Edvard Grieg

Slept in until 8am this morning! I’ve been waking at 7am for the whole of Norway! So an extra hour (Woo Hoo). Mirinda was worse, she missed breakfast. The stupid cleaning woman tried to come in thrice. Sport of knock then open, no pause. In fact she opened before she knocked just to make sure she caught me on the loo. Not really but almost. Anyway, eventually we relented and left the room.

First stop was the internet café to check mail. A bit of a ruction at work that didn’t really bother me and which was immediately shoved to the back of my brain. Also an email from Lisa saying how much she’s looking forward to seeing Mirinda in France – oh dear, looks like she DIDN’T get the message Mirinda left! After all this excitement it was off to the bus station.

Talk about massive. You walk along underground and there are stairs up to each bus stop.

Got the bus easy enough then off to Fantoft to look at the stave church. It was a bit of a hike up a hill but eventually the suburban streets turned to woods and there, in a clearing, suddenly, it was. It looked lovely, except for the wire fencing around it. It was a bit annoying that we had to pay to get in as there isn’t really anything there. No guide book, no explanations. According to the Rough Guide, the original was moved in 1880-ish and rebuilt differently then burnt down by arsonists in 1992 then subsequently completely rebuilt. Sure it looks lovely but it’s not even a real church any more. Anyway, we saw it.

Then it was back to the bus stop and off to Troldhaugen, Edvard Grieg‘s house.

A wonderful place – after a horrid walk alongside an express way to get there. There was an excellent film about his life based on his letters in the little theatrette. Then lots of his life written on big cards throughout the museum. Then a tour through his house which has to be the cutest ‘famous’ residence I’ve ever seen. There is no guide book but the guide human was very good.

Troldhaugen

We then checked out his composing ‘hut’ overlooking the lake and then down to the lake to see his tomb. It is high up in the wall of the hill, he and his wife, staring at the lake for eternity. Beautiful. Such a lovely spot, so tranquil, so peaceful, so…but wait what is that growling in the background? Those fumes? Oh my God! It’s an express way right next door. Such a shame. I can’t see Grieg composing anything there now, except maybe heavy metal to drown out the heavy metal outside his house.

Valiantly trying to ignore the din, we had lunch on a bench overlooking the lake then walked back to the bus stop for our return to Bergen.

Stopped off at the groovy café for a cap and a lat. In the square a band was playing then some guy started going on like Billy Graham. People in the crowd were handing out pieces of paper that said “Den dype rynken I pannen: hvor er den fra? Forsvar retten til asyl.*” We asked the girl on reception at our hotel what this meant but she could only give us something about people being calculators. Apparently, it’s something to do with immigration. Go figure. Crazy Norwegians.

We walked down to a Japanese/Thai restaurant near the pier for dinner. Mirinda had the Japanese chicken while I had the Thai chicken. Had a very weird waitress. Whenever we ordered anything she answered ‘yes’ as if she had already known. It took forever for her to bring the bill, which, naturally, made Mirinda a bit ‘toe-ey’.

Eventually we walked back in the pouring rain, yesterday being the one full day of sunshine for September. When we got back to our room, there was a very noisy party going on across the road. They stopped at around 10:30. That was nice of them.

* 2011 note: Using Google translate on the Norwegian above, I come up with: “The deep wrinkles in his forehead where is it from? Defend the right to asylum.

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