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Thursday, October 31, 2013

DAY 155 - L-O-N-G Train Ride to Moss

Aug 21- Traveling through Norway on NSB
Norwegian State Railways worked out ok for us, but it was a very long trip - about 8 hours to Moss.

A very comfortable train ride through some gorgeous scenery.

 Our reasons for going to Moss?  We had met Alex in Idaho Falls.  In fact he lived with us for three months, so we wanted to meet his mother and brother.  They were so kind to have us for two days.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them.  (More about that on Day 156).

 Green meadows, mystic skies, clear waters, waterfalls, and gorgeous scenery.

This sweet girl and Rich enjoyed conversation most of the way.

We got a chance to hop out a couple of times.

Looks like one of the houses is actually in the water.

See how they wrap the hay bales in Norway?.

Good dinner of chicken and gravy with bacon and sausage and broccoli.

Line & Jonothan are going to be great hosts.  We even had our own room.
Archeological finds suggest that there were settlements in this area more than 7,000 years ago and continuously through the Iron Age, Viking Age, and through to modern times. During the Viking era, the place was known as Varna and was the site of a cooperative for battleships held by local warlords on behalf of the king.  By 1700, Moss had become a hub for both ship and land traffic between Copenhagen and Christiania (in Oslo).

DAYS 153 & 154 - Troldhaugen & "Can He Catch a Fish?"

Aug 19 & 20 - Grieg, Old Stave Church, and YUMMY Fish

The school yard just outside Marthe's flat.
A nice warm soup on a cold rainy day.
We slept on an air bed in the living room....very comfortable.
Marthe explained that Norway has free welfare, and free health care, so everyone is equal.  No one is in the rich class and no one is in the poor class.  Interesting concept!                                             
Marthe had a Venus Flytrap plant - so interesting as it ate little tiny gnats and flies.
Smoked meat that is popular here in Norway.
Unhealthy food is the cheapest in Norway (as it is in America).  The government is wanting to highly tax the unhealthy snacks and pop, but are getting flack from the companies that produce them.  Maybe they are in cahoots with the medical companies, so there will be more people ill.  mmm......

I have played the piano and sang several songs that Edvard Grieg composed and loved each one.  I also saw "Song of Norway"  in 1970 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It never was very popular, but I loved the picturesque scenes and the music, so I had to go visit Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard and Nina's home.

 Edvard Grieg -15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as helping develop a national identity.

Ole Bull, born in 1810, was a famous violinist and helped shape Grieg's career.  He told Edvard's parents that he should go to a conservatory in Leipzig, Germany, which he did and became famous.

My oldest daughter, Krisalyn, played the famous Grieg Piano concerto in a minor back when she was only 14 years old....and she was amazing!!

She also played a duet "Wedding at Troldhaugen" which I always loved and here I am - in the PLACE.
...and yet another cool grass-roofed hut.

...and another view
 Troldhaugen consists of Grieg's Museum, Grieg’s villa, the hut where he composed music, and he and his wife's gravesite.
The modern entrance to Troldhaugen

Grieg's statue overlooking the beautiful Norwegian fjords.

I enjoyed going on a tour in this home which was well-to-do, but no photos were allowed.

 Edvard and Nina Grieg finished building Troldhaugen in 1885.  They lived here when he was home in Norway, mostly in the summers. Troldhaugen was the home of Edvard Grieg from April 1885 to his death in 1907.  They had one daughter, but lost her to meningitis at age 13 months.  It was a sad subject the rest of his life.

Here is the outhouse for their summer home used mostly by the gardeners.

 The grounds around the area are very beautiful.  I can see why Grieg was inspired to write his beautiful music while looking out his hut as he composed.
Grieg was quoted as saying, "I have no pretensions to being in the same class as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.  Their works are eternal while I have written for my time and for my own generation."
"To paint in music the Norwegian landscape, the Norwegian folk life, Norwegian history, and Norwegian folk poetry was, for me, where I believed I could achieve something."

I timed it just right to see a noon-time concert.  The pianist, Sasha, was from Ukraine, playing several pieces, including a couple of Grieg's beloved compositions based on folk songs.  He was a winner of a recent Grieg piano contest.

This is where Edvard & Nina's ashes are nearby in the hillside.
 The woods are VERY green and lush around Troldhaugen.  Wonder why with all the rain this area receives.

"Lions and tigers and bears - oh MY!"
 NEXT stop - Fantoft Stave Church.  I was doing all this sight-seeing by myself, so I did get a little lost, but what's new?  After getting off the bus and walking about a mile up hill most of the way, I finally arrived at the nearly 1,000 year old church. 
Getting my photo taken right inside the front door.
 It was originally in Rogaland county but was moved to this area by a business man about a hundred years ago.  In the 19th century the church was threatened by demolition, as were hundreds of other stave churches in Norway.

 I made friends with a family from California who turned out to be LDS.  Their two children were so cute.
They told me about the LDS church only about 1/2 mile away, which I went to later.
The church was bought by consul Fredrick Gade and saved by moving it in pieces to Fantoft, near Bergen in 1883. On 6 June 1992, the church was destroyed by arson; the first in a string of church burnings by members of the early Norwegian black metal scene.  (Marthe said these churches were burned down by Satanists - Anti-Christ people).  It has since been rebuilt from drawings and plans that were made during the moving of the original church. 

Notice the fire-breathing dragons on the spires.

Inside the church


Outside the church stands a stone cross from Tjora in Sola.

 I walked a ways to find the LDS church that supposedly was about 60 years old, built by the members themselves.

 A man on the road told me the church had a reputation for being a beautiful church in that area.

The first baptism in Norway was in 1851, and in 1852 branches were organized in Risor, Brevik, and Fredrikstad. Membership grew rapidly after these branches were organized, and new congregations were organized in major cities along the coast over the next 2–3 years.

The growth of the church within Norway was historically limited by continuing migration to the United States until after WWII. Today there are over 4,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway, and membership is again increasing.

 We went on a drive with Marthe through the fjords as she wanted us to go fishing.
It was a bit windy and threatening to rain.

Marthe was experienced and showed Rich what bait to use.

This was one of her favorite fishing spots.  Note the highway bridges.

He's hoping for "the BIG one."

Rich moved to a new rock to see if he could have better luck.

Marthe ended up catching 4 mackerels.

...NONE for Rich.   I was the cheerleader, but alas...

SAD day for Rich.
 We went on home and enjoyed fish for dinner.  Marthe said most Norwegians don't care much for mackerel, so she ended up buying some cod to add to our meal.  I found out, however, from another host that mackerel is a favorite.  In the news when the mackerel are coming in the fjord, the shores are packed with people fishing for mackerel. Many boats are on the fjord fishing in particular for mackerel.  In fact, cafes serve the fish throughout the season as it's a favorite.  All I know is, I really liked it.

Delicious fish dinner and vegetables.

Marthe has been a fantastic hostess with mostest.  :)