Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 24 Bergen

 It is the middle of summer and daylight for 23 hours a day, but the maximum temperature today was still only 110C.  We had a bus trip through the city with its quaint red, yellow and white wooden homes.  We walked through a beech forest to visit the Stave Church, which dated from the 12th century.  The church was made with no nails.  There was a main door where the men were allowed to enter, then there was a side door for women and a third side door for the unclean such as lepers and pregnant women.  The church burnt down in 1995 and was rebuilt in exactly the same old style.  After this, we went to the town of Troldhaugen, about a twnty minute bus trip from Bergen.  This was where Edvard Grieg and his wife, Nina lived.  They were both very tiny people and when they walked around people used to call them the trolls.  Troldhaugen means the troll’s hill. Grieg lived from 1843 till 1907.   At Troldhaugen, we saw the house where they lived with its magnificent views of the lake.  We saw the outhouse on the lake where Grieg composed and the cemetery on the property where both Edvard and Grieg are buried in the side of a hill.  The whole property is absolutely beautiful with majestic views and a very tranquil atmosphere.  In the concert hall on the property we had a piano recital of Grieg’s works by Rune Alver.  Rune seemed to be slightly taller than Grieg but was still small of stature.  He also had Grieg’s mass of white unruly hair. Rune played the following of Grieg’s works for us as we looked out through large windows over the lake:
Once Upon a Time, Opus 71 No.1,  Allegro Moderato from Sonata, Opus7, Summer’s Eve, Opus 71 No.2, Small Troll, Opus 71 No.3, In the Hall of the Mountain King, Opus 46 No.1, Album Leaf, Opus 28 No.4 and Halling from the Fairy Hill, Opus 72 No. 4  This afternoon Bill and I walked through the fish markets of Bergen and the Bryggen quarter where two and three storey wooden buildings retain the red and ochre colours of the old warehouses and shops.  Today these buildings are mainly shops and restaurants.

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