30 Jul 2023 – Re-Naa

Thu: first time here in Stavanger – 10mins walk into town to be among thousands of tourists from these AIDA-Sol(2,000+&Nova(6,000+) cruise ships – good for the economy, but not good to be caught in the crowds.  The Cathedral(1121)was closed – a nice stroll around Breiavatnet

Beautifully designed drain out to the pond is such a good idea to bland into the scene. Swan who seemed to be hurt, but was probably just getting up in age and had difficulties in getting up after sitting to long.

Valbergtårnet(1853)former observation tower was the permanent lodging of the watchmen and one of their duties was to alert the people in town when there was a fire. The last guard was TobiasSandstøl, a watchman for 18 years until the year 1922. Famous Norwegian children’s book author TorbjørnEgner knew about this Tobias when he was writing Kardemommeby. Tobias in the ValbergTower from the book is probably him!

Good lunch@Kaffelade – portions were bigger than expected, had to doggie bag and was consumed happily by #6 who was out bird-watching with his dad&friends.

NorwegianPetroleumMuseum(1999)illuminates the oil industry with submersibles, a large drill bit and an escape chute – highly recommended to visit considering that this is the source contributing to the wealth of Norway.

What an amazing culinary experience with our handsome young SIN-Head chef of two-MICHELIN,

MathewLeong@Re-Naa where for him

food is connected to all aspects of our life — from our cultural upbringing, to our relationships with others, and to our emotional nourishment

and that is what he has done so well blending his exquisite taste&presentations.

Decided to go with local Cider&Juices for this meal.

This restaurant is located on the ground-level of EilertHotel – high-end boutique hotel located centrally located The building is originally from 1937 and is a typical example of Norwegian functionalist architecture.

The pent-house on 2-levels is beautifully decorated with fantastic views from the master bedroom and the kitchen above it. This is the kind of view to wake up to and to cook in…

My father says that there is only one perfect view—the view of the sky straight over our heads – EM Foster

Fri: ~20mins on the boat from Stavanger to the island of Sør Hidle.

Flor og Fjære, an unexpected amazing collection of man-made tropical garden on this paradise island.

KK could not resist getting some fresh scallops at the wharf, the restaurant would not open them – quite understandably incase of food-poison. So he opened them himself and they were fresh&yummy. #6 had to walk away while this was happening – hahaha, he had the children’s menu.

Excellent&well-presented 3-course lunch

with juice package to compliment the food.

Saying farewell to Stavanger in the area where this cute little cabin(shaped like a wheelhouse) is located by the sea also where one of the few stretches of long sandy beach in Norway.

Sat: heading back to OSL on the same route, but with one more pax on this road trip. Tkx for this round of road-trip around SouthWest Norway.HighT was another great experience@DalenHotel(1894),one of Norway’s largest wooden buildings and one of the best preserved hotels of its size from the 1800s. The best scones tasted so far…

EidsborgStavkirke for KK and for me to pick up more yummy lefse!

Short visit@HeddalStavkirke, Norway largest stave church from the 13Century that is still use as a parish church today.

Sun: laundry&packing to be ready for my morning flight across the pond tomorrow morning.

Till We Meet Again

26 Jul 2023: Paris of the North

Previous visits in 2018&19 and now 2023.

Sun: Morten closing down the place before heading away. Rudolf appeared to say goodbye as we drove away from Kvaløya back to their Tromsø new flat. Safe journeys to us all who will be flying Southwards tomorrow, but without Rudolf – he needs to feed to be able&ready to fly Christmas gifts for good children around the world!

Mon: Morten&family took off 05.15hrs to OSL heading onto Møsvann. Walked around this new development on Marmælen to make sure as to not lose my way to the airport(5mins by bus). A thousands thanks to them for putting me up at both their lovely homes in  Kvaløya&Tromsø, am so totally blessed with friends here.

The house where John#3&family lived when first time(1968)in Tromsø still stands, and less than 5mins walk from their new flat@Marmælen. Both Morten&Nils have moved back to this area along Langnesbakken where they grew up.

A house is not a homeWhen there’s no one there to hold you tightAnd no one there you can kiss goodnight – Burt Bacharach

The view from the new flat has not changed as remembered from the house then. Now this view is blocked by this new development from the house but Morten still has this view from their flat to remind him of his youthful years from the house!

Like then, can still watch the planes land when on the terrace here@Marmælen. Tkx to Claire for the ride to the airport to catch NorwegianAirNOK1,366S$180 19.50hrs~2hrs flight heading south to OSL arr on schedule. Appreciations for being picked up@OsloS on this dark&stormy night. What a contrast&difference to have been in clear blue sky with bright nights to arr in the dark…

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness ― Edward Bulwer Lytton, Paul Clifford

Who knows when&if there will be another visit, and if not, good memories with friends and Tromsdaltinden&Rudolf+his herd were there to bid me farewell on this glorious Mon evening.

Tue: organize&pack for just one more trip in Norway before crossing the ocean again!

Wed: heading South to Stavanger with ~9hrs(including rest stops) inland road-trip. Leaving when these flowers are in full bloom, need to find out the name! Stopped@Notodden to charge up the rental car and to get #6 a pair of long pants – he had on shorts and because of the dog, the AC in the car had to be on. Passing HeddalStavkirke, pix credits to #6.

EidsborgStavkirke for a bite&drink – one of the best lefsa tasted@the MuseumCafe.

Another stop as the dog got car sick and threw up, finally got to our Airbnb ~18.00hrs and KK arr ~22.40hrs by air from London/UK.


22 Jul 2023 – The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Wed: 05.35hrs bus from Narvik-Tromsø(slept most of the way)~4hrsNOK257S$34 arr into Tromsø to be met by Claire@TromsdalenBruvegen near the church. Nice to catch up with the view of Tromsdalstinden, a familiar sight from the living room of 1970s-Tromsø days. Today it is still teasing me with its hike&seek game! Gråsteinbit/Gray catfish/WolfFish(AnarhichasLupus), the largest species of the catfish group was the catch of the day for Johan’s spear-fish trip,

Thu: delightful walk to discovered another MaritBockelie’s work on the wall of house on the way into town to Dragøy for Sei/Pollock(Pollachius virens) to be our dinner tonight.

Tkx Claire for this yummy rich chocolate pie+fruitT – looks like this sea-gull too is enjoying its day in town…

Glad to catch up with Hazel&Richard. Touching to see Johan(24) playing chess with his grandfather(94), such a charming man with many words now compared to the academician with few words in his younger days. Eva, is here from OSL for Buktafestivalen 

Fri: down memory lane to Kvamstykket. The YouthHostal is no longer, now a kindergarten. The row of garage on the slope is gone, and #2&4 are replaced with a brown building. Thank goodness the view of Tromsdalstinden will always be.

Checked out this new development by the bridge

to discover Løkta, a delightful little lighthouse

where there was no one, somewhere quiet with a view – why it was not known to me all those years when I lived here and visits is a mystery! Have now been told that it came after my TromsøDays

Appreciations&tkx to Cathrine&Torgrim for gathering her siblings to a lovely evening for peel to eat shrimps on this last night where the sun did not set…

Night was coming on again; the sun just dipped into the sea and rose again, red, refreshed, as if it had been down to drink. I could feel more strangely on those nights than anyone would believe – Knut Hamsun

Onwards to Kvaløya to spend some time with Laila&Morten.

Sat: appreciations to them for putting me up over the weekend

in their lovely place with idyllic&serene surroundings here@Småslette.

Short drive to Ersfjord for more scenic sight that Morten had me in the pix to remind that it is not a postcard!

Proud grandfather Morten with his #5grandchild, Marie(baby to Liv&Ovind) who ate up the steamed Sei(Pollock)+rice I made for dinner.

Goodnight sun now that it is the end of the midnight sun and it can go below the horizon, but still not dark…


18 Jul 2023 –  Hello Anne & Roar

Sat: a beautiful day starting breakfast feasting on Anne’s delicious fresh bakes with an amazing view from their house@Hoemshøgda.

Running a few errands and paying respects to Roar’s parents@TillerKirkegård. Not sure what is going on in his mind, but there seems to be some recognition in his eyes&smile. Sad as it is, the few consolations are that he has a good appetite, sleeps well, and does not seemed to be in pain.

Delightful afternoon 3k-hike@Baklidammen to&fro Lavollen when Roar just walked way ahead of us like there was no tomorrow despite having great difficulties to get up after sitting down.

Such an idylic&serene location with a charming shelter by the carpark, Anne chatting with a local – hahaha!

Sad new to hear that one of the their family’s friend son(13) drowned on this lake where we drove by to pay our respects.

More sad news from KevinBennett. Condolences with prayers&thought to Kevin for the loss of his wife and to Cody&Zak for the loss of their mother – RIP dear Tiffany.

There is not an easy way to do this, but wanted to let you know that we lost Tiffany last night. She went into cardiac arrest after being at the pool, and they could not bring her back. Go hug your loved ones tight – Kevin, Cody, and Zakira

How is it possible that within less than 1month the world has lost 3young wonderful ppl/TanjaKober, OlavSellesbukk, TiffanyBennet. In memory of lives so beautifully lived&hearts so deeply loved.

Sun: Anne was planning for a walk this morning, but could not wake Roar until dinner time, just before their guests AnneBritt&Olav stepped into the house.

Tkx to Anne for a yummy 3-course dinner.

Mon: Anne&I had some time to ourselves today while Roar was@the nursing home for the day. Tram ride into town to Rockheim=RockHome, Norway’s national museum for popular music from the 1950s to the present. Interesting as it is, the visuals inside made me dizzy+not my taste for music which gave me a headache.

Exploring around this new side of town, Brattørkaia so as to find my way to the train station early tomorrow. Modern sculpture(2016) What Does the Fjord Say by artist Stale Sorensen, inspired by Beatles’YellowSubmarine. Large cruise-ship in port does tempt me even if given a free ride! First time in this area, and first time seeing how an electrical bus is being charged.

A cuppa+a bite on this colourful pedestrian road before heading for the tram back to NordreHoemNOK32S$4Senior

Memories from 2010 trip here at the old town…

Tue: appreciations&thanks to Anne&Roar for their gracious hospitality for this time round. 07.49hrs trainNOK659S$87~9hrs to Fauske – similar trip taken nearly 13yrs ago. 

Leaving Hoemshøgda with a heavy heart on the first morning tram 0622hrs into town. Lovely stroll across Nidelva heading to the train station for the 07.49hrs train

Pirates on board, but not to rob, this time to entertain the kids and they did good job doing so on this 9hr journey.

Had a cuppa with wafler+jam as we crossed the ArcticCircle – have lost count of the number of times crossing this imaginary circle!

Had 1+hr layover@Fauska to sit down quietly for a salad in anticipation of amazing views ahead and hoping&praying for weathers to enable for me to remind me of those mountains ahead.

Bus from Fauska-Bognes(~3hrs)NOK234S$30 with a 15mins stop@Innhavet where I once overnight, but now the snake-charmer is no longer but the view are just as spectacular as how I remembered.

The crossing across Tysforjden(~20mins) is as remembered with those mts straight up from the fjords where no words will justify them and you have to be there to feel the grandeur with the splendour&impressiveness.

Continued into Narvik to arr 23.15hrs finding the bus terminal closed there. With 6+hrs layover, thought perhaps there was a possibility to get a room@ScandicHotel(~5mins walk from the terminal). The kind young handsome receptionist told me that I could snooze at the lounge upstairs from the reception area undisturbed. What a lovely person to cross this life journey to add to my memories.

We forget time, we forget age but unforgettable memories are always remembered.

Train To Bergen

13 Jul 2023 – Self-pick Strawberries 

Sun: wild strawberries taste so different from these farm-cultivated, but it would take a whole day and still not get anywhere near the amount at the self-pick strawberry farm. Family here should have enough strawberry-jam in the freezer to get them thru’ the winter

Mon: running errands the whole day was tiring in the lovely warm weathers, but pleased to discover that the cobbler who mend the shoes that fell apart in Iceland – nearly 9yrs ago are still intact and now hoping that this other pair which also fell apart will also stay intact for my PEI hike!

Checking out what is on sale and what is new in these shops and the preference is still shopping@Bogstadveien, where there are less crowds compared to KarlJohangate, but had to go there anyway and still did not find what was needed!

Tue: picking up shoes from the cobbler and prescriptions for the year before heading away from OSL for the next 10days. Paid my respects to discover another Hald family’s gravestone? besides the one I know of! Need to ask the family when I am in Tromsø. The landmark is the Celtic-Cross gravestone(not usual here n Norway, the only other one I know of is in Bryn kirkegård where HelgaAarflot is buried – he saw that on a trip in Ireland and had requested for it before he passed on.

Train to Bergen~7hrs NOK300 S$40 left OsloS on time on a wet evening and hoping to catch a bus to Trondheim over the weekend – 2above pix downloaded.

Wed&Thu: no deep sleep, but managed to snooze, looks wet&cold at~040.0hrs, but bright enough that it was beautiful&stunning in my sleepy eyes!~20mins delayed arr into Bergen 07.00 instead of 06.44hrs due to rockslide on the track – better delay than never!

Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Lovely stroll with a nice breeze wandering after a cuppa&the use of a restroom@the mall across the rail station. No problems finding Torill’s apt located conveniently in the central of town on the 6thFloor.

3 oldest church – names to be updated

Lunched@the public library. Appreciations&thanks to my private tourist guide, Torill(friend&ex-neighbour from our Piggsoppgrenda days/1980s) and for putting me up during this visit. Good to catch up.

Fri: direct bus to Trondheim no longer exist, would need to take a bus to Lillehammer and change to the train with little time to change, and also not much difference price from flyingNOK1,088 S$143. Looks like it will have to be the plane to Trondheim instead of bus as hoped! A short walk to taste Bergen’s yummy famous Hjertefiskekaker=HeartFishCakes

a walk about around the old CityHall which is charming and has personality, unlike the new CityHall which is nothing to write home about and not worth taking pix of!

Interesting ride on light-rail/tramNOK20 S$3/Senior(~13stop,45mins) to the airport. Before every stop, different music from a bar or 2 followed by the name of the station is announced – could only picked up the music from these  2stations Hop/Grieg A-MinorPianoConcerto+Nesttun sentrum/KanskjeKommerKongen. First time at this airport with enough time to have lunch but still managed to lose my boarding pass, for the first time!

Norwegian flight for ~1hr flight on a full plane with a crying baby!!!delayed~30mins. TrondheimFlybuss-Værnes-ekspressenNOK110S$15Senior~30mins/25k driving thru’4tunnels, the first being HellTunnel(for real) heading to Solsiden to be met by Anne&Roar – pix downloaded. The irony of life, from Hell to the SunnySide-hahaha!


8 Jul 2023 – Høyt og Lavt Oslo Sommerpark 

Wed: memories from 11+yrs ago on a similar adventure in SIN

but now for #3&6 in Norway, tempting, but do not think that the heart or the joints will be happy with me if I attempt to try out these fun ziplines, etc – have reached an age where my mind says, I can do that but my body says, try it & you’ll be sorry, hahaha!

Grandmother should not tempt fate, so best to sit in the café on this make-believe chairlift to enjoy the moments watching the young ones’ turn having their adventure.

It is so tempting to try the most difficult thing possible – Lady Randolph Churchill

Exited to discover about Wyllerløypa, an alpine ski slope here. The name comes from the alpinist&fighter pilot Andreas Wyller (1919–1944), who built the trail in the 1930s. He lost his life in war service during a reconnaissance tour. He was also a relative by marriage of L&Ms paternal Norwegian family – MonaHALD married TomWYLLER.

The first race in the Wyller track was held in 1956. The track was closed in 1965, but reopened in 1976 with a chair lift . The drop height is 381 meters and the length is 1400 meters. Bakken is part of Skimore Oslo, which is a year-round activity park. The facility is run by Tryvannwyller AS and includes 18 slopes and eleven lifts, including Tryvannskleiva (opened in 1933) and Tårnbakken on the north side of Tryvannshøgda.

Thu: byebye on this wet Thursday, safe journeys to Linn&#3 back to the USA for now until Sep when we will have a few days together before having to cross the pond back to SIN. It was such a treat to hear #5&6 gaming together on Facetime in their still sweet innocent voices&boyish faces – good to know that they get along well. #5 is having a blast visiting the theme-parks with his paternal grandfatherTerry and step-grandmotherDee in FL/USA.

Fri: a day to square away laundry, etc and a quieter day after the US-flock flew off. Poor May&Bjørn who have been having visitors non-stop since mid May on top of moving and a new puppy!

Hopefully they will get some time quality together next week when #6 goes off to camp and I will taking the train to Bergen(2nights), bus to Trondheim(2-3nights),train&bus to Tromsø(2-3nights), and flying back to OSL for another road trip to Stavanger. This time round to try out the 2Michelin**restaurant RENAA with SIN-Chef MathewLeong

Nice walk, but the cherries are really sour and this is not even a matter of sour-grapes as we are allowed to pick them when outside the fence. Grocery+other shopping with #6 and he got his treat@BakerHansen while grandmother enjoyer her shrimp salad. A thousand thanks to Leonard for fixing email problem – have been trying to figure out the past week how to fix it with no result, but it took him 5mins and everything was good again.

Bewildered is the fox who lives to find that grapes beyond reach can be really sourDorothy Parker

Sat: lunching with Kirsten&Geir at Løkenhavna@Kolsås and a trip ‘up’ memory lane and still finding wild strawberries on the paths…

to HammerbakkenSkole when&where first-born attended as a first-grader – not much changes except that all the trees have grown taller, now hiding the view of  the school when reaching near the house.

Piggsoppgrenda6, the first and only house ever bought in Norway(3rd row-house from the left). Lived there from 1981-85 and rented it out from 1985-2012. Sold it after both daughters decided that they did not want to live there.

World’s Longest Road-Tunnel

4 Jul 2023 – Happy 4th

Sat: just relaxing and enjoying the peace of our last morning here in paradise before the 4+hrs drive back to reality.

CountryRoads – tkx to first-born for her pix during her morning runs to capture these roads leading now away from Konsmo/LaLaLand back to the maddening crowd~380k 4+hrs drive.

One stop and 50+road-tunnels, #6 counted 50, #3-40+,#2-20+ and grandmother counted 55, but unable to google to find the exact number. The last tunnel before our destination – Smestadtunnelen/501m and the others in between were not easy to catch the names or remember except for Fosskolltunnelen/E18,562m which is on the way to Møsvann and have lost count for all the times we drove thru’ here back&fro! Both tunnel pix downloaded.

There are seemingly~1,250?road-tunnels here in Norway and Lærdalstunnelen24.5k~18mins to drive thru’ is the world’s longest road-tunnel. This tunnel links Aurland&Lærdal providing a ferry-free connection between Oslo and Bergen. Would not like to drive there or take the ferry, but train to Bergen is on the schedule for next week.

Sun: rain or shine, the American Coordinating Council of Norway/ACCN did a good job to celebrate an early 4th@Frognerparken.

Nice to see a vintage 1932FordV in perfect condition there. Filled my stomach with a decent hamburger,milkshade&funnelcake. Appreciations to Leng&family for showing up despite their long tiring drive driven by their 16yrs son, Macus from Uvdal.

Mon: byebye for now and good luck to #2 who heads back to the US to start her new chapter @ClemsonU/SC. WiFi down for the afternoon!

Learnt a new Apple! game and discovered a new toy with the grandchildren this trip.

PhysalisPeruviana –  its common names CapeGooseberry, Goldenberry,PeruvianGroundcherry growing well by the window with berries in its new place. A short stroll to the grocery by Eckers and there the owner is trying to convince me that a dip in his ice bucket is good for me – hahaha would prefer to be in this phonebooth with a library!

Tue: 4thJuly – tkx to Ingrid’s delicious homemade cake, strawberry-jam&wafler@Ingrid&HansK, nice to catch up with OleK&Jenny. #6 enjoyed his swim in their pool. Do like this treehouse in their neighbourhood.

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house,
Be sure to wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all-
Let’s go live in a tree house
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

4 Jul – Happy 4th
6 Jul – Happy Bday cousin JohnWong
14 Jul – Happy Bday Keith and Happy Bastille Day/France
17 Jul – Happy Bday NancyBowman
20 Jul – Happy Bday DavidYeoh
21 Jul – Happy Bday AlbertChua
22 Jun – Happy Anniversary Dike&Mark
23 Jun – Happy Bdays Lucas & James