06/07/2024 – Struck….Striking….Stricken

06/07/2024 – Struck….Striking….Stricken

Struck, Strike, and Stricken have so many connotations in the American vernacular, but for us they covered the gamut today. First of all, for us it meant we left Odda and we struck out for Bergen, the next stop on our tour of Norway.  The meandering road along the way delighted us as passed by mountains, rolling landscapes and the ever present waterfalls. (We wondered if Norway has more waterfalls or more tunnels.  Kathy looked it up – Norway has over 900 tunnels!)  One waterfall along the way delighted us to no end, so of course we had to stop! The waterfall is large and magnificent and after a short walk you get the opportunity to walk behind it! Of course, we had to see it for ourselves and we headed up the walkway to see the falls from both sides. It was a fun and experience, I would say unique but this is not the only time we have had the opportunity to walk behind some falls. It was, though, one of the largest and most power waterfalls we have been behind and we were grateful to stand under a large granite outcrop as the water poured over the mountainside.

Back on our journey we headed towards Telavag, a city on the coast of Norway and known for its unique place in history during WWII. Telavag is home to the strategic site used by Britain and Norwegian resistance fighters to land boats to offload ammunition and soldiers, while at the same time a launching point for those fleeing Nazi persecution. The site was known for being totally destroyed by the Nazis, with the town leveled and the massacre of men and the internment of all the women and children.  The Telavåg Exhibition – Nordsjøfartmuseet (museumvest.no)  The museum is a stark reminder of the dangers of hate and intolerance and how war hurts the innocent.  After watching a short movie about the destruction of the village and the massacre of the men, we wandered the museum looking at the reminders of such a terrible time.   We were stricken with sadness about the inhumanity of the horrible act and utter destruction that happened. Yet we were amazed by the striking resilience of the community that came back and was rebuilt after the war. In four years, most homes had been rebuilt and the community, while not whole, had set about a path for recovery.

Soon we were off to find our hotel.  We struck out on our initial foray into Bergen ending up on a dead end road with no way to go forward. Flipping a quick U-turn, we headed back around in hopes of finding a parking a garage. Luckily, we managed to find a garage and the hotel within a block of each other.  From there, we hoisted our packs and headed down to check into the hotel in the heart of Bergen. Depositing our luggage in our room, we headed out to find some dinner. Striking it rich, at least gourmet rich, we opted for a delicious meal overlooking the square.  Kathy indulged in Sangria and some wonderful chicken pesto and Dave opted for a platter of chicken with some wonderful sides. We both felt like with had stuck gastronomy gold as the meal was delicious with wonderful ambience. We also had the pleasure of being served by a young man, who was on his first day at work.  He was cheerful and friendly and earned the nickname, “Spoon Boy”, as he brought Kathy a spoon for her pasta dinner.  He said that was his only job, since he was new and was not allowed use of the iPad to take down our order.

Heading out, we decided to try and walk from the new part of the city to the Bergenhus, an old historical site at the end of the Bryggen  – the old quarter of the city dating from the 13th Century.  Apparently, some Germans from the north of Germany settled here and started up the Hanseatic League, a successful venture into the fishing industry.  While we managed to make it to the site, we struck out as it was closed and then, of course being in Norway, it began to rain and rain, and of course- rain. We hunkered for a bit in a bar where a men’s choir was singing.  Braving the elements, we struck out again to try and make it to our hotel with the hopes along the way of finding a bakery to purchase some rolls. We struck it rich, finding not only rolls but some lovely dessert to have once we made it back to the room.

Finally back in the room, we settled in and struck up a lively conversation about our day and future plans for the trip. All in all, we had a great day and it was striking for the variety of things we did including natural, cultural, historical, as well as modern aspects.

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