Lizise, Malcesine, Riva del Garda, and over the mountains to Valdobbiadene

Me and Augie from on top of Monte Baldo looking out over Lake Garda

Me and Augie from on top of Monte Baldo looking out over Lake Garda

We departed Lizise headed north along the east side of Lake Garda.  It was a small two lane road, mostly, that would be a great motorcycle road if there was no traffic.  Our first stop was in the small town of Malcesine, where we boarded the funivia lift up to the peak of Monte Baldo.  I’m still trying to figure out if we were in the foothills of the Dolomites or not, but the scenery really reminded me of the Alps.  At the top you are at the 1790 meter level.

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We followed a few hiking paths, and I followed a few cows, many with large bells you can hear from quite a distance.  It was a pleasant temperature at the top and the views spectacular.

http://www.funiviedelbaldo.it/en/

Cows with bells in the mountains

Cows with bells in the mountains

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After our brief but relaxing mountain expedition we continued northbound on the narrow winding road, all the while wishing for empty roads.  (At least I was wishing for empty roads, but Augie and Teresa may have been happy for the cars impeding my ability to open up that turbo diesel Audi A6 to see what it could do.)  It could have been a very fun road in addition to the very scenic road that it was.  We had planned all along for a lunch stop in Riva del Garda, the northern most lake town.

Lunch spot in Riva del Garda

Lunch spot in Riva del Garda

Local version of a Caprese Salad using black tomatoes

Local version of a Caprese Salad using black tomatoes

We were not disappointed when we found a small restaurant and enjoyed a tasty local rendition of a Caprese Salad with black tomatoes and a soft local cheese topped with olives.

Looking south from Riva del Garda onto Lake Garda

Looking south from Riva del Garda onto Lake Garda

Pretty colors on the buildings

Pretty colors on the buildings

Riva del Garda waterfront

Riva del Garda waterfront

The real driving fun started as we headed inland towards Trento.  We bravely departed from the main road and pointed the Audi into the hills and onto the back roads.  They were single lane and in one spot there were mirrors at every corner to watch for oncoming cars.  Luckily, the roads were mostly empty and we could have some fun.  It was very beautiful and could only have been better if we’d been in a more sporty vehicle (something like an Aston Martin – which we saw – or maybe a new F-Type Jaguar).

This is NOT a single lane road, this is actually the main road for two cars.  But you are lucky if you don't meet anyone coming from the other direction

This is NOT a single lane road, this is actually the main road for two cars. But you are lucky if you don’t meet anyone coming from the other direction

Typical looking road through the mountains

Typical looking road through the mountains

Our final destination was the small Prosecco area town of Valdobbiadene.  We were staying in the Villa Barberina and had arranged to arrive around 5 pm.  Worked out well.  Annalisa Franco, owner and proprietor, was there to greet us.  The Villa Barberina is heaven on earth, a true Venetian Villa surrounded by vines and nestled into the foothills.  Annalisa and Primo Franco were the perfect hosts and I couldn’t have been happier with the accommodations.

http://www.villabarberina.it/en/index.html

Valdobbiadene from the hills above

Valdobbiadene from the hills above

The Villa Barberina

The Villa Barberina

After settling into our rooms (mine was adorable), we walked into town for yet another pasta dinner with local Prosecco.

My cute room in the historic Villa Barberina

My cute room in the historic Villa Barberina

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More pasta and the local specialty, Prosecco

More pasta and the local specialty, Prosecco

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Images of Lizise, Italy

Early morning

Early morning

reflections

City wall

City wall

Morning bikes

Morning bikes

Boats

Boats

City sign.  Photo credit Teresa Favazza

City sign. Photo credit Teresa Favazza

Street design

Street design

Feeding ducks

Feeding ducks

table

boat

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele

Dinner of pizza and local wine

Dinner of pizza and local wine

winged lion

Evening

Evening

Sunset crowd

Sunset crowd

gelato

gelato

waterfront gelato

Gelato lady

Gelato lady

Sunset

Sunset

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Sirmione, Italy

The harbor in LIzise, Italy

The harbor in LIzise, Italy

We had been relaxing and getting to know the streets and local places of Lizise for a few days, so we decided to take Friday and check out the town of Sirmione, a short 40 minute ferry ride from Lizise.  It was a nice day to be out on the water, as every day so far has been clear skies, sunny and very warm.

Approaching Sirmione on the ferry

Approaching Sirmione on the ferry

Sirmione is best known for its castle, but I will always remember it as the best pasta we have had so far this trip.  We walked through the crowded streets from the ferry pier, passing expensive shops and restaurants one after the other.  Teresa has a rule that we must get “off the beaten path” for meals, so we walked away from the main square and found a little cafe on a side street for lunch.  I had spaghetti with clams, and it was indeed the best pasta so far, really stellar, as was Teresa’s.

La Nuova Botte, the best spot in Sirmione for past

La Nuova Botte, the best spot in Sirmione for pasta

Ready for lunch

Ready for lunch

Salute!

Salute!

The best spaghetti with clams I have ever tasted

The best spaghetti with clams I have ever tasted

After lunch we toured the castle, the main attraction in town.

Sirmione castle

Sirmione castle

One view from the castle

One view from the castle

The main square and ferry dock from the top of the Sirmione castle

The main square and ferry dock from the top of the Sirmione castle

The local in-town beach was crowded with kids feeding the ducks and swans.

Sirmione beach

Sirmione beach

One of the many swans on the lake

One of the many swans on the lake

As we walked through the streets we saw a shop with the most gorgeous man’s tie I have ever seen.  I just had to go into the shop to ask the price.  The beautiful tie with crystals was 200 euros.  We also saw one shop window with a Vespa AND a Ducati on display.

200 euro man's tie

200 euro man’s tie

Ducati in a shop window

Ducati in a shop window

Vespa in the same shop window

Vespa in the same shop window

As I was taking the photo of the Vespa in the shop window, the shop attendant came out to admonish me, but when I said “But it’s a Vespa”, she shrugged her shoulders and said “Well, ok.”

Ceramic vegetables on display on a shop wall

Ceramic vegetables on display on a shop wall

We headed back to our comparatively sleepy town of Lizise for the afternoon and a dinner on our own private patio.  It was nice to see another town on Lake Garda, but we were happy to be staying in the less expensive and trendy town of LIzise.

My dear friend, best friend’s husband, travel companion and political sparring partner Augie is also blogging from this trip.  Although I usually post more photos, he is a writer by trade and his blogs are usually more entertaining.  Here is a link to his blog:

https://augieblog.wordpress.com/

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Lake Garda, Italy

The main square in the lakeside town of Lizise

The main square in the lakeside town of Lizise

Last September when my friends and I spent one night in the hills overlooking Verona, we liked it so much we thought the area deserved a closer look.  So here we are back again, staying in the small town of Lizise on Lake Garda.

The waterfront in Lizise

The waterfront in Lizise

For this trip we rented a car instead of relying on the Italian train system that last year had a strike during our visit.  We landed in Milan and drove the 2 1/2 hours to Lake Garda.  Lizise is a small tourist town enjoying an end of summer boom.  Streets are full and we hear a lot of German spoken.  Pizza and gelato shops are numerous, as well as shoe stores.  We have enjoyed lunch on our rental house patio, drinking local wine at 5 or 6 euros per bottle, fresh bread and cheese, and pizza of course.

Lunch on our rental house patio. Augie uncorks a bottle of local white wine.

Lunch on our rental house patio. Augie uncorks a bottle of local white wine.

Lunch of local wine, cheese, grapes and pizza

Lunch of local wine, cheese, grapes and pizza

Passeggiare is the most popular past time, the evening stroll along the waterfront, followed by gelato.  Gelato shops must make a killing as every day, morning and night, the lines are long.

A street performer along the waterfront at sunset

A street performer along the waterfront at sunset

So many choices

So many choices

Our nightly gelato ritual

Our nightly gelato ritual

lake sunset

We drove up into the hills NE of the lake and found the scenic hillside vineyards and olive groves we were looking for.  The small twisting roads climbed up towards the Parco Regionale Della Lessinia where we found the Parco delle Cascate di Molina.  Just a little hiking was all it took in the warm weather for us to look for a lunch spot.  Fortunately we stumbled upon a small family restaurant with homemade pasta.

grapes

Heading back to Lizise from the hills we drove along the lake from Torri del Benaco southbound to Garda, then Bardolino and home.  It was a beautiful drive.

The small town of Albisano

The small town of Albisano

Local transportaion, perfect fo the tiny roads

Local transportation, perfect for the tiny roads

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Aalborg, Denmark

Aalborg waterfront

Aalborg waterfront

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A street in Aalborg

A street in Aalborg

The regatta ended in Aalborg, Denmark, an old port city dating from 700 AD.  It is a picturesque town with many old buildings and pubs, and just like the small towns in Norway, it was clean and orderly.  I can’t say I was unhappy to leave the hammocks, and we settled into a hotel for a few nights.  We explored the waterfront area and the many pedestrian only streets and two museums in the old town area, including the Aalborg Historical Museum.  Saturday we were left to our own devices with plans to return to the ship at 3 pm on Sunday for the crew parade and award ceremony.

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The Aalborg room in the Aalborg Historical Museum. Room 602 is the most well-preserved civil Renaissance interior in the country.

The Aalborg room in the Aalborg Historical Museum. The room, dating from 1602, is the most well-preserved civil Renaissance interior in the country.

The room from 1602 in the Aalborg Historical Museum

The room from 1602 in the Aalborg Historical Museum

The two highlights of our stay in Aalborg were dinner at Morten’s Kro Saturday night, and a visit to the Lindholm Høje Museet on Sunday prior to the parade.

We celebrated my sister’s birthday at Morten’s Kro with a five course summer dinner menu and wine pairing.  It was outstanding food and I also enjoyed the pairings.  We had some unusual combinations all artfully prepared.  Altogether a stellar night, and a dinner destination I can highly recommend.

http://mortenskro.dk/frontpage.aspx

Morten's Kro restaurant in Aalborg, Denmark

Morten’s Kro restaurant in Aalborg, Denmark

Happy Birthday to my sister

Happy Birthday to my sister

Champagne birthday toast

Champagne birthday toast

On Sunday we took the short bus ride out to Lindholm Høje Museet.  It is one of the most notable ancient monuments in Denmark and well worth the trip.

http://www.nordmus.dk/lindholm-gb

Part of the Lindholm Hoje Museum

Part of the Lindholm Hoje Museum

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From the Lindholm Hoje brochure:

Since 1889, it has been known that on the southfacing slope of Voerbjerg – as the hill was then called – there lay a burial ground with cremation graves bordered by stones.  Between 1952 and 1958, the site was excavated.  A newly ploughed field from the Viking era was also uncovered, as well as a large part of the settlement associated with the burial site…The burial site was in use from about AD 400 until shortly before AD 1000 in all about 600 years.

Viking burial site at Lindholm Hoje, dating from AD 400

Viking burial site at Lindholm Hoje, dating from AD 400

A boat shaped Viking grave

A boat shaped Viking grave

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The sign reads:

A warrior’s grave. The oldest graves with non-cremated bodies rarely have stone settings but this is an exception. The grave is accentuated by a circular mound of earth, a circle of large stones and a surface covered by flint blocks.

The dead warrior had a single edged sword called a “long sax.” The sword dates the grave to the 600s. He also took a dog with him to his grave. This was not unusual at Lindholm Hoje. Dogs have been found in 223 men’s and women’s graves. The bodies of the dead were dressed in their everyday clothes and useful and personal gifts such as spindle whorls, knives, and jewelry accompanied them to the grave.

During the cremation, the dead were placed on a large bonfire, and after the cremation, earth was thrown on the remains. In several cases, the families placed vessels of food for their loved ones’ last journey.

The museum houses artifacts from the area, including jewelry and human remains.  It is a well designed museum with interactive displays, dioramas, a 3-D film you watch from a rowboat after punching in a secret Rune Stone code, and interesting facts.  The largest area of the museum is the burial site hill but the many displays in the interior were very well done.

Lindholm Hoje museum interior

Lindholm Hoje museum interior

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Viking bead necklace excavated from a woman's grave at the site

Viking bead necklace excavated from a woman’s grave at the site

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clothing

musuem combs

Human remains excavated from the site.

Human remains excavated from the site.

From the museum we made our way back to Aalborg for the crew parade and final prize ceremony for the regatta.

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I think this town deserves another look, and hope to accomplish that some day.

Danish artwork depicting a picture stone, or figure stone from the Scandinavian Viking Age.

Danish artwork depicting a picture stone, or figure stone from the Scandinavian Viking Age.

Artwork from a weathervane from Heggen, Norway. The vikings are credited with using a form of weathervane to predict the weather in the 9th century AD. These simple designs were made of bronze and other metals and replaced traditional cloth flags on Viking ships.

Artwork from a weathervane from Heggen, Norway. The vikings are credited with using a form of weathervane to predict the weather in the 9th century AD. These simple designs were made of bronze and other metals and replaced traditional cloth flags on Viking ships.

The Mammen style is a phase of Scandinavian animal art during the late 10th century and the early 11th century. The style is named after finds from a chamber tomb in Mammen on Jutland, Denmark.

The Mammen style is a phase of Scandinavian animal art during the late 10th century and the early 11th century. The style is named after finds from a chamber tomb in Mammen on Jutland, Denmark.

The Oseberg Longship in Norway is a clinker built 'karv' ship built almost entirely of oak.

The Oseberg Longship in Norway is a clinker built ‘karv’ ship built almost entirely of oak.

This artwork is from the Urnes stave church in Norway. The Urnes-style was the latest of the seven Viking-styles.

This artwork is from the Urnes stave church in Norway. The Urnes-style was the latest of the seven Viking-styles.

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl, from a postcard purchased from the ship's souvenir shop

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl, from a postcard purchased from the ship’s souvenir shop

Statsraad Lehmkuhl 2

Posted in Denmark | 1 Comment

2015 Tall Ships Regatta

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl under sail

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl under sail

We are here in Norway for two reasons:  to pack up some things from the house, and sail the Statsraad Lemhkuhl in the Tall Ships Regatta from Kristiansand to Aalborg, Denmark.  Our father was a cadet on this same ship in the late 1930s.  When we discovered we could sign on as crew members, it didn’t take long to pick a few dates and make a deposit.

A postcard my dad had of the Statraad Lehmkuhl from his days as a cadet in 1939

A postcard my dad had of the Statraad Lehmkuhl from his days as a cadet in 1939

My dad as a cadet

My dad as a cadet

We met up with the crew at 10 am on Tues July 28th in the Kristiansand harbor.  After swapping our passports for locker keys, we were assigned hammocks and watch duties.

Captain Marcus addresses the trainees

Captain Marcus Seidl addresses the trainees

Becky with bell

Our sleeping quarters

Our sleeping quarters

Our lockers

Our lockers

Race route

Race route.  From Kristiansand we had three waypoints we had to round before heading south to Aalborg.   They are marked on the chart above as WP1, WP2 and WP3.

On this leg there were 93 “trainees”, as we are called, split evenly between men and women.  (During the regatta at least 50% of the crew must be between the ages of 15 and 25.  They are trying to promote maritime careers with young people).  We got the Red Watch (also called the “dog watch”), noon to 1600 and again midnight to 0400.  Surprisingly it turned out to be a very nice time to be on deck.  Most everyone else is sleeping and it is quiet.  The last of the sunset is just visible when we go on duty at midnight, and at 0230 the first of the sunrise starts to lighten the skies to the west.  Watch duties include; lookout (on the bow) buoy watch (aft deck), helm, and fire watch.  But mostly during watch we are manual labor for pulling on lines to either furl or unfurl the sails or trim the sails.  That part of the watch was a lot more work than I anticipated.

sails

duties

Our first four hour watch began at midnight Tues.  It was the most difficult watch period of the entire sail due to continual rain and windy conditions.  For the first two hours of the watch we trimmed sails continually.  That meant two hours of racing between lines in rain and total darkness on an unfamiliar deck, as the crew yelled instructions in a mixture of Norwegian and Danish.  It was a bit confusing to say the least.  We were told that the regatta legs are more intense than a regular cruise, but there is a reason.  The continual trimming of the sails is to gain the maximum speed possible.  After two hours of trimming sails, my sister and I took the lookout watch on the prow.  In that hour up front we learned it is the coldest and windiest spot on the ship.  At the end of our four hour watch the hammocks were starting to look pretty good, but the night wasn’t over.  Soaked and shivering at 0400 our watch leader told us that we had to stay on duty because we were approaching a waypoint and they needed at least two full watches (62 people) on deck to complete the coming about maneuver.  So in the wind and rain we hauled on the lines as instructed and at 0600 we fell into our hammocks, sleeping right through breakfast.  It was the most challenging watch of the sail, but also the most memorable.

From the Captain’s log the night of our first watch:

We rounded the first waypoint during an exciting night in variable winds and rain and are now on an easterly in light following winds. Most of the vessels in our class are still tightly grouped and it is a wonderful sight with all the sails around us here in the Skagerak. The wind is expected to increase and we are all looking forward to that.

The afternoon shift was much calmer, and afterwards the entire group of trainees gathered on the main deck to learn sailing shanties from the ship’s “shanty man” Haakon Vatle from Storm Weather Shanty Choir.  After our watch we also got to climb into the rigging.

Me climbing the rigging

Me climbing the rigging

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Kristian. One of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl crew members

Kristian. One of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl crew members

Our second dog watch was heaven compared to the night before.  We enjoyed calm winds and a moon so full it cast shadows on the deck.  It was peaceful up on the bow where we started our shift; not good for sailing, but very good for contemplation.

compass

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Sails

Sails

From the second day we had much calmer winds and no more rain.  Due to the calm winds, the race ended early, at 1400 on Thursday, with the results to be determined from the ships’ positions that day.  All the ships needed time to reach Aalborg by Saturday.

From the Captain’s log:

After the official termination of the race was announced at 2 pm yesterday, we decided to continue sailing along the race route and are now on the last leg southwards towards the finishing line off Skagen. We have a nice sailing wind and as the pictures from our visiting photographer from the Danish Fyns Amts newspaper illustrate, the trainees are kept busy on their watch posts and learning seamanship while they enjoy life at sea. Yesterday we were visited by the commander of the Norwegian Coastguard vessel SVALBARD and the Race Director for the Tall Ships Races, who we had invited over for coffee at sea and a shanty session on deck under full sails and sunny skies. We will continue to sail towards The Tall Ships Races Aalborg as long as the wind allows and plan to arrive at 10:00 tomorrow morning.

The stress level diminished and the shanty singing enthusiastically increased with the termination of the race.  Our duties were much easier and we indulged in some lolling on deck in the sun.  We had lessons in knot tying, rope splicing, rope coiling, and sailing techniques.

Learning to splice rope

Learning to splice rope

The captain sang a shanty too

The captain sang a shanty too

Shanty singer Haakon from Storm Weather Shanty Choir

Shanty singer Haakon from Storm Weather Shanty Choir

Me taking a break on the deck

Me taking a break on the deck

Becky on ship

On Thursday at about 3 pm, a Norwegian Coast Guard ship came close and launched a runabout.  Three of the officers, friends of the captain, came aboard for a visit with coffee and sweet rolls.  They stayed for some shanty singing and then we sang them off.

Norwegian coast guard

Norwegian coast guard

Although the race was over, the captain decided to sail the route, so we continued with our sail training, all the watches, and our duties.  My favorite duty was the helm.

Me on Helm duty

Me on Helm duty

L at helm

My sister at helm duty

My sister at helm duty

We also continued to learn more shanties.  The plan was to load up the yard arms with the cadets and sing our way into port in Aalborg.  The sails came down around midnight Friday night and between 8 am and 10 am on Saturday all the trainees were put to work polishing brass and perfectly coiling all ropes.

Vanessa instructing trainees in the rigging

Vanessa instructing trainees in the rigging

The Christian Radich behind us. There is a long standing friendly competition between the crews. They passed us near the end and came in 8th

The Christian Radich behind us. There is a long standing friendly competition between the crews. They passed us near the end and came in 8th

Kids in the rigging as we came into port

Kids in the rigging as we came into port

Saturday morning we motored into Aalborg with the yardarms lined with kids.  We all sang shanties as we found our moorage.  The harbor was full of Tall Ships and the party was already under way.  It was a great sail and quite an experience.  We marched in the crew parade on Sunday and cheered the crews who won awards at the ending ceremony.  Unfortunately our ship the Statsraad Lehmkuhl did not win any prizes.  We came in 9th in the Class A ranking.

B and L

Ship;s in port

Ship;s in port

Ships and people crowd the port in Aalborg

Ships and people crowd the port in Aalborg

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl's banner in the parade

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl’s banner in the parade

My sister marches in the crew parade

My sister marches in the crew parade

The prize ceremony

The prize ceremony

The crew of the Norwegian ship Sorlandet accepts the first place prize for the Class A ships

The crew of the Norwegian ship Sorlandet accepts the first place prize for the Class A ships

The after party for the crews

The after party for the crews

Posted in Denmark, Norway | 3 Comments

Sand to Kristiansand

L, Maalfried and Solveig

After receiving yet more gifts and the last hugs, we boarded the ferry and waved goodbye to the aunties and cousins.  It was sad to leave, but it also was the prettiest day yet with sunshine and no wind.  The ferry ride from Sand to Stavanger was just two hours, and it was a good day to be on the water.  In Stavanger we walked the short distance through the picturesque old town area to the train station.

Leaving Sand on the ferry

Leaving Sand on the ferry

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The nearly empty train from Stavanger to Kristiansand took three hours and wound its way through some very scenic areas, sometimes following the coast and sometimes inland.

Stavanger

Stavanger

Stavanger

Stavanger

stavanger (2)

Stavanger

On the train to Kristiansand

On the train to Kristiansand

The many masts of the Tall Ships greeted us upon disembarking from the train in the Kristiansand station.  The harbor was full and the party had been going on for three days.  There was an outdoor stage with a band, food and souvenir kiosks, and a colorful and enthusiastic crowd.  Each ship seemed to be hosting a party with the crew in full dress uniform.  It was quite a festive scene.

Tall Ships in Kristiansand harobr

Tall Ships in Kristiansand harobr

Kristiansand

Kristiansand

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Kristiansand harbor near the fish market

Becky in Kristiansand

At the Kristiansand fish market

At the Kristiansand fish market

The fish market in old town Kristansand

The fish market in old town Kristansand

The Tall Ships Regatta has been a bi-annual event, the ports competing for the honor and the tourist dollars that it brings in.  This year there are a record 28 ships in our Class A category.  Due to the popularity of the race, it has been set in the Mediterranean for next year.  We located the Statsraad Limhkuhl, a repeat winner of the regatta, but it was too late to take a tour of the ship.  The Kristiansand harbor seemed a perfect setting for the regatta.

Photo credit:   R. Nielsen

Photo credit: R. Nielsen

Our ship, the Statsraad Lehmkuhl

Our ship, the Statsraad Lehmkuhl

Posted in Norway | 2 Comments

Sand, Norway: Hello and Goodbye

Sand, Norway

Sand, Norway

My sister and I are back in Sand, our father’s home town in Norway.  My aunt’s house (in our family for over 65 years) has been sold, and we are here to help pack up some things and to say goodbye.  Coming back to Sand will never seem the same, if ever we even come back.  This summer is the coolest and rainiest in the last 50 years, according to Norwegian news.  We have had rain and sun, but it does feel more like September than July.

Boat houses a few blocks from my aunt's house

Boat houses a few blocks from my aunt’s house

The main street that runs through Sand

The main street that runs through Sand

The church in Sand

The church in Sand

Sand, Norway

Sand, Norway

The rosemaling chest my sister inherited

The rosemaling chest my sister inherited

One of the things I love about coming to Norway is how clean and orderly everything is.  You just don’t see any junky houses or cars, and the ferries always run on time.  Sand is a sleepy little town, with cute old wooden houses, and just a little bit of tourism.  It isn’t as busy and industrious as it used to be when my father lived here.  There are just a few shops, and some are not open every day.  The bank only changes foreign currency on Mondays and Thursdays.  The biggest draws for the town are fishing, the Ryfylke Museum and the Fjordhotel.  I had good luck at the local antique shop, finding a beautiful woven Hardangar table scarf and a bowl decorated with rosemaling.  The exchange rate is the best we have seen in many years, 8 NOK to $1.

Antique Shop in Sand

Antique Shop in Sand

The antique rosemaling bowl I bought.

The antique rosemaling bowl I bought.

The Fjordhotel in Sand

The Fjordhotel in Sand

Fjord Hotel Sand

The Ryfylke Museum

The Ryfylke Museum

Inside the Ryfylke Museum the top floor is a play area for children.  It is based on the White Bear childrens book.  There are racks of costumes that the kids can wear.  They were playing beautiful folk music while we were there

Inside the Ryfylke Museum the top floor is a play area for children. It is based on the White Bear childrens book. There are racks of costumes that the kids can wear. They were playing beautiful folk music while we were there

bridge

A major pastime for us during our trips to Sand is walking around the town visiting relatives, alive and dead.  It is no wonder that we are related to a good percentage of the town, as our grandfather Hans Kristian was one of ten children.  From the 1920s until his death in 1940, our great grandfather owned the town’s magnificent Victorian-era Karhus Hotel.  It then passed to his children, who sold it in the late 1940s.  It burned to the ground in 1965.

Karhus Hotel

Karhus Hotel

My grandfather Hans Kristian and his 9 siblings and parents.  He is second from the left in the back row

My grandfather Hans Kristian and his 9 siblings and parents. He is second from the left in the back row

Roses in my Aunt Ruth's garden

Roses in my Aunt Ruth’s garden

Our second cousin May-Britt treated us to a wonderful lunch, her open face sandwiches almost too pretty to eat.  Of course the lunch was topped off with fresh local strawberries and cream, a daily in-season ritual.

May-Britt treated us to lunch

May-Britt treated us to lunch

May-Britt's sandwiches

May-Britt’s sandwiches

local strawberries

Me and my second cousin May-Britt

Me and my second cousin May-Britt

Me and my dad's first cousin Ruth.  I think that makes me a first cousin once removed

Me and my dad’s first cousin Ruth. I think that makes me a first cousin once removed

A short walk from my aunt’s house is Suldalslaagen Fossen, also known as Sandsfossen.  The first written record of salmon fishing in this area was in 1000.  We saw people fishing at the falls in the evening.

The falls near my aunt's house

The falls near my aunt’s house

Fishing just below the falls

Fishing just below the falls

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One day we walked across the bridge and hiked up the other side.  The scenery had me half expecting to see trolls, but instead we found wild blueberries

hiking bridge

L hiking trail

My sister picking wild blueberries

My sister picking wild blueberries

Wild blueberries

Wild blueberries

Tomorrow  we will take the ferry to Stavanger, then catch the train to Kristiansand.  In Kristiansand we join the crew of the Statsraad Lemhkuhl for the last leg of the 2015 Tall Ships Regatta.  Our father was a cadet on this three-masted barque in the late 1930s, so in his honor we have signed on as crew members for 5 days, sailing from Kristiansand, Norway to Aalborg, Denmark.

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I always seem to find a kitty wherever I go

I always seem to find a kitty wherever I go

Sand with roses

Posted in Norway | 3 Comments

Glad Midsommar

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This time of year, Midsummer, the longest day of the year, I always think of Sweden.  Today, June 19th, is the big Midsummer celebration in Sweden, and I have heard from friends and family in Sweden as they prepare for the festivities.  For me there is no better place to be, but Oregon is a close second in a pinch.  This year Midsummer and Father’s Day fell on the same weekend, so I had to come to Oregon.  Oregon has been having an unusually dry and warm Spring.

My mother's house with the hay ready for cutting

My mother’s house with the hay ready for cutting

June is the month for flowers here.  It isn’t April showers that bring May flowers here, May is still too cold.  Today on the Oregon coast, sunrise is 5:23 and sunset is 9:10 pm, nearly 16 hours of daylight.

nasturiums

nasturiums

pansies

fuschia

Even the frogs are pretty colors in the Spring

Even the frogs are pretty colors in the Spring

yellow rose

The hay, ready to cut, at sunset:

fields of grain

sunset hayfield

My mother planted Birch trees, another reminder of Sweden.  Their beautiful white bark and delicate green leaves make pretty bouquets at Midsummer.  When we were in Sweden, we stopped to pick 7 types of wild flowers, and of course sang Helan Går while sampling snaps to celebrate Midsummer.

http://www.swedishfood.com/songs

birch tree bark

Birch tree bark

Birch leaves

Birch leaves

Daisies in the field

Daisies in the field

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Blondie

Blondie

Posted in Oregon | 2 Comments

Last Day In Paris

Images from Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Chopin's tomb

Chopin’s tomb

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Jim Morrison's grave.

Jim Morrison’s grave.

A particularly moving tomb

A particularly moving tomb

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Among the many last resting place of famous artists, architects and political figures, we saw;  Oscar Wilde, Marcel Marceau, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Jim Morrison, Chopin, and the most recently added Bernard Verlhac dit Tignous, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist murdered by Islamic radicals.

http://www.pere-lachaise.com/

 

THE TOWERS OF NOTRE-DAME

After waiting in line for 30 minutes and climbing hundreds of narrows stairs, you find yourself at the top of Notre-Dame, the symbol of medieval Paris, with a view well worth the effort.

The winding staircase to the top of the Towers of Notre-Dame

The winding staircase to the top of the Towers of Notre-Dame

 

The Chimera gallery gargoyles, designed by Viollet-le-duc in the 19th century.  This photo is of Stryga, Greek meaning "bird of the night", a nocturnal and evil spirit

The Chimera gallery figures, designed by Viollet-le-duc in the 19th century. This photo is of a Stryga, Greek meaning “bird of the night”, a nocturnal and evil spirit

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Taken from the south tower belfry.  I happened to be up in the towers between 1130 and 1230 and heard the full set of bells.  It was awesome

These gargoyles are on the south tower belfry. I happened to be up in the towers between 1130 and 1230 and heard the full set of bells. It was awesome

An angel in the south tower belfry

An angel in the south tower belfry

Chimera;  depiction of a monster or mythical being.  Not to be confused with gargoyles, which are protruding features designed to drain rainwater.

Chimera; depiction of a monster or mythical being. Not to be confused with gargoyles, which are protruding features designed to drain rainwater.

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Looking east over the roof of the nave, you see four groups of three apostles, alongside allegorical depictions of the evangelists, descending on all sides of the spire.

Looking east over the roof of the nave, you see four groups of three apostles, alongside allegorical depictions of the evangelists, descending on all sides of the spire.

The Flower Market

The Flower Market on the Il de Citi

The Flower Market on the Ile de la Cite

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A Farmers’ Market In Our Neighborhood

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Our last evening up on Montmartre was lovely, with sunshine and no wind.  What a difference that made, and the crowd was gathered for sunset.

Montmartre stairs looking up

Montmartre stairs looking up

Montmartre stairs, looking down, black and white

Montmartre stairs, looking down, black and white

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A large crowd had gathered close to sunset

A large crowd had gathered close to sunset

Posted in France | 3 Comments