What We Did on Our Holidays (Part One)

Over the past near-fortnight, we journeyed to Norway with brief stays in the UK on the way to and from. We landed in Heathrow Airport, and instead of taking the usual Heathrow Express, we took the London Underground (a.k.a. the Tube or the subway) which turned out to be longer and a more crowded ride (it was rush hour after all), but definitely less expensive.

London's an Ansible Town
DevOps in the London Underground!

Brighton the Corners

In Brighton, England (or more like Hove, to be precise) we attended the 23rd UK Sacred Harp Convention which was held over two days at the Hove Park School.

Why Did the Sacred Harp Singer Cross the Road? To Get to a Sacred Harp Singing, Silly!
Here’s Nancy leading the way to the UK Sacred Harp Convention!
Not quite a full room yet, but when the singing starts, that’s when the magic happens.

I only sang for a couple of hours for each day of the Convention; Nancy sang for the whole thing.

I wasn’t able to find any videos from this particular Convention, but for demonstration purposes, here’s one from Cork, Ireland earlier this year.

There was a “social” (i.e., an after-singing gathering) at the Lord Nelson Inn where food, merriment, and more singing (naturally) went on. This is what it kinda looked like on the way to the Lord Nelson:

Bussin’ around between Hove and Brighton.

The following day was pretty much a repeat of Saturday, with the exception of me heading back to the AirBnB early to do some laundry. I know, it’s supposed to be a vacation, but when one is traveling over two weeks with a carry-on suitcase, a washer/dryer-equipped AirBnB is not only a lifesaver, but a necessity. Anyway, we returned to the Lord Nelson the following evening to hang out with our friend Beth and her band mates in Jetstream Pony.

A Small Tidbit of Coolness from a Way Larger Slab of Coolness
Across the street from the Lord Nelson Inn is a really cool mural, and here’s a small detail.
The above mural, but in slow-mo with a filter and a droning soundtrack.

The following Monday, we left for Bergen, Norway, but first we had to survive the train to Gatwick Airport which also (or more like originally) served as the commuter transport for folks in Sussex working in London.

A Deceptively Empty Train Platform
The train station in Hove, 7AM on a Monday, just right before all the commuters hit like a tidal wave of suits and briefcases.

Norway the (Not So) Hard Way

Having made our way to Gatwick Airport, through airport security, and onboard the Norwegian Air jet, we arrived in Bergen a couple hours later. Here’s an example of the subtle sense of humor at play among Norwegians:

This Way To Wee
In a way, this is a much more accurate sign for the toilets, especially after you’ve gotten off a plane and went through passport control.

I regret not getting a snapshot of it, but from the airport, one can see a large sign that reads “Bergen?” (yeah, that’s a question mark) bolted onto the side of a rock face. Again, Norwegian humor. I appreciate it.

A shuttle bus dropped us off at the Bergen harbor, and I think this kinda sums up the loveliness of it all (you can mentally add swarms of tourists if you’d like):

Bergen Harbor!
Off-camera: the busker on the accordion.
Where the shopping happens. Also off-camera: another, different accordion busker.

After checking into our AirBnB, we wandered around town, gently testing the cultural waters, confirming that yes, everyone does indeed speak English, although they’ll greet you in Norwegian first even if you do look like a bewildered American tourist, as that’s the polite thing to do.

Not the oldest McDonald’s in the world; rather, a McDonald’s in a building from 1710.
I have this thing for documenting Windows machines that have gone kaput, and here’s a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) in Bergen.
Nancy checking out the “vibes” at the park.

Pining for the Fjords?!

The following day we went on a boat ride into and out of a nearby fjord. Google kindly tracked where we went:

Today the class went on a “fjord trip.” Get it?… I’ll get my coat.

The weather, which was cloudy and rainy the day before, had cleared up majestically for our little cruise. The photos I took do not do justice to the scenery. But I’m posting some anyway.

Nancy took some great photos of the fjord, so I’m including them as well (<3 U, dear).

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Fjord scene. #holidaysnaps #latergram

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Old schoolhouse. #holidaysnaps #latergram

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#holidaysnaps #latergram

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A Particular Funicular

After this little boat trip, we took a funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen, which despite the “Mount” bit isn’t quite a mountain as a spectacular vantage point to see Bergen from above.

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Up the funicular!

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And if Fløyen on the ground is wrong…
We can see our AirBnB from here! Well, not quite.
The other part of Bergen. Well, more like “another” part, as there are lots of parts.
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#holidaysnaps #latergram

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See the goat, see?

There are goats that live in the park atop Mount Fløyen, but it looked like the “kids” were avoiding us Hoomins that day.

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And down the funicular!

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Comin’ down the mountain….

Afterwards we rode down the funicular (what a word that is, say that quickly many times), strolled to the local supermarket, picked up dinner and snacks, and retired to our AirBnB.

Continued here!