Tuesday 2 August 2011

Land of the midnight sun (1)

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. 
School boat
Part 2 can be found here


  1. Hello Rosemary:
    How wonderful all of this sounds. Your holiday, spent with your son [how fortunate to have family living in Norway], looks from your photographs [so few, alas, sigh!] to have been filled with interest, great fun and very colourful. And how poignant must have been the sound of the lament played on the bagpipes across those northern waters.

    We have not, so far, ever visited Scandinavia but are increasingly tempted by so many places to see, and of course the very dramatic, or so we understand it to be, landscape.

  2. Dear Jane and Lance - it is always nice to hear from you. You are right we are fortunate to have family living in such a lovely environment. When I have sorted myself out, I will post some more pictures, especially for you.

    If you like dramatic scenery then I think that you would enjoy Norway.

  3. Hi, Rosemary - I know your trip will be memorable for the poignant time you were there. Your views of Norway are beautiful, and I like the way you compose photographs. I look at the fifth image, with the sails above the buildings and the water only implied, and think that it would make a fine painting.

  4. Thank you very much Mark - that is a real compliment coming from someone who has such an artistic talent as yourself. I only have a cheap little digital camera and now wish that I had bought myself something better.

  5. What an evocative sound the bagpipes must have made, floating across the water.It is an instrument designed to be heard out of doors. And a lament, so appropriate.

  6. Dear Rosemary - yes it was a heart stopping moment


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