We sadly said farewell to sister Barbara, Thom, and their four children as they started on the last leg of their homeward journey. We had such a great visit with them and hated to see them go. Now to keep my mind off sadness, I’ll go back to the beginning of our holiday.
We timed our departure well – just as kings of the Middle Ages left their castles when the plumbing was over-loaded, we left home at 3:30 a.m. after the upstairs toilet overflowed twice.
We all missed John $, but we know he was happier staying with the Aunt Barbara and Uncle Thom in England than he would have been cooped up in a car going to Norway. Wasn’t it a mind-boggling offer for a family of six to care for a temporary orphan? We hesitated, not wanting to ruin their holiday, but the temptation was too great for that extra freedom for us to insist we would take him with us. When we returned two and a half weeks later, $ was as happy as a clam. He learned to say Amen after grace, to take off clothes which have been partially removed, and to pull people down on the floor to play with him. He has seen more of London than I have, having been treated to trips to the zoo, museums, and stores.
On the way from the South of England to the North, we stopped in Durham and heard a boy choir rehearsing for a concert. It made the church so alive. The two notables buried there are St. Cuthbert and Venerable Bede.
In Newcastle we boarded a ferry and discovered our cabin for the 25-hour trip was larger than one in a Pullman car. The bathroom was tiny, but even equipped with a shower.
The first port of call was Stavanger, a delightful town of little white wooden houses, tiny streets, and flowers. We had enjoyed watching the steep hills of Norway pass by for several hours before getting our first good look at the country at Stavanger. All the trees were pushed up on the steeper parts of the hills. The backdrop of mountains appeared painted behind the crystal clear row of hills near the harbor. We soon left that town and sailed to Bergen.
Finn F., a broker who does business with John, met the ferry, led us to our hotel, and arranged for his family and ours to eat at a downtown hotel. We ate shrimp cocktail and a delicate Norwegian catfish with herbs. [John explained that Finn’s family welcomed our coming. If John had been there alone, they would have had to stay at home while Finn went out with him. Since John had his family with him, Finn’s family was included. We all enjoyed it.]
I’m sorry there are no photos to share, but it does make for a shorter post.