Norway and England
July 12 – August 7, 2023
Several years back we had a series of days here in North Carolina when the highs were in the upper 90s. That was enough to make me want to go to Norway. I looked at cruises, and many of them looked interesting, visinting fjords, sometimes even going above the Arctic Circle, and one even circling around Iceland. But they spent very little time in port, and I knew I wanted to see more in Bergen, especially. I looked at Rick Steves's guidebook, and he told about a trip called “Norway in a Nutshell” that included a train ride across the mountains and a boat ride in a fjord. So I planned to do that some day.
In June of 2019 I took a tour of Denmark and Sweden with the choir from church, and I thought about not flying back with them, but rather staying to tour Norway. But since in a few months I would be going to Italy, I decided to save Norway for another year. Little did I know that a pandemic would delay that plan.
In the meantime my long-time friend Lee Madinger had gone to Gloucester, England, to attend a punk rock festival. When he arrived, he found that it had been canceled because of a player's illness, but the Three Choirs Festival was going on, so he attended that. Probably not too many folks would have been happy with English cathedral music when going for punk rock, I admit. But then he is only one of my really interesting friends. He enjoyed it so much that he has been trying to get some of our mutual friends and me to join him there.
In 1973 I had an amazing vacation in the US. I won't try to explain it here. Several people have suggested I should write a novel based on that trip. Lee, Charlie Tucker, Torrey Curtis, and I experienced different parts of that trip together. Torrey's and Charlie's parents were involved, too. I had been hoping that this year the four of us could get together to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of that trip.
All those things came together in the trip described on these web pages.
So on July 12 I flew overnight from Charlotte to London to Oslo and began that journey.