We have just returned from holidaying in Norway. We love visiting, it is the home of our eldest son and his family, and it is a stunningly beautiful country.
Our arrival in Stavanger coincided with the 2011 Tall Ships Race. 70 vessels were taking part, and it made for an impressive show in the harbour.
There was a carnival atmosphere around the quay with food and drink stalls, crafts, sea-shanty singing, and dancing.
We had lunch on one of the larger ships, courtesy of the company our son works for. It was a special and memorable occasion.
Juxtapose these scenes, on a little hill overlooking the quay, is the ancient Domkirken (Cathedral). Constructed in 1100, it is the oldest Cathedral in Norway. The building was surrounded by bunches of flowers, twinkling candles and Norwegian flags. A quiet procession was filing into the church to sign the Books of Remembrance.As with other atrocities around the world, the Norwegian people have a positivity, and are standing by their way of life and what they believe in. Life goes forward.
After 4 days rest, and a change of crew, the ships sailed away - destination Sweden.
Our son's old school in Scotland had a boat in the race. As they left, a pupil, standing in the bow of the vessel played a lament on some bagpipes. The melancholy sound drifted across the waves, making a fitting departure.
Part 2 can be found here