Monday, May 28, 2012

Leaving on a Norse Train

May 26

We are taking the express train from Bergen to Oslo. We have just come out of the highest point all snow and glaciers. Temperature outside is 3 degrees Celsius. Yesterday Rebecca and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by doing a bus tour of Bergen, needed relief from all the walking we have been doing. The tour took us to Edvard Grieg’s home. We also saw his grave and a little comfortable one room cottage on the water, complete with piano, a quiet retreat for composing. We ended up the tour by going to another stave church, but it was not the same as the one before. It had been moved from a previous location due to the fact it was going to be torn down, it then burned down to the ground, only the altar cross survived. Now all that is left is a copy of the original stave house. We are glad that we got the chance to see the real thing in Borgund. We then went to the king’s church to hear a Russian choir from Georgia. Very impressive. However, I’m not sure we can do any of their music. Their music is based on the fifth instead of an octave and instead of 5 steps in the fifth, they have four. The place was packed and they started with a whisper of sound, bi-tonality over a ground bass. The choir was made up of 10 men and they concluded the concert with such force that I think they could overpower our organ if it were fully open. We went back to our favorite restaurant on the water. Our waiter reserved a table right by the window so we could see the sun set…10:00 at night! (pic attached) Had some of the best salmon ever. We went to another concert at 11:00pm at the cathedral. With exception if the chancel area, the church was lit by candlelight. Very magical. We were offered espresso when we entered and when we departed we were given chocolate. This concert was the highlight of the day. Just a single performer a gorgeous, young accordion player. For an hour see absolutely memorized by her playing. We walked back to our hotel at midnight, it was still light out.

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