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Lets Almost Go See a Waterfall in Norway: Vettisfossen

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The day could not have been prettier.  Light rain, but gorgeous light.  And peak Fall leaves.  And waterfalls everywhere you look.  The funny thing is, though we hiked about 13km, we never made it to the big waterfall!  Ran out of light.

I guess we’ll just have to go back

THIS is not the one!  But look.  Spectacular does not even begin to describe this walk.

We had some very late lunch very near the top at an old farmstead and village.

The turn around point.

Kongevegen, Norway Hiking and the Stave Church

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The trail, built by hand with horses and carts through steep mountain passes, is incredible.  Like a movie set.  This is one hike in Norway not to miss.  We did a few kilometers day hike to the Stave Church completed in the 1180s.

The Kings Road is what Kongevegen means, BTW.  The scenery at peak Fall is stunning and magical.

Romey and the logo bench.

 

Just up over the pass the first view of the Stave Church.

We approached from behind (with a herd of sheep).  These are not the sheep!

 

Our fearless leader Nova.

Don’t eat the mushrooms.

A quiet moment of conversation.

A boy and his dog!

An impressive waterfall on the drive home.

Coffee stop.

And back home for beer and a small fire.  This is the only kind of smoking that I like to do.

A Hike to the Backwards Waterfall

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It’s pretty far to get to the waterfall, and the directions are tricky.

Maybe it’s that way?

 

Should we follow the reindeer?

And you have to stop by the visitors center snack place where they have really nothing.  No coffee today, no waffles, nope, no water, sorry only candy made from juniper berries.

But there it is!  Upness in a waterfall.

OK.  Not the best waterfall in Norway, or really even the most interesting.  But there were reindeer!

 

Peekaboo romey.

On the way home we dreamed of bubbles.

Play for Your Dinner

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The thing about Italians is that they love live music.  And they love Americans too (in spite of our recent proclivities for absolute dumb shit behavior).  Rhine and I took advantage of this by dragging around our instruments and playing for our supper where we ate.

The first great restaurant run happened after our worldwide debut as Into the Unknown in Campiglio Cervo.  The crowd converged and decided we needed a reservation subito subito.

In the end, I was spirited off with Santa Mariela so I could see the restaurant and meet the owners with my own eyes.  That’s because Ruers above Piedicavallo exists past where the road ends.  So you have to walk there once you ditch your car.  Incredible views await.  And the kindest people.

On the same fact finding mission, we also had to make a quick trip to visit Dick (a local Scott of great flare) and his cat, and catch up with pretty much everyone we encountered.  This was fun, but it made us late late late.

My scouting expedition revealed this view (that is Biella down there somewhere).

We returned (very late) in the Fiat 500, parked at the edge of the world, and proceeded to have an excellent dinner replete with local wine house made cheeses,  polenta, roast beef, and even gluten free stuff for Matt.

 

After dinner we got out our instruments and played a little music.  Here is part of the “first song” (a song by Bob that we always play first so we never have to figure out what to play first).

Then we entered the kitchen to play for the cooks.  This was a blast, and the staff was most appreciative.  Lets just say we are welcome back any time, forever.

Check out the face on this guy.

This kind of experience is what makes a trip to Italy an amazing, humanizing experience.  And to top it all off, the Signora would not let me pay all that I owed.

Of course, once we did it once, we had to do it again.  That’s just how it goes.

Rhine and I scouted out a restaurant run by the slightly pazzo Roberta in Sanctuario San Giovanni.  The moon was almost full, and the werewolves were awakening.

The local Barbera was outstanding.  This was one of the best simple meals we had on the trip.

Top of the world to you.

If you look closely, you will see Rhine.

Roberta recognized us as part of the concert crowd from Campigliano Cervo and asked if we had brought our instruments.  Since we rushed to arrive by 8:30 the answer was no.  Roberta asked us to return the next evening after our big opera, and a plan was born.  We promised to arrive a punto by 8:29pm.

She sent up home with a 100 year old plate for April and some goodies for breakfast.  We shared some grappa.

It took some doing after the big opera performance, but we did make it.  The moon was full.   Everyone else arrived shortly thereafter.  I played my violin at the edge and made Mariela cry.

And, once again after dinner, we played in the kitchen for the cooks even as the vegan meal was blitzkrieged on the massive stove.  The floor was sticky, but the love was palpable.

We stayed until the grappa ran out.

And we will return.

 

 

 

 

 

Up the Gondola in Bergen

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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.

Walk to the Top in Bergen, and Slide Down

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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

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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.

Today, the light

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Three views from the corner.

Trio one

 

Trio two

 

Trio three

The walk.

 

 

Mogli blends

 

Shenandoah

 

 

 

Light