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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

My week in Norway

This has been a tragic week for Norway. I was there before, during and after the violent day of 22nd July.

On the 18th July I arrived in Geiranger. If you are familiar with the rich, green landscapes of England, Ireland and Scotland you will be prepared for the ultimate green experience that is Geiranger.

Geiranger is surrounded by fjords. Rocky inclines in grey and black drop steeply into the lakes, smoothed and polished by the waterfalls etched deep into their sides. The sound of running water is all around. The rest is silence. Cows graze on the pastures, stepping forward curiously as I strolled past.

That evening I played my "Tribute to Lorca" programme, referring briefly to the poignant anniversary: seventy five years to the day since the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Spain is still trying to come to terms with it even now.

Norwegians are proud of their beautiful country: they have looked after and nurtured nature's gift to them. Their characters reflect the peace, tranquillity and beauty of their surroundings.

On Thursday 21st July I was in Tromsø, high up in the Arctic Circle. Strolling its streets with my companion in a very pleasant temperature we came across an old bakery. We chose a delicious-looking bread roll. When it came to payment, I realised to my embarrassment that I did not have any local currency. The lady smiled and said "it doesn't matter, take it as a present."

From there I went to the fishmonger on the harbour-front and cheekily asked them to slap some fish into the rolls. Again, I was treated with kindness and courtesy. Taking our lunch outside we sat on a stone and watched fishing vessels leaving and entering port. An old man walked by slowly with all the time in the world. Some young children played excitedly nearby. I ate my Norwegian fishy bread-roll contentedly. None of us knew this was Norway's last day of innocence. On the next day terrible events marked the country forever.

The fjords, of course, will continue, as will the green meadows and incessant waterfalls. So too, I am sure, will the Norwegians' good nature, tolerance and hospitality.

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July 2011

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=640 .
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