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Showing posts with label Norway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norway. Show all posts

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nancy Sales Cash on Queen Mary 2 - sails the fjords


We spent the morning sailing on Queen Mary 2 down the Norwegian coast to Geiranger Fjord from a small village called Hellesynt to another small town called Geiranger. Some of the younger and fitter passengers got off at the first stop and either hiked or bussed along incredibly steep, rocky mountains. As you can see from the photo, I chose the lazy way and stayed on the ship. The sides of the fjords (see background of photo) reach about 6000 feet and are solid - and I mean solid - granite. Their tops are lost in the mist and remind me of home and the Smokies. It's empty, desolate country with lots of waterfalls and the occasional tiny chalet brings incredulity as to how one would reach it. Thank goodness fjords are even deeper that the ocean, otherwise the Queen Mary 2 could not navigate them. Best, Nancy



NANCY SALES CASH grew up in Murphy and lives in Murphy and Asheville. Her short story, 'Talking To Mama,' will be published in Netwest's new anthology, 'Echoes Across The Blue Ridge,' which will be out soon. She also has a short story in Celia Miles' new anthology, "Clothes Lines,' due out in September, and was in Celia's 2008 anthology, 'Christmas Presence.' She has two published novels, 'Ritual River' and 'Patterns of the Heart,' both available from The Curiosity Shop in Murphy and Andrews and Phillips & Lloyd in Hayesville.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Second Post from Queen Mary 2 by Nancy Sales Cash

We're still floating around the Norwegian fjords on the Queen Mary 2 (such a hardship, ooh, no pun intended). Yesterday we stopped at Stavanger, and the ship was the tallest building in town. Stavanger became wealthy almost overnight in the 1970's due to the discovery of North Sea oil. Americans who dominated the Norwegian oil industry chose Stavanger as their headquarters and the Oil Capital of Norway over Trondheim and Bergen because Stavanger had a golf course! (It's called getting your priorities right.)

Stavanger is also the story of two bishops. The first one was in the 12th century. He was English, and had ambitions to build a fine new cathedral to honor St. Swithin, whose actual arm the bishop had brought from England. (In those days you had to have such an important 'relic.' ) His cathedral, however, would have been small had it not been for the King, who wanted to divorce his wife and marry a younger woman but had been refused by all the other bishops in the country (Norway, like the rest of Europe in the 12th century, was Catholic).

The English bishop, however, managed to find a way to fulfill the King's wish. The result was, aside from a new Queen, the largest cathedral in the kingdom. It seated 800 people despite the population of Stavanger being only 100.

The other bishop is a recent, Lutheran one, whose son cheated and gambled away millions of borrowed money on the Internet. It caused a national scandal and the bishop's resignation because, he said, although he loved his son, he could not forgive him; therefore he could not set the right example to his parishioners. He went to South Africa as a humble missionary.

Well, it's off now to have our fourth meal of the day, and it's only 3 p.m.

Nancy



NANCY SALES CASH grew up in Murphy, now lives in Murphy and Asheville, and is a member of Netwest. Her short story, 'Talking To Mama,' will be published in Netwest's next anthology, 'Echoes Across The Blue Ridge,' due out soon. She also has a story in Celia Miles' new anthology, due out in October 2009, and was in Celia's 'Christmas Presence' anthology in 2008. She has published two novels, 'Ritual River,' and 'Patterns of the Heart,' available at The Curiosity Shop in Murphy, NC and Andrews, NC and at Phillips and Lloyd in Hayesville, NC.

Nancy Sales Cash - from Queen Mary 2

Are you up for some armchair traveling? My husband and I are currently in the Norwegian fjord country, but doing it the easy way on the Queen Mary 2. We went to Oslo yesterday and at the Viking Museum saw the Viking ships used as burial vessels by the ancients.
(See photo.) The whole ship, several (rich) people, their possessions, and special sleds (to carry them into the next world) were buried in the ground. They were first discovered in the 19th century by a farmer digging a well. Not many have been found, so there should be plenty more where these came from. The earliest Scandinavians came from the Black Sea / Russia, it is thought, when the last ice age melted.

Oslo itself was founded on a fjord in 1050 AD. Global warming has cut down its months under snow from six to five. Not so good when so many industries depend on snow, but they are hosting the winter Olympics again in 2010.

Their new Opera House was designed to look like an iceberg, and part of the concert hall is below sea level. Not sure I'd be all that comfortable with that!One-eighth of the population is Muslim due to a low unemployment rate (4%). Norwegians have 1.9 children per couple, one of the highest in Europe. 70% of women work outside the home. The average salaries are high, but so are taxes and the cost of living, although their health care is free. Wonder what the Vikings would have made of all that?


NANCY SALES CASH grew up in Murphy, now lives in Asheville, and is a member of Netwest. Her short story, 'Talking To Mama,' will be published in Netwest's next anthology, 'Echoes Across The Blue Ridge,' due out soon. She also has a story in Celia Miles' new anthology, due out in October 2009, and was in Celia's 'Christmas Presence' anthology in 2008. She has two published novels, 'Ritual River,' and 'Patterns of the Heart,' available at The Curiosity Shop in Murphy and Andrews, and at Phillips and Lloyd in Hayesville