Scandinavian-Europe Trip

(Marilyn: There was no date on this trip. But, I figured that Linda and Rich were still in Virginia and she had been commissioned to write a symphonic piece which she named Sundance. Rich had started to guest conduct in Europe, so I hope this is somewhere near the date of when Mother and Donna went on this trip.)

In my own life, Donna and I just returned a couple of weeks ago from one of our trips to Europe. This wasn’t the best trip I have taken, I guess mostly because we spent a great deal of time on trains getting from one country to another, but it was a good trip and worthwhile. There were highlights, of course, and the first of which was these was surely going to Brussels to meet Linda and Rich, who were already there. Rich was conducting a symphony orchestra there and one of the numbers he was doing was Linda’s ‘Sundance’ which she was commissioned to write for the Virginia Arts Council for Rich’s Virginia Orchestra. It was premiered by her in Norfolk, Virginia about two months ago very successfully, and received good reviews. Then he was doing it again in Brussels. Linda also conducted a chorus in Brussels there and recorded a show of all her own music. This was before we arrived so she was free to visit with us while we were there, except that we decided to go earlier than we had planned. She didn’t think we were coming until either the day before the concert or the day of the show. So, we decided to go earlier, but she had gone to London to visit friends. So, we took the train to Cologne and did some shopping there. The concert was great and we loved her composition and I’m awaiting a good tape of it.

Actually, we were in Brussels almost an entire week except for the trip to Cologne. The concert was Thursday night and we couldn’t get a train for Norway until Friday evening. We had decided that Norway and the fjords was one of the places we would visit this trip since we hadn’t been there before. It seems that everyone who goes to the countries North of Denmark have to go via Copenhagen and this is what we did, but with our Eurail passes the train just went onto the various waterways and on we went. We arrived in Oslo and got a hotel and the next morning had one of the highlights of the trip to Bergen, Norway. We got on the train early in the morning and started out and the scenery was quite beautiful, but we got off the train at Mynrdal, about half way I think, and took another little train which took 45 minutes to wind down the mountain to the valley. The scenery was beautiful and at one point there was a spectacular waterfall. At the valley below we got on a ferry that took us down one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, and I exclaimed to Donna that this was what I had always imagined the Norwegian fjords to be. There were beautiful mountains on each side with dozens of waterfalls and little villages. We went a long way down one fjord and then turned and went up another part of it. Finally got off and took a bus to the railway and took the train on into Bergen. It seems that so often we get in a hurry on out trips and done take time to see everything there is to see and I think that this was true there. We decided to take the night train back to Oslo and it takes all day or night to make the trip. We didn’t know there were sleepers on the train until it was too late to get one so we slept in a compartment on the train all night.

The next day we had heard that Stavenger was a beautiful place to go; this is another swing down around the bottom of Norway, so we got on the train soon after betting back to Oslo and took this trip which again takes all day. But this trip was really a waste. The scenery was beautiful but no more so than the mountains that I grew up around in Colorado. And when we got there we couldn’t find a hotel and were about to take the night train back to Oslo when a young girl who spoke English helped us find a hotel. Stavenger is quite a beautiful city, but there is not much there to see, so the next morning we took the train back to Oslo. We really hadn’t seen anything of that city and decided that since we would get back around 4:00 p.m. and it stays light until after 10:00 that we would see several things we wanted to see in Oslo, but when we arrived back, it was raining proverbial ‘cats and dogs, so we got on the train and went to Copenhagen and from there to Frankfurt.

Before this, however, we had spent about 10 days of our three week trip wandering around Europe. Went to the Swiss Temple and did one session and from there went to Interlaken, which is a beautiful little city at the foot of the Jungfrau. When I was there with the girls and Donna in 1980, we went to Interlaken and were going to take the trip up to see the Jungfrau, but it was misty and they said we couldn’t see anything. This day it was clear and beautiful and we went by train to the top.

A beautiful day and the trip was marvelous, although next time I would only take the bus up to the third station or whatever it was where you can see the whole panorama of the Jungfrau and also all the other beautiful mountains all around and then look down and see the lovely green valleys and the little villages with the red roofs on the houses. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed it very much.

The day we arrived, we went from the airport in Frankfurt on the train to Baden Baden which is a beautiful little City. We went there because we had never really visited the Black Forest in Germany, but when we got to the aforementioned city we found that the Black Forest is just a continuation of the Beautiful German forests that we love, but we rested in Baden Baden and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. After going all the other places mentioned, we went to Copenhagen and on to Frankfurt where we consolidated our bags and put our little carts and two largest bags in ‘left luggage’ and just took two smaller, less heavy bags and went to Mainz and in the morning got on a boat and went down the Rhine past the castles. This is always an enjoyable trip. We got off and got on the train and went to Rothenburg to spend our last day of visiting in Europe. Everyone who ever goes to Germany should visit this darling little walled city. we also had the best hotel of the trip inside the walls of this little city. We walked around and did a lot of shopping. there was a band on the square which we listened to, and then walked around and took pictures. The next morning we got up and finished shopping and went to the train station and back to Frankfurt. That evening we played Trivial Pursuit from our beds, and then went to sleep and the next morning finished packing and went to the airport and home. we felt that while we hadn’t covered as much territory as we sometimes did in the three week, that we had a very good time and not I have been back for about three weeks, I’m beginning to think of the next trip.