Three years ago, during the memorial service for my sweet, wonderful, wise, dashing grandfather, my twelve cousins and I decided to meet up in 2010 and go to the 17 Mai celebrations in Norway. My grandfather was Norwegian and it would be a great trip to see all the cousins we had never met, due to the separation of the family for years. The pact was made. Because I was in contact with several of our cousins in Kristiansand and Lillesand, I would do all the planning and all they had to do was save their pennies. Then the economy tanked. All those extra pennies now had to be put towards frivolous things like milk, and mortgages, and diapers for the newest additions to the Nielsen/McDermott Clan. With 17 Mai 2010 fast approaching there are only two left who will be going on the trip, myself and my sister. To be fair, we both live in Europe. I in Germany and she in Italy.
So, off we will go, with my two daughters in tow, for our great 17 Mai adventure. I have visited Norway before to visit with cousins from both sides of my Grandfather's family, but I have never visited on 17 Mai. We will begin our trip in Stavanger to Hike Pulpit Rock and then grab the train to Kristiansand to spend 17 Mai. My cousin will dress me up in his mother's Bunad for the celebration. (My great great Aunt's Bunad). I tried it on once before, and I was afraid I would loose one of those thousand dollar buttons or cuff links. Walking around all day will make me very nervous. Will I have to take out an insurance policy agains loosing any of the beautiful pieces? I have also wondered about the children, should I dress them up in little generic Fest Bunads? Will that be insulting to the Bunad police? I see photos of plenty of other children wearing the little generic Bunads. The authentic Bundads for children are so beautiful. It seems as though it is quite a bit of money to invest in one outfit for one day.
After Mai 17, we take the train to Oslo. My sister does not want to go to Oslo, but my girls would like to see the Viking Ship Museum. In Oslo, we are starting the Norway in a Nutshell tour track. You are on your own for this tour, which is very nice. It takes you by Train Across the country to the Myrdal and the to Flam. Stopping at many beautiful places in between. Once you reach Flam, you take a boat on the Aurlandsfjord to Bergen. We will spend the day in Bergen exploring and celebrating my birthday and then take the ferry to back to Stavanger.
On our last day in Stavanger we will explore the Lysefjord by boat. We will fly home that evening.
I am very excited about this trip, but my girls do not want to go with me. They have their heart set on traveling to Egypt this summer. I told them we may not be able to both, we will have to see how many pennies we can save on milk between now and then. :o)