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Beautiful Bergen

On a press trip to Norway, I left Landrick today at 05.30 and was relieved to reach Aberdeen airport (Dyce) by 07.30, well ahead of our 08.15 rendez-vous: thank goodness for satnav. The rest of the group was three journalists plus organiser Stan, none of whom I'd met before.

We went straight from Bergen airport to Edvard and Nina Grieg's house at Troldhaugen. Grieg's Scottish connections are rich: his great-grandfather, Alexander Greig, came from Cairnbulg (near Fraserburgh) and his godmother lived near Stirling. Greig was a Jacobite supporter who travelled widely post-Culloden, finally settling in Norway about 1770, and changing his surname to Grieg. Edvard Grieg lived at Troldhaugen from 1885 until his death in 1907, aged 64, but Nina stayed on here until 1919. We also visited the wonderfully situated hut where he retreated from company in the house to compose in peace, overlooking the fjord.

GriegsHouse.jpg

The house is fascinating, full of personal belongings, photographs and presents. Nina was Edvard's first cousin, and a hard-working lyric soprano. Edvard considered her the finest performer of his songs, and they often shared a platform at concerts. Among its contents is his piano, still played regularly in concerts:

GriegsPiano.jpg

After a short drive, we reached Bergen, a city that grew from the Hanseatic port of Bryggen. Its carefully conserved waterfront has barely changed since the last great fire of 1702 (except for the prudent addition of sprinklers). We wandered around the wharf, now a Unesco World Heritage Site, among timber buildings and overhanging galleries of great character. This wonderful image from Bergen Tourist Board/Willy Haraldsen gives you an idea of its timeless beauty:

BergenSunset.jpg

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 4, 2010 6:02 PM.

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