Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Well, today was even crazier than yesterday, but for different reasons. I started this morning with doing some final odds and ends at the office, including putting together some more "Festival Performer" name tags... I was glad to finally get out of the office for the hike.
I met my new friend David, a close friend of Per's, and we set out for our five hour excursion through town, into the woods, and up into the mountains. Our hike started in Bergen at sea level and finished at the top of a nearby mountain at over 1500 feet. Pretty epic. The majority of the epic-ness was a product of the unrelenting torrential rain that accompanied us for our entire trip. The water penetrated my vertex jacket, my shirt, my backpack, and my camera case inside of my backpack. The trail we took to the summit had transformed into a creek for our return.
When we were back into the city at last I was a walking sponge. (Fortunately, my camera survived.) Thankfully, Norway showed me once again its greatness when David's sister let us use her apartment to shower and dry our clothes. Clean and energized with a cup of green tea, I had to run back to the office to gather all of my things. Then I met Per, Kaja, David, and his sister at Grieghallen to see a Norwegian folk performance.
It was incredible!
I was expecting to fall asleep at the show, because I was absolutely exhausted from the hike and getting soaked through. However, the folk performance was amazing, and it turned out to be my favorite event from the whole festival. The show featured numerous Norwegian favorites, but many of them were performed with a contemporary spin. It featured a full orchestra accompanied by two incredible vocalists, an accordion, and one of the coordinators of the festival who played on pots and pans with a spatula. The performance was witty, fun, and exciting. I have a whole new opinion of folk music now.
After the show I fought off the temptation to just pass out back at the hostel and went for one last drink with Per and Kaja. They thanked me for all of my help with the festival, but I actually feel even more grateful to have had such great friends here in Bergen. I will never forget their enthusiasm and great company.
And now I am going to bed. Big day tomorrow.
Last signaling torch of the chain that stretches all the way back to Oslo!
Very reflective bog along the trail
Fairwell photo with Per and Kaja at the Logen bar