England 40 Years Ago — July 27, 1981

We had quite a day communicating with distant relatives Hildur and Bernt Ellertsen all day long. He speaks limited English; she understands some. After coffee, cake and much gesticulating, we walked around the fish market where Hildur bought fish.

Bergen Fish Market
Family poses in the fish market

Hildur stayed home to cook while Bernt took us to see the house where Grandpa Ellertsen was born, the school his father attended, and the church where he was christened.

This is the church where John’s grandfather was christened. He later went to the United States, taught school, went to seminary to become a Lutheran pastor, and founded a church in Brooklyn.

Bjarne (my spelling might be as good as your pronunciation), their son, came home from work at 4:30. His parents live in the north of Norway, but the problem of cooking in her son’s kitchen didn’t phase Hildur a bit. She produced a marvelous dinner of cod in a batter, lightly fried.

Bernt, Hildur, Lisa, Kate, John, Bjarne

We all went on the funicular train up the mountain above Bergen. Four went to see Christina Onasses’ yacht in the harbor; Kate, Hildur and I went to Bjarne’s house to wash dishes.

View from the funicular
Kate on top of the mountain

Norwegians have fish shops to equal English butcher shops. We realized after we got back to England that we had had meat only two times on the whole trip.

The normal dinner time of Norwegians on the west coast is 4 to 5 p.m.!! My impression is that people from Bergen have a late breakfast, coffee and cake, middag (dinner), and sandwiches later before bedtime.

Old Bergen
Bernt and Hildur

In Bergen we stayed at a summer hotel – in winter it’s a college dorm. We think it spacious with two bedrooms, kitchenette and shower room. The shower drains into a hole under the sink; have to mop up a little to use the loo, which is in the same room. The closets are built into the hall walls and are covered by curtains.

20 thoughts on “England 40 Years Ago — July 27, 1981

  1. Anne, this was another wonderful narrative of your time there. I love these photos and this makes me want to go visit that area more than ever! Very interesting story of the visit; thank you for sharing these with us.


  2. Anne – your posts about England bring back memories for some of the tourist attractions and it was the same for this post as well. My Scandinavian trip started in Bergen and I have a similar photo taken at The Quay/Fish Market. I thought Bergen was a beautiful city and Norway was so clean, the people were friendly and many people spoke English. I remember the funicular ride and the chain noise it made as you were on your little journey. It is great that you took photos your entire time abroad to help reflect on all the wonderful memories.


      1. I don’t blame you Anne. I scanned all my photo albums in Thanksgiving weekend of 2017. Took me the entire four days, save for painting a small part in the basement, once each morning, where plumbers had broken up cement. It is great as I can hop onto Shutterfly and look at the albums anytime. I also have a flashdrive of the photos in the safety deposit box for safekeeping. I have a shoebox of photos that weren’t in the albums yet, odds and ends but they are under my bed. I have carpeting in my room, cannot move the double bed and it got shoved to the middle of the bed. One day I have to climb under there. My mom had lots of jigsaw puzzles and they are under the bed and it got wedged in between … if I were a good housekeeper (like before 2010), the puzzles would all come out once a year, be dusted and it would be vacuumed under there. I shouldn’t even admit that here in a public forum. 🙂


        1. I’m sure you are in good company. There is nothing under my bed because it is high off the floor, and everything would show. I would never offer to let anyone see the state of my dresser drawers, though. They are crammed with junk. One of these days I’ll go through them. Surely after seven years there are things I can give away or throw out.

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