Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Norwegian Connection!

Location! Location! Location!

"They" say location matters in real estate purchases, and may be the only thing that matters.

We are hear to emphatically state that location location location is central to our travel story.

We are a tour, a small 4-person tour, but a tour nonetheless. And following the saga heritage of Norway, we begin with our connections, our story and our thoughts.

  • Vikki is from South Dakota, USA.  In late January she was to be found visiting Beth in Phoenix.  By early February Vikki was in Florida taking a photography class with her expensive camera. Vikki claims Norwegian on her mother’s side and has relatives in Voss and probably other places.  She leads the Sons of Norway organization in Watertown, South Dakota. Becky and Inger have been friends since college. They have continued to visit and stay in close touch over the MANY years. Beth and Vikki have traveled together.
  • Beth is from all over, having lived in Taiwan and Washington DC and other compass points. During northern hemisphere winters Beth is in sunny Arizona, USA.  Planes take her back and forth to Seattle for business.  As I write this, Beth is on a plane. Poor Beth cannot claim any Norwegian heritage unless her 1/2 Norwegian, second generation husband counts. However she is a recent widow. Beth and Vikki have been friends since the 70's when they both worked in DC. Beth and Becky worked together in Bellevue in the late 90's and became life long friends, "llf's". 
  • Inger lives in Norway with husband Birger.  Inger and Birger are recently retired from healthcare and education professions, but are very active in community affairs, as well as with children and grandchildren.  As good Vikings, they love to travel. in February she has escaped the cold of Norway and is in the sun-filled Canary Islands. Inger will be our tour guide in July.  Inger has also been generous with her time in helping us to plan the trip. Inger, Birger and Vikki have traveled together.
  • Birger, Inger's husband, is surviving the cold Norway winter in their village of Alesund. He heads for Iceland later in the Spring. He tells us about this and more in his email of early Feb.
  • Becky is knitting in Lakewood and roasting a chicken for her family. She probably has some Norwegian blood. She is brave, resilient, full of adventure, and brilliant. Becky is also a recent widow. Beth and Becky have traveled together. 

Here is Birger's email

After arriving Ålesund
, Hurtigruten will stay  for abot 1 hour, before leaving for Geiranger. Geiranger is Thee Fjord of  Norway. On your way you are passing our house at approximately 10.45.   Look at port side and you`ll see the area our home are situated. Ålesund is a beautiful and special town.
In 1904 Ålesund was the fastest growing town in Norway.  10.0000 people lived in the town. All houses were wooden houses.  At middle of the night of  23. th of January, a fire broke out in the western part of the town. The wind from west that night was heavy, full storm up to hurricane! Within 16 hours (02.15 – 17.00 ) the entire town burnt down. 10.0000 people had to live their homs in a hurry that winternight. Only one person perished. 800 houses burnt down.  Even New York Time mentioned  this accident from the far avay (and small country) of Norway. 600new  houses were built the next 3 years !. The houses still are alive. 
Every year we “celebrate this fire. Out of this fire , tragic as it was, there grew up a new town built on bricks and stone.  600 houses, all of them in the same arcitectural style , Art Nuevou/  Jugend style.  Now our town has grown. Some of the houses has disappeared, new buildings have rosen, but still Ålesund have the largest amount of Art Nuevou buildings in the world . If you have time, go ashore and look at the 110 years old houses i one of the most beautiful towns in Norway.