Home

Up the Gondola in Bergen

Leave a comment

The morning started with a quick visit to pick up some pottery cups we couldn’t leave Norway without.  We were driving in a Leaf.

The cups in question

 

The artist in question

 

The leaf

After a circuitous meandering walk, we made it to the gondola, and up we went.  The gondola has been newly renovated.

Gondola

 

Up we go

 

Masked of course

 

Sunset coming soon

Photo op at the top

 

The couple

Hot chocolate behind you

 

 

No gøran

 

Gøran

We escaped through a classified tunnel back to the leaf.

Kode Bergen

Leave a comment

First was an absolutely disturbing and shocking video and art set by Paul McCarthy.  Shock art.  You can read about the psychopathic exhibit above.  The film was just disturbing.

All that required some clearing of the head with Munch and older sedate art.

Bare and the Paparazzi

1 Comment

No food for this guy

Bergen has its first Michelin star restaurant, called Bare.  We finagled our way in and had an incredible 14 course meal.  Always go to fancy pants dinners with really fun friends.  We laughed as much as we ate.

Course 1 (this was a pre-dinner bar treat)

 

The paparazzi have arrived

 

Course 2 (also in the bar)

 

Course 3 came in a beautiful dish. Each was different.

 

Course 4 was lil tacos (still in the bar)

Finally, we moved into the dining room.  BTW, a hint about having a meal like this. say YES to all possibilities (like the caviar course and the wine pairing option).  Always YES.

Starting the meal

 

Cider and a fist

 

Course 5 (sea urchin) with the cider

 

Our first wine (blanc de blanc) with the caviar

 

The incredible caviar course (number 6). very creamy.

 

Were we happy?

 

Course 7 wine: sauvignon blanc

 

Course 7 was calamari (which I usually don’t eat)

 

More paparazzi

The bread arrives

 

Now the paparazzi are out of control!

 

Wine for the crab

 

Course 8: alaskan crab with barley

 

Wine from Santa Barbara 

 

Course 9: king crab and parsnip

 

wine

You will like the wine!

 

Wine

 

Course 10: lamb and mushroom

 

wine from Italy

 

Course 11: reindeer

 

sweet wine

 

Course 12 into the sweets (with blue cheese topping). Wow.

\

Course 13, a tart little number

 

wine (a “white amarone”)

 

Course 14 finished the evening

 

grappa in the bar (coffee for some)

 

the empties

 

 

 

Walk to the Top in Bergen, and Slide Down

Leave a comment

The funicular is being renovated, so a walk to the top was in order.  The walk was easy and beautiful.  It proceeds in stages, zooming out as you gain in elevation.

If you start with cake, you must hike to the top.

 

 

icicle

Listen to the drips.

 

 

 

 

proof

Then the slide down.

 

Then a visit to No Stress for a Negroni before heading out on the metro.

 

 

 

Fin.

 

Norway in a Nutshell with Romey

Leave a comment

This iteration of Norway in a Nutshell was a one day jaunt out of (and back to) Bergen.  Things got underway early (around 8:40) at the Bergen train station.  The trip went Bergen–>Voss–>Gudvangen–>Flåm–>Myrdal–>Bergen (through Voss).  Arrival at home was 6pm.

Of course the day was perfect and the light was beautiful.  Even the clouds of Bergen parted temporarily as we departed.

Here’s how the day went.  After a delicious breakfast in Bergen at the Børs hosted by the delightful Dalia, we walked to the plastic-wrapped train station and found our place.

Masked on the train to Voss

It was still early in Voss and the 15 minute connection wait for the bus was uneventful.

Voss station (the blue appears)

The bus to Gudvangen is roomy and nice.  But no wifi this time (WTF?!).  The trip took about an hour, leaving 45 minutes to have some cocoa and walk around in Gudvangen.

Waterfall from a bus

 

On the way to Gudvangen

 

Majestic and way bigger than this picture makes clear

 

Looking back to Gudvangen

 

The bridge

 

The fjord was simply magical

 

A crystal clear day with little wind left the Fjord a gigantic deep mirror.

 

The ferry arrives

Since we were touring on off season (and during a pandemic), snacks were harder to come by than on previous Norway in a Nutshell runs.  Even the ferry (which usually has a nice snack bar with various food items) was limited to coffee and tea.  Bring along some snacks.

The two hour ferry ride is nothing short of stunning.

Pretend Viking boat

 

The ferry (very upscale)

 

 

These days, the ferry (which can comfortably hold 400) is a super modern, quiet boat with lots of room.  It is also fast.

Pole position (with a charger)

Just as we departed, some base jumpers blew in from on high.  Check out this spectacular landing.

 

Looking back into the wake

 

 

 

 

 

From the bow

 

Norway

 

Mountain boat

We called ahead to the Flåm for a pizza from the bakery.  This is a good move!  The pizza was delicious and it was great to walk in and have a hot pie waiting.

 

Yum!

 

 

Then it was a 3 minute amble over to catch the Flåm–>Myrdal train (one of the steepest inclines in railroad) in an historical vehicle.  Here we go.

 

The climb really is remarkable.

 

Myrdal here we come (check out the switchbacks)

A short stop at the waterfall is always in order.

Romey takes a picture

Romey also takes a video.  (These bits are for Emily.)

 

 

 

 

 

And then on to Myrdal with some daylight remaining (remember, the sun sets around 3:30pm in late November).

 

We made it!

 

 

After a few minutes at the top, the train to Bergen arrived.  Then it was three hours back, arriving just in time for dinner with friends (including Vemen and Hovard this time).

Last train back

 

The route

 

Back home in Bergen.

Art in Oslo: Purenkel

1 Comment

Visting purenkel.no is always a pleasure.  One of the owner’s excellent pieces now lives at the Stick.  The first post covid lockdown visit to Oslo included some art.

First the monkey.

 

 

My current favorite.  Can you tell why?

 

Line

 

Last… Kaffe (just next door)

Catoctin Creek: Local Excellence in Distilling

Leave a comment

It was an interesting evening…a fundraiser for the USO at the best local distillery (well, the best legal local distillery anyway).  The dress instructions were vague and a bit confusing.  Something about casual something or other with red and black.  LOL.

So anyway, we wore this.

Our dear friends Donnie and Geri came and we scored the head table with our excellent hosts and good friends Scott and Becky.  Scott and Becky are the powerful couple behind Catoctin Creek.

Scott pinged me and we did the kilt thing!

I love wearing my kilt, and I especially love it when my buddies wear theirs too.  More kilts is what we need to solve global warming.

The kilts and the stills

 

Romey was resplendent in her red shoes.

 

The food was good.  The company was interesting. And the 1908 Rye?  Well, you only get to try that once or twice in one 2021 life.

We ran the proof in the back.

 

Fred Minnick was the MC

Fred did a great job keeping things moving and imparting wisdom about the booze we were drinking.

 

Geri in the house

 

More fred

 

There was cake.

 

All the hosts at once.

 

A Paper Plane nightcap back at the home bar ended the evening.

 

Romey Buys a Building

1 Comment

Jumping way ahead.  The Natural Mane in its new state.

 

As a successful salon business owner for over a decade, Romey knew she should own her own space instead of renting.  Any idea when the best time to take a financial risk and do that is?  Never!  So when is the second best time?  During a global pandemic, of course.  It takes a special kind of vision to fly directly into the vacuum.  Here is Romey’s story.

Before: The Barbershop

The discussion quickly became a reality in late 2020 when the 1850s era Berryville jailhouse (that had been a barbershop for many years) came on the market.  Here is what the space looked like before it was purchased.

From the back room

You can’t quite tell from here, but that floor is 5 layers of flooring all tottering on joists that are about to give up the ghost.

 

Florescent lighting and dated fans (instead of AC).  And that green.  No words.

 

Looking back (one of the stations is shown here)

 

The bathroom where the basement “access” was

 

The back was in better shape, though still green

 

 

Romey contemplates ownership

Before buying the building, finding a contractor and spitballing what renovation would cost was the next step.  Also an in-depth inspection.  Needless to say, Romey kind of knew what she was getting into.  Kind of only because a building from 1850 always holds surprises.  This was going to be a hell of a project!

Demolition

The barbershop was utterly removed, the attic was exposed and cleaned out, the floor was removed, and lo and behold the bones of the building began to emerge.  But first, a permit.

Demo permit

 

Removing rubble

 

These beams turn out to be a treasure

One of those unexpected finds was a chimney basically hanging in space.  It had to go.  But the architecture review board had to approve first since the skyline changed.

Uh oh, an unexpected chimney ready to crash down and kill somebody (the beams are from the contractor)

 

Oh but these stone walls!