Over the past near-fortnight, we journeyed to Norway with brief stays in the UK on the way to and from. We landed in Heathrow Airport, and instead of taking the usual Heathrow Express, we took the London Underground (a.k.a. the Tube or the subway) which turned out to be longer and a more crowded ride (it was rush hour after all), but definitely less expensive.
Brighton the Corners
In Brighton, England (or more like Hove, to be precise) we attended the 23rd UK Sacred Harp Convention which was held over two days at the Hove Park School.
I only sang for a couple of hours for each day of the Convention; Nancy sang for the whole thing.
I wasn’t able to find any videos from this particular Convention, but for demonstration purposes, here’s one from Cork, Ireland earlier this year.
There was a “social” (i.e., an after-singing gathering) at the Lord Nelson Inn where food, merriment, and more singing (naturally) went on. This is what it kinda looked like on the way to the Lord Nelson:
The following day was pretty much a repeat of Saturday, with the exception of me heading back to the AirBnB early to do some laundry. I know, it’s supposed to be a vacation, but when one is traveling over two weeks with a carry-on suitcase, a washer/dryer-equipped AirBnB is not only a lifesaver, but a necessity. Anyway, we returned to the Lord Nelson the following evening to hang out with our friend Beth and her band mates in Jetstream Pony.
The following Monday, we left for Bergen, Norway, but first we had to survive the train to Gatwick Airport which also (or more like originally) served as the commuter transport for folks in Sussex working in London.
Norway the (Not So) Hard Way
Having made our way to Gatwick Airport, through airport security, and onboard the Norwegian Air jet, we arrived in Bergen a couple hours later. Here’s an example of the subtle sense of humor at play among Norwegians:
I regret not getting a snapshot of it, but from the airport, one can see a large sign that reads “Bergen?” (yeah, that’s a question mark) bolted onto the side of a rock face. Again, Norwegian humor. I appreciate it.
A shuttle bus dropped us off at the Bergen harbor, and I think this kinda sums up the loveliness of it all (you can mentally add swarms of tourists if you’d like):
After checking into our AirBnB, we wandered around town, gently testing the cultural waters, confirming that yes, everyone does indeed speak English, although they’ll greet you in Norwegian first even if you do look like a bewildered American tourist, as that’s the polite thing to do.
Pining for the Fjords?!
The following day we went on a boat ride into and out of a nearby fjord. Google kindly tracked where we went:
The weather, which was cloudy and rainy the day before, had cleared up majestically for our little cruise. The photos I took do not do justice to the scenery. But I’m posting some anyway.
Nancy took some great photos of the fjord, so I’m including them as well (<3 U, dear).
A Particular Funicular
After this little boat trip, we took a funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen, which despite the “Mount” bit isn’t quite a mountain as a spectacular vantage point to see Bergen from above.
There are goats that live in the park atop Mount Fløyen, but it looked like the “kids” were avoiding us Hoomins that day.
Afterwards we rode down the funicular (what a word that is, say that quickly many times), strolled to the local supermarket, picked up dinner and snacks, and retired to our AirBnB.