Thirty-sixth Lighthouse Expedition

July 9-26, 2000
Norway with the United States Lighthouse Society

July 8, 2000, Saturday

6:50 am
Left home.
7:35 am
Arrived at US Park where we left our car.
7:45 am
Arrived at Metro Airport. Chaos would be a good word. The baggage conveyor belts were not working. Lines at ticket counters were long and confusing. After we got our e-ticket we went to the counter to check in our luggage. Fortunately the lady at the counter suggested we take the luggage and leave it nearer to where the belts were working. We left it there reluctantly, wondering when we would see it again. We went right from there to the gate and boarded the plane immediately.
9:00 am
Plane took off.
9:00 am (CDST)
We arrived in Chicago. We went to baggage claim and Diana's suitcase was there (by some miracle) but Don's was not. The people in Chicago were very helpful. They told us Don's bag would be sent on the 12:30 flight and since our flight to Newark was at 2:30 there should be no problem. When we got to the counter to check in, we were informed that our flight had been changed to 1:30! Why are planes leaving on time and early just when we needed them NOT to?
10:40 am
An early lunch at McDonald's at Chicago O'Hare airport. Don went back to the Northwest terminal and found out the 12:30 plane from Detroit had been canceled. The information at that time was the bag would be sent on the next flight and then on to Oslo, eventually.
1:00 pm
We boarded the plane and it was 2:20 before the plane took off.
5:00 pm (EDST)
We arrived in Newark and took the monorail from terminal A to B. That was very convenient.
7:20 pm
We left Newark on SAS. It's a FULL flight. Total miles from Newark to Oslo: 3704. Nice flight and Diana watched the movie "Return to Me."

July 9, 2000, Sunday

8:20 am (Norway Time)
We arrived in Oslo. Don's bag was not there and they speculated it had been sent via Amsterdam. We were met by Martin Hvam, Don's e-mail friend. Martin had contacted Don about 4 years ago after having seen our web-site. They have been corresponding back and forth and exchanging information and lighthouse calendars, books, etc. We had hoped to meet him in Sweden last year but that did not work out. When we notified Martin about the Norway trip, he and his family invited us to come early and spend a few days with them. Before we left the airport Martin gave the baggage claim people his address and they said it would be delivered to his home when it arrived.
9:20 am
We left the Oslo airport which is north of the city and headed south. We enjoyed the ride and the beautiful scenery. It was wonderful to finally meet Martin and we had non-stop conversation during the trip to his home.
12:00 Noon
We arrived at Martin's home in Stavern. We were warmly greeted by his wife, Ragnhild, and daughters, Elisabeth (age 17) and Anne Helene (age 11). We had lunch on the terrace overlooking the Stavern harbor. Their home is up on the hill and the view from there is truly wonderful. Martin suggested a brief nap since we had lost a night's sleep.
3:20 pm
We walked through town to the harbor and Martin's friend and neighbor, Arne Kopstad, took us out on his boat to see the local lighthouses.
3:45 pm
Arrived at the Stavernsodden Lighthouse and took pictures from the boat. It is a white house with small tower. This is the one the Hvam's can see from their terrace.
4:00 pm
The Svenner Lighthouse is nearby. It is made of cast iron and painted red. We had hoped to go into it, but there was no place to dock. This is a very popular place on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Arne took us all around the lighthouse in the boat for a variety of photo opportunities.
4:30 pm
We headed back to Stavern via a different route.
4:45 pm
We stopped in a beautiful cove for cookies and drinks (coffee and sodas). I looked at my watch and realized it was 10:45 am at home!
5:05 pm
After enjoying the beautiful scenery and our brief stop, we went back to Stavern Harbor and walked through town to Martin's home. Arne had given Martin a US flag to fly from the top of the house so it is easy to spot the house from the harbor. What a nice and thoughtful gesture.
7:30 pm
We had a wonderful dinner. Martin grilled salmon, one of our favorites.
8:30 pm
Diana crashed.
10:30 pm
Don finally gave in.

July 10, 2000 Monday

9:30 am
Up and breakfast.
12:30 pm
We left Stavern with Martin and Ragnhild and began a tour of the area. We went to the neighboring town of Larvik and saw the clinic where Martin works, and also saw Elisabeth's school. We drove through the back roads and saw beautiful countryside on the way to Tønsberg. We went to the Marinemusseet (Museum) in Horten. They had many wonderful ship models and all kinds of military displays up to the present time. Outside next to the museum was a submarine which we were able to tour. We went back to Tønsberg for a late lunch at the Shipwreck Restaurant on the wharf. They took us to the library where we could look through the windows of the building and see the archaelogical dig of the old town walls. We stopped at the Telenor Maritime Tjøme Radio station. Even though Martin's friend who works there was not on duty, Eva Sofher and Bjorn Amundsen showed us around. From this station they can contact ships all over the world.
6:45 pm
We arrived at Verdens Ende and saw the replica of an original coal burning basket light. Verdens Ende means "lands end" or "end of the world." It was sprinkling but we walked from the parking lot to the light and quickly got pictures. Martin and Ragnhild bought us a certificate which states: "This document certifies that the above mentioned persons have visited "Worlds End" in the township of Tjøme." A nice souvenir. After a stop for groceries, we went back to Stavern and had dinner about 10:00 pm.

July 11, 2000, Tuesday

After breakfast, Anne Helene and Elisabeth took us on a walking tour of Stavern. We did a little shopping and Anne Helene and Elisabeth bought each of us a drinking glass with maritime decorations (including a lighthouse). They match the little tray which we bought. They took us to see the beautiful Stavern Kirke (church) built in 1756. We were able to go inside and see the beautiful altar. From there we went to the military base. One of the buildings held a maritime and shipwreck display which we enjoyed seeing. Martin joined us and we went to the marina to see his sailboat. When we returned to the house, Don's suitcase had arrived - YEA! Martin had spent lots of time on the phone trying to track it down for us the past couple of days. We were relieved it arrived before we left Stavern. We walked about 10 minutes up over the hill to Martin's parents home. Martin Sr. and Helene, his wife, made us feel very welcome and had a wonderful lunch for us. They also have a spectacular view and can see the Svenner Lighthouse from their front window. The elder Hvams had lived in New Jersey when Martin was born and returned to Norway when he was twelve. They have many relatives in the US in New Jersey and Minnesota. That evening we went out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Langesund which was south of Stavern. Afterwards, we went to the beach at Mølen. It's a huge rock beach with large round colorful stones. After we returned home, and since Don's suitcase had arrived, we were able to give the Hvam family the gifts we had brought for them. Ragnhild surprised Diana with a pretty slate pendant. The slate is found in the local area and is sent to Italy where it is sliced and polished and used in buildings all over the world.

July 12, 2000, Wednesday

After breakfast we took Arne a little gift as a thank you for taking us out on his boat on Sunday. We met his wife, Laila, and they gave us a tour of their beautiful gardens and home. They have several terraces and all have wonderful views of Stavern, the sea and the lighthouses. From there we climbed up on the highest point in Stavern and had a 360 degree panoramic view! On top of the hill was an old navigational signal. We took several pictures from this spot. We went back to the Hvams to finish packing and said our farewells to Ragnhild, Elisabeth and Anne Helene. Even though we had just met, we felt so warmly received and their hospitality was wonderful. The girls are delightful and we were impressed with their English skills. Children start English in the third grade in Norway. Funny how we Americans expect everyone else to converse with us in our language! Before leaving Stavern, Martin took us to the Seaman's Memorial. It's a pyramid shaped building which can be seen from most parts of town. It was built to recognize the Norwegian seaman who lost their lives in World War I. At the end of World War II it was decided that the Hall should be a memorial to all Norwegian seamen who had sacrificed their lives for Norway. There are 4,696 names listed in the memorial books.
2:15 pm
Left Stavern and Martin drove us to our hotel, the Rainbow Europa in Oslo.
4:30 pm
Checked in at the hotel. Some of the tour members were delayed in London and didn't arrive at the hotel until 6:30. It was great seeing the other 11 people who were on the Sweden trip with us last year and the 4 others who were on the Ireland trip in 1995. We all had dinner together in the hotel dining room. While we had adjusted to the time change, the others who had just arrived were a bit sleepy.

On the tour with us were: Chuck & Shirley Alderman of Tampa, FL; John Armacost of Marysville, OH, Truman & Elizabeth Bassett of Trumbull, CT; Karl & Nancy Brekke of Fon du Lac, WI; Cheryl Debelak of Cheboygan, MI; Carol Dickerson of Jupiper, FL; George & Bridget Doerner of Arlington Heights, IL; E. Fraser of Ocean City, NJ; Barbara German of Covina, CA; Betty Gohman of Cedar Hill, TX; Dorothy Jarczynski of Clinton Twp., MI; Harold & Maryann Jenkins of Sacramento, CA; Joe Jenkins of Charlottesville, VA; Art & Carolyn Krenz of Middlefield, CT; Dom & Carol Maglieri of Williamsburg, VA; Mike & Norma McKinley of Brooksville, FL; Helen Martin of Fair Oaks, CA; Laurel Martin of Pasadena, CA; Dave & Sallie Raube of Ceres, CA; Shirley Reeve of Rochester Hills, MI; Kornel & Janet Schorle' of Laguna Hills, CA; Dave Snyder of San Francisco, CA; Joe & Nina Steg of Indian Rocks Beach, FL; Steve & Sue Valder of West Columbia, SC; Paul & Jean VanNostrand of Tallahassee, FL; Bob & Betty Wilder of Kent, WA; and Nancy Younger of El Cajon, CA.

July 13, 2000 Thursday

9:05 am
We left the Rainbow Hotel Europa in Oslo for a 5 hour city tour. Our guide for the entire trip was Trude Brastad who began teaching in January and is a tour guide in the summers. Our bus driver for the trip was Audun Aga. We met our city tour guide, Analisa, who was with us for the day. As we drove through the city, Analisa gave us lots of history and details about the city where one-half million people live. We drove past many of the government buildings and the palace. She told us about living in Oslo and reminded us that while summer days are very long (sunrise about 4:00 am and sunset at 11:00 pm) the winter days are very short (sunrise at 9:30 am and sunset at 3:00 pm).
9:45 am
Our first stop was the Vigeland Sculpture Park with the works of Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943). The 192 sculptures with more than 600 figures of bronze and granite depict the circle of life and family life. The first half of the park is the bronze statues and on the other side of a bridge are the granite statues. The focal point is the monolith with 121 figures intertwined and was carved out of one block of stone weighing 180 tons. Fortunately Analisa was able to explain the meaning of many of the sculptures. Diana also bought a souvenir book. This park is large and beautiful and an amazing gift which Oslo can share with their visitors. One hour was not enough time to fully take in the wonderful park with the sculptures and beautiful gardens.
10:40 am
We left the park and drove up into the mountains just outside of Oslo. It was a winding road with wonderful views of the city and the countryside.
11:15 am
We arrived at the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. This was the ski jump used in the 1994 Winter Olympic games which were held in Norway. The jump overlooks the city and the Oslo Fjord below.
11:40 am
We left and drove back down the mountain.
12:00 Noon
The Viking Ship Museum was our next stop. The building houses huge Viking ships which have been restored. We were surprised to learn that they had been burial ships. They were moved ashore and loaded with all the possessions the dead person would need in the next life. They were then buried under dirt and rock. The ones we saw had been excavated and then restored.
12:50 pm
We left and had a short drive to the Fram Polar Ship Museum. We learned about the explorer, Roland Amundsen, who was the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911, and his attempts to reach the North Pole in the early 1920's. There were many displays showing the routes and hardships endured on his adventures.
1:50 pm
We left the museum and arrived back at the hotel at 2:10 pm. After a quick trip to the room we met Dave Snyder, our leader from the US Lighthouse Society, and his sister Cheryl Debelak from Michigan. We walked the streets, had lunch, did a little shopping and visited the Oslo Cathedral. We met Metta, the person from Eaton Tours who made all of our arrangements in Norway. She was able to give us directions to a few places. We returned to the hotel at 5:45.
6:30 pm
The bus took us south of Oslo to the Quality Inn Hotel in Leangkollen in the suburb of Asker for a wonderful dinner. We had a beautiful dining room all to ourselves. The tables looked lovely with candles and fresh flowers. We soon found out this is a very common tradition in Norway. We had reindeer meat for our main course which was very good. After dinner we were able to walk out on the terrace. We arrived back at our hotel in Oslo at 10:30.

July 14, 2000, Friday

9:35 am
The bus left the hotel and our first stop was the Maritime Museum. We saw a wonderful movie on a wide screen showing the coastline of Norway. Then we were given a guided tour of the museum showing various types of Norwegian shipping and boating. We left there and the bus dropped us off at the Art Museum. We saw vaious paintings including the famous "Scream" by Edvard Munch.
1:30 pm
We arrived at the Palace to see the changing of the Guard. This was not a good day for the guards to show off. One guard dropped his bayonet and another his epaulette! From there we walked to the waterfront. The area looks quite nice and we saw some interesting boats and ships. We had hot dogs and ice cream for lunch and then walked back to the hotel about 4:00.
6:30 pm
We walked to the Pasta Factory for dinner. Not a very good meal. We walked back to the main street and enjoyed people watching. We returned to the hotel early.

July 15, 2000, Saturday

8:35 am
The bus left Oslo and we headed south to begin our Lighthouse Tour.
10:00 am
We stopped in the town of Tønsberg for a break. We walked around and found an open air market which was just setting up. Don found a used comic book store and bought a couple for our son, David, an avid comic book collector. This was the town Martin & Ragnhild had brought us to on Monday for lunch.
10:55 am
We're on our way again.
11:50 am
We stopped at a roadside cafe. Food is very expensive in Norway and our lunch of two baked potatoes with chicken chilli and drinks came to $20.00. We left about an hour later.
2:25 pm
We took the ferry from Gjering to the island of Lyngør to see the Lyngør Lighthouse . We were met by the lighthouse keeper, Mr. Thoresen, who told us about the lighthouse: [He alternates with another keeper - 12 days on and 16 days off. There are twenty lights remaining in Norway with lighthouse keepers. The keepers maintain the light and the aids to navigation in the area. There are three dwellings and the house attached to the light is rented out to men in the keepers service for vacations. The light opened in 1879 and is 16.9 meters high.] There were several smaller boats that took us in small groups to one of the other islands that make up the town of Lyngør. We bought some ice cream. (We're looking for our favorite ice cream bar in Norway.) We walked a little way from the dock area on a path which led us to an overlook of the town and the water ways.
5:10 pm
A large ferry picked us up to take us to Risør. We had sunny skies and calm seas for our 1 1/2 hour beautiful ride.
6:05 pm
As we approached the harbor at Risør there was a restaurant on the rocks which resembled a lighthouse. Sure enough it was the Stangholmen Lighthouse which was built in 1855, but no longer used as a lighthouse. It is now a restaurant, and Don jokingly calls it the "pizza light."
6:30 pm
We arrived at the dock and the Risør Hotel was right there on the waterfront. Audun was there with the bus and our luggage. The hotel is located on several levels on a hill. Getting our luggage to our room was quite a challenge.
7:15 pm
Dinner at the hotel was good. Afterwards we walked around the seaside town of Risør. All the shops were closed but we enjoyed seeing the boats in the marina and it was a beautiful evening. When we returned to the room about 11:00 the band was still playing in the outside bar. When they stopped at 2:00 am the band in the basement could still be heard. They played until 3:30 am. Guess you can't expect much different in a resort town on a Saturday night.

July 16, 2000, Sunday

9:10 am
We left the hotel in Risør and continued south along the coast. We saw some beautiful countryside.
10:05 am
The little seaside town of Grimstad was our first stop. Everything was closed because it was Sunday. We left about 45 minutes later.
11:10 am
Our next stop was the town of Lillesand. We found a little bakery open. We could see the Saltholmen Lighthouse way out in the water ... too far away for a picture.
11:55 am
We arrived in the city of Kristiansand. (This is Ragnhild Hvam's home town.) The bus parked near the harbor and we walked into town for a quick lunch.
1:00 pm
We boarded a nice boat to take us out into the Kristiansand Harbor.
1:20 pm
We passed the Odderøya Lighthouse from a distance.
2:00 pm
We docked at the Oksøy Lighthouse . The keeper, Kjell Hanson, was there to greet us and gave us a brief history: [This is one of the tallest lights in Norway and on a clear day it can be seen from Denmark! It's painted white with 2 red stripes. The original tower was built in 1832 and the base of the ruins is still visible. The current tower was erected in 1900. He and another keeper alternate being on the island 3 weeks at a time. This time we were told there are 31 manned stations in Norway. So somewhere between 20 and 31 should be correct. One of their duties here is to report the weather to Oslo eight times a day. He told us the Norweigian keepers have never had uniforms.] Don climbed down on the rocks to take pictures. He is one of a few "rock climbers" in the group. Diana checks on him every once in awhile to make sure he hasn't gone off a cliff! We climbed the tower and enjoyed the view from the top. The lens is a first order clam shell with 4 bullseyes. On the way back down the tower, Cheryl found an old log book which had the weather reports from the year we were born. With all three of us being born the same year in March, April and May we checked the weather on our birthdates. Diana's was cloudy, Don's was sunny and Cheryl's partly sunny. Don thought that was pretty neat that HE was the sunny one.
3:00 pm
The boat left the dock and took us out into the water to view the light from the point.
3:10 pm
Nearby was the Grønningen Lighthouse . This was just a photo op. It's a white house with a red lantern room.
3:45 pm
We got closer to the Odderøya Lighthouse for pictures. There have been several lighthouses on this site. The one we saw was built in 1832.
3:55 pm
We arrived back in Kristiansand and took the bus to the Scandic Hotel.
6:30 pm
Dinner was at the hotel. Afterwards we walked around town. We saw some postcards with pretty fountains on them and we asked the sales person where we could see them. She told us which direction to start walking and we found them down by the marina. There were several modern water fountains and beautiful rose gardens. We stopped for icecream (we're still looking) and bought a few snacks before heading back to the hotel.

July 17, 2000, Monday

8:50 am
We left the Scandic Hotel in Kristiansand.
9:35 am
We stopped in Mandal for a short break. This is the town where Trude's sister lives. Trude's niece joined us for the rest of the day. Mandal is the town where the scuplturer, Vigeland, was born. We only had a short time but we found a store open and bought our grandson, Hayden, a little wooden lighthouse toy. We have to get them started early, you know. We probably could have bought a dozen and would have had no problem selling them to the other grandparents on the bus.
10:55 am
Arrived at the Lindesnes Lighthouse . Mr. Therivan Hansen from the tourist association and Mr. Kjell Olsen, the lighthouse keeper, were our guides and provided the following information: [The present tower was built in 1918. The foundation from the previous light tower is still visible. The 1854 first order lens with 6 bullseyes is still being used. The light here and the nearby Markøy Lighthouse were the first lights visible to ships coming from the North Sea. If the ships saw 2 lights they were approaching Norway. If they saw only one light, it was Denmark. During WW II, the Germans built many bunkers on the hill near the lighthouse to watch for ships. Three hundred Germans and prisoners were in the area in 1940 and 41. (The Germans occupied many of the light stations in Norway during the war.) This light is also a weather station and reports are sent to Bergen every 3 hours. Even though the light is on a high cliff there have been times when big storms have sent waves crashing over the tower. The keepers are responsible for this light and 12 navagational aids in the area. The fog horn was put here in 1920. At one time there were 4 families. The present keeper alternates with one other keeper - 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off. Kjell told us about the ghost, Mr. Molback, who lives here. He drowned and his wooden leg washed ashore. He doesn't like it when they show people his wooden leg. His job is to take care of the glass in the tower from the outside. (speaking of "pulling legs"!) About 60,000 people visit here each year.] This location is beautiful with the light high on the rocks. There are lots of steps from the parking lot to the tower but the view is worth the effort.
12:10 pm
We left the Lindesnes Lighthouse and took a very winding road with beautiful scenery. We started to cross a bridge over the Lene Fjord and convinced Audun we needed to stop for pictures.
1:15 pm
The bus broke down because of something to do with the electrical system. Since we were blocking the highway with curves in the road on either side of the bus, Dave, Hal Jenkins, Laurel Martin and eventually Trude and George Doerner began directing traffic, letting one lane of cars pass at a time. The police didn't show up for over an hour to help. When they got there, they decided we were handling the situation just fine. A man on a motorcycle showed up and he too was a tour bus driver. He helped Audun check several things and they made phone calls to get another bus for us so we could continue on our way and find some help for the bus. The local newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to take pictures and an article appeared in the paper the next day. Trude was able to make copies (and did a translation) for all of us as souvenirs. The headline said "Clever Americans took control over the traffic on Highway 43." We found out later that a major cable line had been cut and all cell phone and regular phone communications had been stopped for many hours. If our break down had happened just a little later, it would have been a much longer time before we would have had help. Another bus showed up at 2:45 and we were on our way.
3:15 pm
We arrived in Farsund and had a few minutes to catch a quick snack as our lunch. We picked up our guide, the Town Crier of Farsund. Even though it was a warm day, she was dressed in her uniform with a red WOOL dress and dark gray WOOL coat and hat. She carried a stick called a truncheon with a ball on top with 13 silver spikes. She carried keys to all the important buildings in town. She stopped the bus several times to give us important information about the town and her duties. She pointed out the Katland Lighthouse out in the water, too far away for a picture.
4:05 pm
After driving through the town of Borhaug, we finally reached the Lista Lighthouse . Between 1853 and 1873 there have been three towers at this location, one of the most dangerous coastal stretches in Norway. The tower is brown brick with a red lantern room. We were able to climb the 137 steps to the top where Diana met Pam & Richard Hess from Kansas City, MO. They were traveling with his parents, Ruth and Harry Hess, from Phoenix, AZ and were in Norway visiting relatives, Harold and Sidsel Tonnessen, from Lyngdal. Diana introduced them to Dave on the way back down the tower as they are also great lighthouse enthusiasts and are interested in joining the Society. We found Nancy Younger (as Pam is a Harbor Lights collector, too) and introduced them. Pam was very excited about finding our group on her trip and meeting Dave and Nancy.
5:00 pm
The bus left and we stopped at a nearby beach to collect sand, shells and stones. We were on our way by 5:30.
7:20 pm
We arrived at the First Maritim Hotel in Flekkefjord.
7:30 pm
Dinner was at the hotel. Afterwards, we walked around town. There is a "Dutch" settlement here with beautifully restored buildings. We found the Grand Hotel with the "Irishman Pub and Bar." We found that quite interesting - the Irishman Pub in the Dutch Settlement area of Flekkefjord, Norway! We took some pictures of the pretty buildings. The repaired bus with the luggage arrived about 9:45 and we helped unload the bus and deliver a few pieces of luggage to rooms. Audun explained that it was the alternator that had caused the problems and now the bus had a new one. It was such a nice evening, we walked back across the bridge and sat at a picnic table. Dave and Cheryl joined us and we chatted until 11:00 - it still wasn't dark. (The band at this hotel played until 1:00 am)

July 18, 2000, Tuesday

8:00 am
The bus left the First Maritim Hotel in Flekkefjord. There were several photo stops along our winding mountain road trip. At a lake the water was so still the reflections of the mountains in the water was incredible. We were also amazed at two little 18th century cottages situated under a mountain overhang.
9:20 am
We stopped at the top of a mountain for another photo stop. The kiosk opened shortly before we were ready to leave. The ride continued through beautiful mountains and fjords.
10:25 am
We were warned that our next lighthouse was going to require a long hike and those who didn't want to attempt it would be dropped off in Egersund and we would return to pick them up.
10:40 am
We arrived at the parking area for the Egerøy Lighthouse. Actually the bus couldn't make it all the way to the regular parking area, so the bus parked near a farm house and we began our walk a little sooner than we planned. We knew it was a long walk to the lighthouse (they said about 2.4 kilometers) but as we began we were not prepared for what was ahead of us. We saw lots of sheep along the way and the evidence was EVERYWHERE. The path was up hill and we passed through about 7 gates. With every curve in the path we rounded we were just sure we'd be near the lighthouse. Finally we came to a high rock cliff with a little pavilion on top. and we could spot the lighthouse. However, to get to it we needed to climb down the rock cliff and cross a bog valley below. From there we had to climb up more rocks to get to the keepers quarters and then take the last path to the light. As Diana descended down the rocks she began to think perhaps she should stay there with the others who chose to view the lighthouse from a distance. With the help of Art & Dave, Diana and Mary Ann kept going. (Don is long gone at this point and already photographing the lighthouse. He's usually one of the first ones at each light.) Fortunately there were red circles painted on the rocks and posts to guide us across the rock filled bog valley or we might never have made it.
11:45
Diana finally reached the Egerøy Lighthouse ! Of the over 400 lighthouses we have visited, this was by far the most difficult and challenging to reach on foot. Our guide, Idar Runde, was there to meet us and gave us some history: [He was in the Lighthouse Service for 46 1/2 years and was keeper at this light from 1952 to 1968. He retired in 1994. This light was built out of cast iron which was brought in single plates and put together at the site. It is 32.9 meters tall. The lens is a first order and was first lit in 1854.]
12:00 Noon
Diana climbed the 145 steps and reached the top of the tower. The lens has 3 bullseyes and is half a hexagon. The view from the top was incredible. We were amazed to look back over the terrain and see what we had crossed to get to this lighthouse. Not only did Don make it to the lighthouse over the rocky path (that term is used lightly) he also climbed the rocks beyond the light tower to photograph it. We made our way back to the bus and it didn't take us quite as long. We were told that it was more like 3.4 kilometers (over two miles each way.)
1:30 pm
The bus left and we returned to Egersund to buy lunch in a grocery store to take with us and to pick up the people we had left behind. We left at 2:25.
2:55 pm
We arrived at the Kvassheim Lighthouse . This was just a photo stop. One family lives at this station. It has a 4th order lens and was built in 1912. It was very windy and the photographers were eager to get back on the bus. We left at 3:05.
3:30 pm
We arrived at the Obrestad Lighthouse . Our guide here was Liv Karin Vestbø who told us about this light: [It was built in 1873. The keepers house is made of stone. It was automated after WW II. The Germans built a taller tower and after the war a lantern room was added to the top for the lens of the lighthouse. It has a rotating flash intensifier and is one white flash every 3 seconds. The Germans had placed bunkers, canons and mines on the property. There were pictures all over the building showing the life of the keepers and their families. The museum is run by the county council and is rented from the "coast guard." The museum is open in July.] In the basement there were other displays showing life saving techniques. Paintings by a German soldier made during WW II have been preserved on the walls. We climbed the 43 steps to the top of the tower. It was very windy there as well. We left at 4:25.
4:30 pm
Close by was the Hå Art Gallery with some very unusual displays. We left there at 5:20.
5:35 pm
We spotted the Feistein Lighthouse on an island off shore in the distance. It was built in 1859, is 25 meters high and has a 2nd order lens. It has accommodations for overnight guests. This was a photo stop only, but was really too far away to get a very good photo.
6:20 pm
We arrived in the town of Stavanger at the Comfort Inn Hotel Grand, where we were to stay for 3 nights.
8:00 pm
Dinner at the hotel. Afterwards we played cards with Dave and Cheryl (Michigan rummy). Don won. No money, just the satisfaction.

July 19, 2000, Wednesday

9:30 am
We got to sleep in a little today. We left the hotel and walked to a boat at the dock in Stavanger Harbor called the Rygerskyss.
9:45 am
The boat arrived at the Tungenes Lighthouse . Our guide, May Hodne Kalvå, said, "I understand you are REALLY interested in lighthouses." (Now that was an understatement.) She gave us the following information: [The lighthouse is located at the tip of the mainland north of Stavanger. The coast here is very rugged. The waters around here were abundant with herring with January and February being the busiest months. The first light here was in a large house built on this sight with the illumination being candles in an upstairs window. In 1862 the government built a light tower. The lens size has changed 3 times and it is now a 4th order (since 1970.) The local government took over and built a keepers dwelling in 1939 for one family. In 1957 a duplex was built for 2 more families so the light was maintained in three shifts. The last keeper was here from 1965-1984. No road was built to the tip of the peninsula until 1931.] The light itself was different from any other we've seen. May was very helpful in explaining how the light operates with the use of a chart on the tower wall and by turning on the light. The light characteristics were created by red panels on the lens and also on the windows of the latern room. Moveable louvers created the flashing effect. It all seemed very complicated to us, but apparently was very effective. The Germans covered the lantern room with dark curtains during WW II.
11:55 am
The boat left. We crossed the Kvitsøy fjord and the water was rough. We could see the Fjøløy Lighthouse from the boat but it was not close enough for a picture.
11:35 am
We arrived at the Geitungen Lighthouse . Our guide was Svein G. Saudre, who gave us some history: [The style of this tower is Spanish looking. The light has red and green panels on both the lens and the lantern room. The electricity came after WW II and the light was automated in 1987. The last keeper left in 1994. The sight was for 2 families, however children lived on the mainland to go to school. The light is on the island of Geitebryggå and replaced a smaller light which was in the harbor of Skudeneshavn. The Kystverket (coast guard) maintains the light but doesn't care about the building. The town would like to fix up the building for the tourists and hopes to purchase it this fall. During WW II the Germans took over the town and the light. One Norwegian man was able to get news from a radio he had hidden and keep the town informed of what was happening in the War. He was never captured.]
12:20 pm
The boat left and we crossed the bay.
12:40 pm
We arrived at the dock in the village of Skudeneshavn. This is at the southern tip of the peninsula down from Haugesund and connected to the mainland by bridges. We divided into two groups for a walking tour of the village. Our guide was Cecilia. She pointed out several building and gave us a history of the village: [The architecture is of a classic Norwegian village. The village buildings are protected by law for preservation. The town prospered because of the herring fishing. Eighty percent of the houses are occupied by people living here year round. It won the award for being the number two best-preserved city in Norway. It didn't make number one because of a modern looking bridge.] We walked around and saw the old narrow streets and homes and a pretty park tucked in among the rocks. We climbed up a cliff to look out over the village and harbor. We saw one home which was moved from Lativia to this town by boat in 1830. Ole Christian Hansen built a fog horn factory here. At the original building, which is now a restaurant and craft shop, the waitress demonstrated one of his wind up fog horns.
1:30 pm
The tour was over and we were free to shop and buy lunch. We went to an upstairs cafe and had hamburgers. The owner was a little overwhelmed with all the customers. We enjoyed our visit to this quaint little village.
3:25 pm
We left Skudeneshavn. As we left the harbor, we were able to photograph the old Vikaholmen Lighthouse from the boat.
3:55 pm
We docked at the island of Kvitsøy. The mayor, Leif Ydstebø, greeted us and gave us a short talk: [The area of Kvitsøy is made up of 365 islands, four of which are connected to the mainland by bridges. About 500 people live on four of the islands and in the summer it increases to 1000. There are ferries eight times a day to the mainland. There is a school on the island from kindergarten to 10th grade, and then the students go to high school in Stavanger. Their winters are light, not much snow, but it is wet and rainy.] He took us on a short walk to the Kvitsøy Lighthouse . [There has been a lighthouse in this area since 1700; the first one being a fire basket. A tower was built in 1800. The present 27 meter tower was built in 1855 and automated in 1968.] This is a white square tower with a red lantern room and has a lens with 4 bulls eyes on 4 sides of a hexagon. It's a 2nd order fixed light.
5:00 pm
We left the islands of Kvitsøy by boat and arrived back in Stavanger at 5:35.
6:00 pm
Dinner was in the hotel and afterwards we took a walk with Dave, Cheryl and Fraser. When we got back to the hotel, we showed Dave & Cheryl how to play the card game, TIC; Cheryl won. Then Dave and Diana beat Cheryl and Don at cribbage!

July 20, 2000, Thursday

Andrea & Duffy's Fourth Anniversary (our daughter and son-in-law)

9:40 am
Another late morning! We left the hotel and walked to the boat dock and met our vessel, the Skrogets Hovedmål. This old wooden boat was built in 1939 and has the original engine. Both have been restored but the engine sure made a lot of noise as we chugged along. We had a harbor tour and then docked at the Engøyholmen (The Maritime Heritage Center.) Curtis Andersen was our guide, and he gave us the following information: [The quay side warehouses date back to the 1840's and are being used to restore old wooden boats. Curtis is a Norwegian whose father was working in the oil industry when he was born in Pakistan. He lived in Oklahoma until age 5, when his family returned to Norway.] We were able to tour the workshop and see boats in the process of being restored.
11:45 am
They served us fish soup and rolls on the top floor of the warehouse. The tables were wooden with benches and along with the beams in the ceiling there was a charming rustic atmosphere.
12:45 pm
The boat took us back to Stvanger to the hotel.
2:00 pm
We were taken on a guided tour of the Stavanger Maritime Museum. Our guide was Anne Tove Austbø. She gave us a brief history: [The museum was created to show the importance of the sea and its products as the economic basis for the community of Stavanger - herring, then ship building, canning of sardines, cruise ship building, oil rigs and finally tank ships for oil. The museum was started in 1926 to show the culture of ship building.] The museum was built in the old wooden buildings on the wharf and it was very interesting.
3:00 pm
We took the bus to the Petroleum Museum and had a self-guided tour. We saw many models of North Sea oil rigs and a brief movie showing the work and life of the men living on them.
3:45 pm
We left and walked around Stavanger, climbed the Watch Tower, did a little shopping, and visited the Stavanger Cathedral. We arrived back at the hotel at 5:45.
7:30 pm
Dinner at the hotel and then cards with Cheryl & Dave. Don won the TIC game.

July 21, 2000, Friday

9:10 am
Our third morning to get a little extra sleep! We got on the bus and while we traveled along, Trude gave us a little history of Norway: [Thousands of years ago, it was made up of many small kingdoms. One of the kings from southern Norway fell in love with a beautiful girl. However, she refused to marry him because he ruled such a small kingdom. He decided if he wanted to win the girl, he would have to conquer some of the other kingdoms. It took him 10 years and he didn't cut his hair during that time. In 872 AD he fought the last battle and became the King of Norway, married the girl and had lots of children. He was known as King Harald Fairhair.]
9:25 am
We arrived at the area called Three Swords in the Mountain. According to Trude: [this is a symbol of Norway becoming one kingdom. When King Harald Fairhair died, one of his sons killed all his brothers and half-brothers because he wanted to become king. However, one brother was in England attending school. Upon his return, he became the king, Håkon the Good. He tried to make pagan Norway a Christian nation, but it was very difficult. When Olaf became king, he decided he would kill anyone who didn't proclaim Christianity. Is this a Christian attitude?] We entered a very long tunnel under the fjord which was 5.8 km long. In order to build the many tunnels, the government levies high tolls to pay for the construction.
10:05 am
We arrived at the Ulstein Monastery. Our guide was Martin, who told us: [This is the only preserved monastery (the other 27 are in ruins) and is considered a national treasure. This monastery was established by the King in 1264 and was necessary for control of the western coast. There were 20 monks who pledged to follow the orders of St. Augustine. They had vows of silence, no physical work and did not bathe (often) as they felt bathing could lead to arrogance. The monastery was abandoned from 1537 to 1665. A noble family bought it and was in control from 1665 to 1933. Now the family operates the farm across the street. There was no glass in most of the windows except for the church. The monks came from Great Britain, France and Denmark. The builders came from Scotland. The cement was made from sea shells which were burned in ovens for 7 days and nights. Then the cement was buried in the ground for 3-7 years to "cure." They filled the walls of the rooms with earth and shaped it to build the curved roof, which took 7 years to complete. Besides spiritual guidance the people came to the monks for medical treatments as the monks grew herbs.] We saw several rooms of the monastery. When we got to the church, Martin turned on the organ and Cheryl played it for us - a woman of many talents, that Cheryl!
11:10 am
We left the monastery and traveled through another long tunnel.
11:35 am
We arrived at the ferry dock.
12:05 pm
The ferry left the dock with the bus on board. We crossed the Boknafjorden (fjord) and arrived on the other side at 12:30.
1:15 pm
We arrived in Haugesund and had lunch. We left at 2:25.
2:40 pm
We arrived at the Medieval Church of Olaf in Avaldsnes. A guide (didn't get the name) provided the information: [Avaldsnes was the center of power for 3000 years. This structure is the third one built at this location from 1250-1270 and was built by King Hakon Hakonsen. The bell tower is not a common type of structure. Originally the church was a Catholic Monastery and then became a Lutheran church after The Reformation. The monastery fell into ruins and the roof fell in. The walls were restored to what they were like in the mid-thirteenth century. The tower was restored in 1929 and the stained glass in 1950.]
3:30 pm
A different guide met us and took us to the Viking Village. It was a cold windy day, and with Diana's cold, she opted to stay on the bus. The village is a living history farm showing the life of the Vikings. The furniture and equipment are made as accurate as possible after archeological finds and information from the Saga literature.
5:10 pm
We left Avaldsnes. Trude knew we were a little disappointed that a lighthouse was not on our agenda for the day. There was one close by but it was located on the private property of the Hydro Aluminum Plant. We decided to drive there anyway and see if they would let us in to view the light.
5:30 pm
We arrived at the gate of the plant. Trude talked to the guard and explained that we were a group of Americans traveling around Norway looking at lighthouses and we REALLY wanted to see the lighthouse on the grounds. He called Arne Larsen at his home. Arne is the Senior Consultant and Asst. Manager of Communications and Public Affairs. He agreed to come and take the bus through the plant to the lighthouse. However, since he was on a ladder painting his house, he suggested we go to the cafeteria at the plant and have some coffee while we waited for him. As it turned out, he too is interested in lighthouses and when he is traveling, never passes one without stopping. He really understood our interest and was pleased to show us around. He was intrigued that we were visiting Norway with lighthouses as our main goal. He said if we had been the U. S. Garden Society, he would have kept painting his house. He gave us a brief description of the Hydro Aluminum Plant and the Høyvarde Lighthouse : [They have 1600 employees working 5 shifts, each 33.6 hr. per week. The original lighthouse was built in 1700 but the current tower was built in 1858. The lighthouse was also the customs house where several families lived and collected the taxes from the ships as they passed by on their way to Bergen. At first candle light was used. In 1902, a more modern light replaced it. It is no longer a working lighthouse but is used as a conference center and to entertain guests. When they refurbished the light and the other buildings around it, they furnished it with turn-of-the century decor. The boat house has been turned into a conference room. When the boathouse doors are open, you can look out onto the water and it provides a nice atmosphere for meetings. The buildings can host 22 guests for dinner and have a total of 8 guest bedrooms.] There are 47 steps to the top of the tower. After everyone had a chance to view all these buildings, Arne took us to a bluff overlooking the lighthouse and the fjord. Dave decided this would be a good spot for a group picture.
7:25 pm
Arrived at the Rica Maritim Hotel in Haugesund. Dinner followed shortly after.

July 22, 2000, Saturday

8:05 am
The bus left the hotel in Haugesund for a day in the mountains and fjords. We had a couple of photo stops along the way in Solheim and Sauda, and then a stop in the mountains for snowball fun.
1:00 pm
We reached Røldal and the Stave Kirke. Our guide was Ingrid Gjorv, and she told us: [This church was built about 1200 and in 1300 an altar room was added. In 1800 a gallery at the rear of the church was completed. In the mid 1850's, during the Puritanism period, everything inside and out was painted white and all the beautiful paintings inside were covered. In 1913, they began the process of removing the white paint and restored the building as much as possible to its original beauty. The crucifix was made in 1250 and was believed to have healing power. There were pilgrimages to this church between 1300 - 1835 and 500 healings are believed to have taken place. In 1836 the church became Lutheran and the pilgrimages stopped. It's the only church in Røldal and services are held every other Sunday.]
1:40 pm
We left and went to the Hordatun Hotel for lunch. We weren't sure they were really prepared for a bus load, but there weren't too many places around that could handle 45 people. The chef, Jim, came out from the kitchen and assured us he could handle the crowd. He suggested three items from the menu and we raised our hands to indicate our choice. Much to our surprise, all of us had our food within one-half hour and we left at 3:00. All along the way today we had beautiful scenery with breath taking views. With each turn in the road, the view was more spectacular than before. We had several long tunnels today, too. It was sunny, warm and the skies were clear. We saw snow, waterfalls, fjords, fresh water lakes, cute summer cottages and beautiful year round homes. We even saw a few minor aids to navigation along the way!
3:45 pm
We saw a beautiful waterfall in the distance and we were delighted to learn we were going to stop there. It was a good photo stop and there was a small souvenir stand that had ice cream. By now we had decided that "The Triple" by Diplom was the best ice-cream bar in Norway. It is vanilla ice-cream, with a thin layer of dark chocolate, then a layer of caramel, then all dipped in heavy milk chocolate. All that on a stick! We left there and our next stop was the Church of Grindheim built in 1728. It was a pretty little wooden church. We weren't able to get inside. We had a short stop in Olen and returned to the hotel in Haugesund at 6:20.
7:30 pm
We had dinner at the hotel and it was a nice leisurely meal.
9:30 pm
We walked with Cheryl and Dave to the Marilyn Monroe statue located on the wharf near the hotel. The statue was placed in Haugesund as it is believed her father's family came from this town. Dave and Don wanted to be photographed with the famous beauty. Afterwards, we walked to the little harbor light on the wharf to take some pictures. We returned to the hotel and played two games of cribbage. Don and Cheryl won a game and Dave and Diana won the other.

July 23, 2000, Sunday

8:35 am
We left the Hotel Rica Maritim in Haugesund.
8:50 am
We arrived at a monument built in 1872 celebrating the 1000 year anniversary of the uniting of the 29 regions of Norway under King Harald Fairhair during the Battle of Hatsfjord. The king's grave is under the monument which is surrounded by 29 pillars, one for each region. On a nearby hill there was a 1000 year old stone cross. The Sørhaugøy Lighthouse was spotted on an island just off shore from the monument and we were able to take photos. We left the monument area at 9:05.
9:30 am
We arrived at the parking lot for the Ryvarden Lighthouse. We waited for our guide and found we could drive the bus a little closer.
9:45 am
We began our hike to the lighthouse. After our last long walk described as a natural path to the Egerøy Lighthouse, we were a little leery, but this path, while having some hills in it, never became rocky as the one to Egerøy.
10:15 am
We reached the Ryvarden Lighthouse . Our guide, Magnus Skaden gave us some history: [The Vikings left this spot in 869 and eventually discovered the Shetland Islands and Iceland. In 1848 herring was discovered along this coast. With the winter storms and a dangerous coastline, a lighthouse was needed. It was built in 1869 and is located on top of a high rocky bluff. The lens is a fourth order and it was automated in 1984. The art gallery and cafe were started in 1992. It has become a popular tourist spot and between 30-40,000 visitors come each year.]
11:00 am
We were served a delicious fish soup in the cafe. Afterwards we had another group photo taken in front of the light tower.
12:10 pm
We started our walk back to the bus. (Transportation was provided by car for those who needed it.) Everyone was back at 12:40 and we left.
1:20 pm
We arrived at Valevag to catch a ferry. With the long line of cars we weren't sure there would be room for the bus but there was plenty of room and the ferry left 10 minutes later. We drove a short distance to catch another ferry and at 3:50 it docked. It was just over an hours drive from there into Bergen. Trude told us a little about Bergen as we were entering the city: [The population is about 150,000 and it is the 2nd largest city in Norway. There are seven small mountains which make up the Bergen area. The city was founded here because of the sheltered harbor. In the 13th century, the King of Norway lived here and it was the political center of the country.] The town is beautiful with lots of small wooden houses near the city center.
5:00 pm
We arrived at the Best Western Hotel.
6:10 pm
After a quick shower, we left the hotel and met Fraser, Nancy Y., Bridget & George, Truman & Elizabeth, Art & Carolyn, Dave, Cheryl and Helen in the lobby and we walked to the information center near the harbor. Here we purchased our tickets for the Evard Grieg concert at Troldhaugen, his home and concert hall just outside Bergen. A bus was to pick us up at 6:30 but didn't show until 7:00. We still made it on time for the concert at 7:30. The concert was given by pianist, Einar Steen-Nøkleberg. We really enjoyed it. Following the concert we were able to tour Grieg's home before taking the bus back to Bergen. Everyone but Art and Carolyn decided to go for pizza since we had missed our dinner. We ate at Peppe's Pizza. We ordered several different kids of pizza and they were quite good. Another group left for the hotel, however some of us (Dave, Cheryl, Truman & Elizabeth, Don & Diana) decided to take the tram railroad up the mountain at 11:30 pm to view the city at dusk. We arrived at the top and it was BEAUTIFUL to see all the city lights with the sun just setting over the horizon. We took the last tram down at midnight and walked back to the hotel. Our hotel was located on a busy city street and it was very noisy most of the night.

July 24, 2000, Monday

7:30 am
The bus left the hotel and we headed out of Bergen. Along the way, a cement truck came very close to us in the on-coming traffic lane and clipped the side view mirror at the bus driver's windowand damaged the mirror. A short way down the road, Audun saw a sign about a cement factory and drove down that road. He found someone to complain to since the cement truck didn't stop. They agreed to pay for a new mirror for the bus. Shortly after, we spotted some cute wood carved life-size figures along the road in front of a home. We convinced Audun to stop so we could take pictures.
9:00 am
We stopped at a gas station for a brief break. Next to the station was the Norwegian Emigration Center. It was located in a church moved from Brampton, North Dakota, USA in 1996 to this location as a memorial in honor of the Norwegian emigrants and their descendants. Next to the church was a little craft shop, but it was closed.
10:00 am
We took the ferry to the island of Fedje. From the ferry we could see the Holmengrå Lighthouse (Gray Island) built in 1892. It's too far away for a good photo.
10:30 am
We arrived on the island and our guide, Gjermund Haustad, met us. He owns the Havstad Tinn (pewter) Factory on the island. The small island has 680 year-round residents but it's a very busy tourist area in the summer. The island has a doctor, post office, bank, and some stores. We noticed several new houses under construction.
10:55 am
We arrived on the far side of the island at a boat dock. Two small motor boats were there waiting to transfer us to another small island where the Hellisøy Lighthouse is located. Only 6-8 people could go at a time so it took several trips. We got on the last boat with Kornel Schorle' (the professional photographer in the group) and Dave and they convinced the boat driver to take us out to the point so we could photograph the lighthouse with the sunlight shining on it. After our little detour, we arrived on the island and walked to the tower. The Hellisøy Lighthouse was built in 1855 and is 33 meters tall. It is red with two wide white stripes. We climbed the 115 steps to the top to enjoy a beautiful view. A great many ships pass through this area every year because of the off-shore oil industry. There is also a pilot station and a helicopter pad on the island of Fedje. The helicopters are used to transfer the boat pilots to the ships. The small motor boats transferred us back and we went to the Havstad Tinn Factory to do some shopping. They had lots of beautiful pewter and glass gifts. We were on a time limit because we needed to catch the next ferry. We walked to the little cafe nearby and even though they knew we were coming, they were not prepared to serve us quickly. We chose from 3 types of sandwiches and Dave convinced them to pack everything "to go."
1:15 pm
We just made it to the ferry on time with Dave, Cheryl and Trude following behind us in a car with our lunches, which we ate on the boat. The ferry docked on the other side at 1:45 and we headed back toward Bergen.
2:15 pm
We convinced Trude and Audun to make another stop at the Emigration Church to see if the little gift shop was open. We overwhelmed a dear sweet old lady who spoke no English. Several of us made purchases. I got a beautiful hand-knit sweater for Hayden. I stuffed the few items in a bag as I hurried out and the bus literally picked me up at the door. Audun was eager to get on the way as he wanted to make it into Bergen in time to pick up the new mirror for the bus. We left at 2:35.
4:00 pm
We arrived in Bergen (after a stop for the mirror) and we were dropped off by the famous Bergen Fish Market. We only had about a half hour to look around, but that was plenty of time (if you've seen one fish, you've seen 'em all!). We arrived back at the hotel at 4:40.
5:00 pm
We were on our own for the evening. We went with Cheryl, Dave and Fraser to the Harbor area and walked around the Bryggen district. This area of restored old houses faces the harbor and many are now used as stores and restaurants. We did a little shopping and went to the Tivoli (carnival) where Don won the prize when we all played "Whack-A-Mole". Dave and Fraser rode on the "Plume" ride and then we found a Tex-Mex restaurant for dinner. We had eaten a lot of fish by this time and were eager for a little change in our diet.
10:00 pm
We returned to the hotel and played the championship cribbage game. Dave and Diana were declared the champs!

July 25, 2000, Tuesday

7:30 am
We left the Best Western Hotel in Bergen and went to the harbor to board the boat which would be the first leg in our "Norway in a Nutshell" tour.
8:10 am
The boat left the dock. As we traveled along we were able to see the beautiful harbor. For the next 5 1/2 hours, we were treated to the most incredible scenery along the waterways and into the Sognefejord. We saw waterfalls, rock cliffs, beautiful towns and snow-capped mountains. There are just no words to describe the day. It was "scenic overload!"
10:30 am
We were served our box lunches on board the boat. We almost hated to come inside from the back deck to eat. We didn't want to miss anything. The boat stopped several times in various towns and villages to drop off and pick up passengers. Once the boat connected with a ferry in the middle of the fjord and passengers transferred over a gangway between the two boats.
1:45 pm
We arrived in the town of Flåm. We had an hour before catching our train.
2:35 pm
We boarded the Flåm Train. This was the second leg of our journey. For the next 50 minutes we were treated to breathtaking views as the train climbed 866 meters into the mountains above the Flåm Valley. There were lots of waterfalls and at one of them we were able to exit the train onto a platform and we could feel the spray. High above us were two Norwegian girls in costume dancing to music on a cliff near the falls.
3:25 pm
We arrived in Myrdal and waited 10 minutes for the express train. Trude was so proud she didn't lose any of us! This train was more modern. We descended the mountain and enjoyed the 2 1/2 hour ride back to Bergen, the third leg of our "Nutshell" experience. Again, more wonderful scenery. Everyone agreed it would be very difficult to adequately describe all that we saw that day. We took lots of photos, but photos can't begin to capture all the beauty.
5:50 pm
The train arrived at the Bergen Train Station and Audun was there to meet us.
6:10 pm
We arrived back at the Best Western Hotel.
7:30 pm
Dinner was in the hotel dining room. This was our last meal together. Lots of pictures were taken (were some people trying to use up the roll of film in their cameras?). Dave gave a brief summary of the trip and mentioned some of the unforgettable moments. It was Carol Maglieri's birthday and she was presented with the "Red Hot Mama" prize which Don had won at the Tivoli the night before. She was surprised and LOVED her red stuffed Tasmanian Devil. Trude and Audun were presented with their tips and Nancy Younger of Harbor Lights donated some items for a drawing. It was hard to say goodnight as we hated to think about leaving in the morning. Trude announced a 4:00 am wake-up call and everyone groaned.

July 26, 2000, Wednesday

4:00 am
Wake up call. Didn't we just get to sleep?
5:35 am
The bus left the Best Western Hotel in Bergen. Trude asked us to guess how many kilometers the bus had traveled in the last two weeks. John Armacost came closest and Don came in second. We never saw what John won, but Don won a lighter with the picture of a lighthouse on it.
5:55 am
We arrived at the Bergen airport. We said our last good-byes to Trude & Audun. There was some confusion at the check-in counter. Some people got boarding passes to their final destinations, others did not. Then at the very last minute, they put all of us on another plane due to some mechanical problem.
8:30 am
We arrived in Oslo. Here we started to say our "good-byes." We did our tax refunds and last minute duty free shopping. We spotted Dave, finally writing his postcards!
11:25 am
We finally left Oslo a little late as the plane needed a pilot! As we flew into London Heathrow we could see The Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the Thames River winding its way through the city.
12:15 pm (London Time)
We landed and Heathrow was a ZOO! There was confusion and long lines at the security checkpoint. When Shirley Reeve went to check in, she found out that none of us going to Chicago were checked through and we had no seat assignments. In fact, they had canceled us off the flight because we hadn't checked in. (What did they do to us back in Bergen?) The counter called ahead to the gate and by that time some of us were there. There was more confusion but all 13 of us going on the plane to Chicago were able to get on board. We had a nice surprise when we found out they had upgraded all of us to Business Class. We were NOT disappointed in that! Something good has finally come out of all the confusion of the day. We agreed that this was a much nicer way to fly.
2:15 pm (London Time)
The plane left. From the air we saw Windsor Castle, Wales and Ireland before we were in the clouds.
3:55 pm (CDST)
We landed in Chicago and made it through Immigration and Customs rather quickly. Even our luggage made it! We stayed with Cheryl and saw her off on her flight at 6:00 pm to Detroit. We checked to see if they had room for us, but they were full. We called our kids and Don's mom to let them know we'd made it that far, because we knew it would be close to midnight before we got home. We had McDonald's while we waited.
8:15 pm
The plane left Chicago O'Hare Airport.
10:15 pm (EDST)
The plane landed at Detroit Metro.
10:45 pm
We got our luggage and caught a van to the car park.
11:05 pm
We left US Park.
12:00 Midnight
Made it home. Time in Norway was 6:00 am, Thursday, July 27. We'd just experienced a 26 hour day!

We experienced a WONDERFUL vacation. Our special thanks to the Hvam family for their hospitality in Stavern; The US Lighthouse Society and the wonderful leadership of Dave Snyder; and the people of Norway who were responsible for making the arrangements at each of the Lighthouses. It took a lot of effort to coordinate all the people needed to greet us at each lighthouse and all of the various modes of travel to get us there. Once again, we had an unforgettable experience.

Trip Totals: 20 Lighthouses, 19 days and LOTS of miles.

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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter

Copyright © 1995-2000 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.