scotland were in flux: it was a time of lawlessness such had not been seen with lowland clans conducting a reign of reiving (robbing).  Ron's ancestors, the  Beatty's, Little's, Armstrong's, Graham's and Nobles were family clans who lived in the Valley Esk; they did not wear kilts despite depiction in the movie Braveheart;  they wore steel bonnets (helmets) on their heads.   For three centuries the clans flourished living a nomadic life style in stone fortresses; we saw one of the few stone structures that are extant.  One wonders how long it took to pack a stone fortress to move locations.   The last Little laird was a Simon Little at Langholm who was replaced by a Beatty.   Someplace in the mix, a Little clansman and a Beatty clanswoman had a Beatty male baby with Little YDNA for time and all eternity with a very unique DNA marker that pinpoints the Eskdale valley 1300-1600 as Ron's ancestral home.
http://www.beattydna.org/assets/applets/Scotland-7-2__small_.pdf   Clans were driven out of Scotland by 1603; some went to County Fermanagh, Ulster http://www.ulsterancestry.com/muster-roll_1663.html where Ron's ancestor John Beatty may have been discovered in Fermanagh about 1713.

Forget hiking today.  A rainy day means we enjoy enjoy the ambience of this marvelous country house hotel.  It is quite fascinating to watch the white caps explode against the sea walls across the bay.  We are thankful for very special new friends, Wynn and Fred,  from Lancaster who rank high among sweet couples!

3 Juli: Simon picked us up at ten-thirty AM for the return to Langholm and Canonbie; the Langholm library, archives, etc. were closed Thursday.  Hoping to connect with someone after the tourist office opened at two we drove to Canonbie to take photos of the church and gravestones.  The pastor has a large "flock."  Many Beatty, Armstrong, Little, Graham ancestral names appear on the tombstones which are written to include future generations.
The photos were taken with our IPad but the only way to transfer in bulk is with iCloud or AirDrop.  The Black Esk and White Esk join together very close to Westerkirk where we frightened at least one of the bicyclists yesterday.  The Beattys that were kicked out of Scotland were from the Black Esk - although they were nomads roaming the entire valley.  Today's adventure taught us to check the library hours in small towns.  Must read: Steel Bonnets and the Border Rievers.  Here is a link to the Clan Little information; how fascinating to learn that Edward Little was a nephew of William Wallace (Braveheart); and here is a link to Clan Beatty.
Ron in Canonbie

Canonbie Pastor's Flock

Canonbie "Old" section in back

Genealogy helps

River Esk Sign on Bridge

2 Juli: Eskedale Valley:  Cynthia is extremely proud of herself for discovering how to hire a private car WITH the driver, placing the phone call, understanding and being understood, and confirming we had a driver named Simon for eight hours.  The first stop was the Little Bakery in Dumfries.  Not our Little's that we know, but his wife is checking on it.  On to the Family Heritage Center followed by lunch, the bank, another bakery, a book store, and off to the breathtaking valley home of the Beatty, Little, Armstrong clans called the Borders Reivers. The first stop was Westerkirk's library, church and old gravestones amongst the heather; Ron posing against the stone wall overlooking the River Esk.  The photo of the open book in the library has a Beatty name. Simon, our driver, was raised here until he was ten years old; this trip down memory lane was his first in 33 years.  Here are photos that include duplicates for now:

Eskdale Valley, Scotland
Library and Former School of our Guide
Dumfries in Eskdale Valley - Home of the Beatty Clans
Beautiful Eskdale Valley, Scotland
Westerkirk Library

The Beatty's are mentioned
Tombstones from the Church at Dumfries

Beatty Name in the Book

John Beatty

Impossible to Read Captions 

Old Tombstones and Mausoleum

Reading Tombstones


Little Mentioned on this Tombstone

The generations are added to the tombstones

1 juli: Cynthia feirer bursdagen hennes måned i Skottland, England, Danmark og Norge.
(Cynthia is celebrating her birthday month in Scotland, England, Denmark and Norway.)

The month long festivities began with a marvelous egg white vegetable and smoked salmon omelet followed by a four mile hike down to the sea through cattle, sheep and horse pastures encountering wild donkeys and a man pulling a lawn mower along the trail "because it ran out of gas."  I did not ask why.  We met a very interesting couple on the trail who moved to Scotland from York, England.  Their conversation was so pleasant they joined us at the hotel for refreshments.  Pictures of the morning may get edited, ignore the duplicates.

Walking the Seacliff Trail at Balcary Bay
The Stone Wall Follows the Sea Cliff
The Firth in the Distance 

Down the Trail to the Sea
A Thoughtful Place
Ron on Trail
The Firth in the Distance
Ron at Rest on the Sea Cliff Trail

Solway Firth and the Sea Cliff Trail

Breathtaking Views Along the Sea Cliff Trail

Wild Ponys and Donkeys

Long-Haired Donkeys Were Not Afraid

Wild Donkeys Followed Us

Wild Donkey Likes Cynthia

Horse is Not Camera Shy

Bad Hair Day

1 comment:

Heather Mechem Guichard said...

Stunning! What breathtaking views! Looks like you both are having a wonderful time. :)Heather Mechem Guichard