Thursday, 21 May 2009

En dachstur

En dagstur is a day's march, so a dachstur is a walk taken with a dachshund. We were invited to join the Hedmark Dachshundklubb on a walk to Mosjøkøien in Løten. We walked for about an hour until we reached the lake, where we sat down to rest and eat our picnic. Eva Moen asked me to mind her two miniatures while she took a picture, and little Bitten climbed onto my lap and settled down. It was an enjoyable walk, but I was glad I had my stick. Reidar thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A tourist'sguide to Oslo

Today Jeremy and I took the bus to Oslo to meet my cousin Mollie and her husband Roy, who are on a Baltic cruise, and were in Oslo for the afternoon. Unfortunately we arrived late because of the bus being detoured due to roadworks, and even more unfortunately it was pouring with rain. they had another couple with them, and after introductions were made we headed for the shelter of the nearest shopping centre at Aker Brygge. After a few minutes the rain stopped and we took the tram up to Frogner Park where all the Vigeland statues are. This group of little girls is my absolute favourite. No boys are allowed as the smallest girl's facial expression clearly shows. I love the way my picture has a tiny tourist fairy busy taking pictures!
Mollie brought us gifts from Cornwall, some from Roseveth. We got a large saffron cake, a pound (!) of Rodda's clotted cream, Cornish Fairing biscuits and fudge. That should do Reidar's tummy some good...

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Today is national day, and this picture was taken after the celebrations were over. Being on the committee who arranged the celebrations for Løten, we've had plenty to do. Yesterday we got things ready, today we first went to church (Reidar had traffic duty outside) walked in the parade from the church, down a long hill, and through the centre of Løten. It was about a mile. Next we served ice-cream to all the children in Løten - sounds quite sweet and charming, but in reality meant trying to control a pack of impatient teachers and parents. Next to the sports hall to serve stew to the marching bands and choirs; also three visiting choirs from Estonia. It was beautiful sunny weather, so a thick, heavy
woollen national costume was plenty warm enough, and oh! my poor feet. Generally speaking a great day for everyone.
And yes, you may congratulate Norway on winning the Eurovision Song Contest hands down.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Going home

It's always sad to leave a place when you've had a good time there, and Edinburgh was no exception, so imagine my delight when we discovered, hidden away in the most remote corner of the airport, a surfers van dispensing the most cornish of everything that ever came out of Cornwall - pasties! For the uninitiated, a pasty is a circle of pastry (butterdeig) filled with beef pieces, chopped onion, potato and turnip (kålrot) - the american name for this root vegetable is something like Budweiser - this is then seasoned with salt and pepper, folded together and sealed, then baked in the oven. The result is a crust filled with a tasty stew (lapskaus). The pasty was a portable meal that the cornish tin-miner could take down the mine in his pocket. Most people who have ever eaten a pasty are delighted to have a chance of another one, but to a cornish girl, visiting the absolute opposite end of the British Isles, it was nothing short of a miracle.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Day 3 Saturday

On Saturday morning Reidar and I decided ( I backed down from wanting to go shopping) to go to Holyrood Palace, buy tickets and do the thing properly. We were loaned audio-guides. They're small gadgets, the size of a mobile phone, that you hang round your neck. If you press the right button at the right time, the gadget tells you about the room you're in, and what to look for. You can get optional extra information. I've forgotten which king built it for his wife, but he never lived there. Mary, Queen of Scots however, did. Also Queen Elizabeth stays there when she has official business in Edinburgh. If she's on holiday she goes to Balmoral. It was exciting to be walking round the rooms she uses, although the less formal ones were out of bounds. Visiting Mary's rooms was special too; the spiral staircase to her bedroom was narrow and steep, and it was chilling to think that her italian secretary was stabbed 56 times right there by her jealous husband and his men. There was a portrait gallery, all painted by the same dutch artist who was encouraged to use his imagination about how some of the earlier scottish kings looked. He must have had a strange sense of beauty, or humour, because thet're all plug-ugly!
Beside the castle there's a ruined abbey, which looks quite picturesque, and has been a popular motif for numerous paintings. We also wandered through the pretty gardens.

After that we headed back towards the hotel, along the Royal Mile, stopping just once at the museum of childhood, where we got quite nostalgic about our old toys. The weather was showery, so I got to use my pretty new yellow umbrella with angels on. It was a long walk, so we were glad to get back to our room to enjoy a picnic before getting ready to go to the theatre. The Festival theatre is the oldest in Scotland, and has just been restored after being used for some years as a bingo-hall. We saw West Side Story, and it was a wonderful production, with very good singers and dancers, great costumes and sets, ans a real feeling of energy.

After that, all 40 of us went to the Pink Olive, where we'd booked tables, and had our farewell dinner of Aberdeen Angus sirloin steaks and chips. It was a pretty noisy, very jolly affair, and a good ending to a very enjoyable trip.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Day 2

All Onto a bus for a whole day's trip. We had a Danish guide who's lived so long in Scotland that she speaks a language that could loosely be called Scandinavian.Our first stop was the Forth Bridge, which was pretty exciting for me because all my life I've heard it said of a job that's never finished:- "It's like painting the Forth Bridge", and apparently it's true - as soon as they get to the end it's time to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

Next to the Falkirk Wheel, which was a millenium project. Instead of opening and closing 11 locks to go from one of the Scottish canals to the Union canal, you sail your boat into one of the gondolas on the wheel, and it lifts it up to the next level. We did this in a tourist boat, sailed 100 metres, turned, went back and got lifted down again. We saw all this lovely yellow gorse from the boat.

On to Stirling Castle through lovely green countryside, with lambs, bunnies and cottage gardens.

Susanne guided us around the castle, up steeply sloping wet cobbles, spiral staircases and all over the place. I was so glad I'd taken my walking-stick, because my wonky knee was playing up by then. Hobbled back down the very steep hill to Hermann's Restaurant, where we had our lunch, which was delicious salmon - probably the nicest food we had the whole trip.

On again to Crieff, where we were guided around the Famous Grouse Whiskey Experience.
Although we spent most of the day sitting on a bus, it was good to be able to relax at the hotel before marching forth once more in search of supper. Friday evening is not the easiest time for 10 people to get a table, but we managed it, and reidar and i enjoyed our fish and chips at the Beehive Tavern, another very old pub.

Our Highland Fling


We went on a long weekend trip to Edinburgh with Reidar's amateur theatre group - 40 of us in all. On the first day we were turned loose to explore the city by ourselves. We had Sissel Sjølaas with us. We strolled down from the castle along the famous Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, past more kilt-shops and pubs than you can shake a stick at. We stopped at the Tollbooth Tavern for lunch. The bar was dark and reeked of sour old beer, but the dining room was brighter and the food good. It's been a tavern since 1820.

We also stopped at a second-hand bookshop which sold childrens' books and comics, some of which were even older than me! We didn't buy anything (steep prices ) but it was fun to look.
We decided to save Holyrood Palace for Saturday, and instead, tired and footsore, got onto an open-topped tourist bus, which took us for an hour's tour of the city.
In the evening we all went to the Scotch Whiskey Heritage Centre for dinner. We had a private dining room, which was probably a good thing because Nordbygdarevyen can be an enthusiastic group when they've had a glass of something and feel more at home. We started with potted ham, had lamb rump as the main course, and finished with a chocolate dessert that was so rich that some people were defeated by it. I ate mine - well, it's only good manners....
Another installment soon.