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8th September, 2013


Overnight we travelled almost 200 miles through the fjords down to Bergen, much of it of course was in darkness, which was a pity as the passengers did not have the opportunity to see their beauty. There was no wind as we approached, and it seemed Bergen was still sleeping, not surprising as it was quite early and an overcast Sunday morning. Another cruise ship, the one with those tasteless ugly painted lips across the bow, came in an hour later and across the dock a number of huge oil platform supply vessels were berthed, waiting for trade apparently.

Grieg Museum

There was an opportunity to take the ‘Images of Grieg’ tour in the afternoon, so we tagged along and enjoyed the wonderful scenery that inspired Grieg just outside the window of his summer house. His home at Troldhaugen is now a pilgrimage for most Norwegian folk and the museum holds over 300 concerts a year in the tastefully modern tiered hall which, with its grass covered roofs, has been built in the grounds. We listened to a thirty minute recital by Joachim Kwetzinsky, gazing past him through cathedral like windows towards the calm dark waters of Nordas Lake below. After, a tour of the small house where the diminutive Grieg (he was only five foot tall) and his wife Nina held summer parties. Below, closer to the water, the composers hut has been preserved just as it was after he died in 1907, the piano to one side and his desk facing the view.

By the time we returned the sky had cleared, Bergen had not lived up to it rainy reputation and many passengers were on deck for the departure. Richard the Staff Captain was ‘driving’ and he pushed up the throttles just a little too quickly as we turned onto the first course, giving a blast of black smoke out of the funnel for a minute or so. The dark cloud seemed to descend on the ‘lippy’ cruiser behind us. I of course told the passengers at the cocktail party it was intentional, which resulted in much mirth.

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