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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.

The Backyard (well, mountain) in Tyinkrysset

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Sometimes walking out the door and around back is the best way to hike.  We bushwhacked up through juniper and blueberry towards a small lake where fish are rumored to live.  Tyinkrysset, Norway is beautiful.

This little stream is just up the road a few hundred meters.

Here are some pictures of our walk in the mountains.


     

A view of the valley.

Chilly Romey.

Panorama

Our intrepid hosts at the top.  Our fearless leader Nova was dressed for the weather.

 

We love being in Norway.

Coffee and brown cheese?  Nova says yes.

   

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.

First (and last?!) time on the river 2022

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We are way too busy.  During COVID the river was a key respite for us.  Time to get back to our roots.

A run in September is just what the doctor ordered.

Honestly, they did answer…

Boyle’s boat looking grand.

A run of the class 0 rapids (with one hand).

 

Here’s to more Fall runs during 2022.

Yayoi Kusama at the Hirshhorn with Romey, Bill, Em, John, and Joan

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There were circles. Which is my favorite part.

Romey and Joan arrive

We waited for our timed entry.

And finally it was time.

Then more waiting.

And it was time again.

And then, you guessed it, more waiting!

And it was the last time.

Well worth the wait.  Wow.

Our reality is not quite as…

On the Arts, Queens, and Democracy: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

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There is lots of politics pervading the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía which if you think about it is somewhat ironic. I mean, the place itself is named after a queen. And lots of anti-imperial politics pervades (including some well-deserved anti-Americanism). But a queen? What kind of democracy has a monarch? Or still reveres a monarch? Seriously. Those days need to be behind us as a species.

Anyway, the ill-begotten gains of monarchy are at least being spent on art and not on oppression. Or is art just an opiate slightly stronger than religion? These are difficult issues to plumb.

And are they old fashioned or what? No pictures of some of the pictures? Trapped in the past they are. The guernica room is a shrine that should be full of life, not a mausoleum. Spain still seems to have a Franco hangover.

But still, go.  The sound and the fury be damned.

 

The light is excellent.

Shadowplay.

 

 

 

 

Take a green break.

 

 

Watch mute.

 

 

And then coffee.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

How many paradises are there, anyway? A visit to Terzo Paradiso in Biella, Italia

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You might die, but if anything is noted as the cause of death, it will be loneliness.

There are no people doing art or even visiting Terzo Paradiso unless you count our unruly bunch.  Here’s what we saw (and what we did).

First we explored random spaces.

And then we found some art to see (but only after getting lucky).

After a short nap in the hammocks near the circles, we found the projector and those glowy rocks from Land of the Lost.

There were no Sleestaks. So here are two for good measure.  They covet the glowy rocks.

There was dirt.

There was also very silly science.  But it was arty.

Not surprisingly, the room was better than the dirt.

Watch this video. Really.

Rhine took pics too.  It was hard not to.

We got lucky and found another human who told us how to cross the highway, go down the stairs and find even more art.  Or rather more art places with not much art.  Something like that.

Rhine woke up from his long nap, dreaming of Sleestaks and late 1970s TV.

The space rang a long cool echo of lost civilizations and the empty planet to come.

So there was dance.

And reflection

We climbed back down to reality using a ladder that was too short to reach the sky.

And then we left.

 

Metallica in Germany

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What do you do when you land in Germany?  The answer involves a Camaro and the Autobahn and Metallica.

Markus’s airport car service

 

After a quick shower to wash off the metal tube, it’s time for the first Radler.  A slippery slope to lots of beer.  It is, after all, Germany.

The download festival.  Here we come.

 

The duck is your co-pilot

 

Cider for the win

 

In the van things are serious

 

The weather GOOD

 

The weather BAD

 

duckface

After a bunch of beers (who is counting?), we wound our way over a 5km spiral into the venue.  Germans are a very orderly bunch.  Bt who thought up this entrance and exit plan?

MOO.

 

Sabaton from Sweden

 

Rock and roll

 

What?!

 

My crowd.  What an unruly, fantastic bunch.

There was beer

 

Did I mention the part about the beer?

 

We pushed off the rain through sheer psychic magic, but it was only delayed.

Nap time for the American

Five Finger Death Punch

You may start with five fingers, but you will end up with four.

Finally, Metallica

Are you feeling good?  Yes, we are.

Some guitar for you.

Rocker

 

Nothing else matters in this crowd of strangers.  Metalheads are a welcoming bunch.

I am not alone.

My first metal show was the best one ever.

Summer Solstice 2022

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We’ll start in the middle, with a video of the lighting of the summer solstice bonfire of 2022.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the crowd friendly and warm.  Every year the size of the fire seems to come as a surprise.

This year the weather was so cool that a dip in the river was not in the cards.

Rewinding a day, Aubrey provided another great iteration of the smoked salmon Messerhead feast helping to set the FOOD stage.  Speaking of FOOD, Chef Michael was down from Chicago with Astro.  That means we were spoiled rotten on the food front for days on end.

Salmon feast table

Any solstice that starts with caviar is destined for greatness.

Before.