A taste of paradise was truly last night’s dinner. A short boat ride from Stavanger delivers you to a most intriguing island. The island is located in such a way that it protects trees and plants that should not survive here.
A master horticulturist bought the barren property ages ago to escape the city and landscaping responsibilities. It was not long before his wife starting planting things. Today it hosts many themed gardens and has become a renowned gourmet dinner destination.
Warm jet steams from Florida keep land temps from freezing. The shape of the earth is like a bowl protected on three sides yet plenty of sun.
What is not to like?
Today was busy as usual starting with a drive through a tunnel bore through solid rock underneath the Ryfylke fjord to one of my favorite places. The Utstein Kloster is located on Klosterrøy (Abbey Island) and it has been inhabited since the Stone Age, more than 11,000 years ago.
This island is strategically placed between the entrance of two Fjords protecting and controlling the entire coastline plus it has excellent glacial soil and mild climate for excellent farming. The entire island host only the Kloster and one of the largest farms in SE Norway. The farm is not tremendously large by US standards, but it has been passed down through generations and is still run today by Elin Eilert.
The Kloster is a wealth of unbelievable history. It never contained more than 12 Monk’s at any time and was the center of all knowledge. The monks were highly educated and people would travel for months to receive help on matters of health, spiritual guidance, legal matters etc. Everything was built before it’s time without basic tools yet parts of it still stand today. The fresh air. Rolling hills and incredible architecture are magical.
The weather remains sunny and everyone is in splendid amazement! I went to Tanager to visit Larry and Reidun Ryan. It was a huge treat because Reidun made a wonderful Norwegian meal kjøttkake and that is a special type of meatballs with mashed potatoes and lots of other goodies. Better than that was I got to see their kids and grandkids.
Dot, Donna and Norbert (Knut) toured the Lysefjord and Pulpit rock by boat. They saw waterfalls, beautiful islands and drank pure glacial water from the falls.
Tradition the week before Constitution Day i.e. May 17 is for seniors to wear crazy red decorated jump suits and have a great time. This is popular with kids and not parents and teachers. Just imagine that. They call themselves Russ.
We went to the movies tonight for another experience for another different experience for the group. It has been a good day!
The trip was uneventful and that is always great news. The weather is cool and sunny and could not be any nicer. The first day I spent eating all day with friends!😳 I had lunch with Larry and Reidun Ryan who I will see again today. I then had coffee with Gaye & Børge Rosland before dinner with my group Dorothy Wittry, her sister and husband who you will get to know.
Gaye and I at our old hangout, “Deja Vu.” This is the restaurant of the chef who caters many of Gaye’s events including The International Chamber Music Festival that I got to work with the summer Al and I spent in Stavanger a few years ago.
The Harbor. Statue is a shrimp.
I accompanied these friends to the boat (3minute walk) for their fjord cruise of Lysefjord & Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock.) This rock looks very tall from the bottom or the top because it is!
Jared and Marina Landrum move in our hotel today and reunion activities kick off Friday night with a boat trip, garden tour and dinner at a most unusual phenomena named Fjor & Fjære. It is unusual because it hosts huge amounts of flora and many are tropical.
The small island is almost in a geological bowl. The warm Gulf Stream from Florida keeps the harbor and this small island frost free year round. The tall walls from fjords almost protect the island on about three sides from too much cold wind yet the sun is not kept from shining in. You will love it!
Har det, for now, but I will post today’s adventures as they unfold because it is morning here while you sleep
Here is the schedule of events for this special weekend taking place from Friday, 13 to Tuesday, 17 May 2016.
13 Friday: Flor & Fjære -Boat Trip, Garden Tour and dinner
14 Saturday Afternoon: Lunch, ISS/SAMS Bus Tour
Lunch (BBQ and ice cream social), director’s welcome, community choir performance and time capsule
ISS/SAMS bus tour with Drs. Len and Linda Duevel, including a stop at the old Kvaleberg school (now Stavanger School Museum.)
14 Saturday Evening: 50th Year Party/Reception
Social gathering at the Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel where we are staying!
15 Sunday: Mountain Walk/Hike (or Free Day to Explore Stavanger)
Guided tour with Dr. Len Duevel
🔆Hike to the top of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
16 Monday: Golf Tournament (or Free Day to Explore Stavanger)
17 Tuesday: Constitution Day and Parade
Children’s parade begins
After the parade, activities take place downtown Stavanger, including international food booths near the new Konserthus.
Packing for my trip is challenging. It is only a week long trip, but the different activities and unknown weather means layers and choices are a must. Don’t forget that Norwegians do not believe in poor weather just poor wardrobe choices. So, I must have gear to lunch in sunshine, something sharp for going out, hiking clothes and always keep my rain jacket handy. The forecast is for clear cool weather. I hope this is right.