THURSDAY, JUNE 17TH – BERGEN TO ARENDAL VIA BOAT AND BUS!
Got about 2 hours of sleep and then had to check out of hotel. They did have breakfast ready at 6 am instead of 6:30 am which was good for us since we departed the hotel at 6:45 am for the boat to Stavanger. Got all our luggage and equipment loaded on the boat and departed at 7:30 am. The water is very smooth – no wind – and we have a 4 hour journey with several stops along the way. Norway is “majestic” – the best word I can come up with. If you’ve never been here, plan a visit! J
I got an email from one of my Army buddies last night who is on my Road Kill report list. He’s in Stavanger working through the next week. He’s an amazing Colonel who “saved my butt” on a tour in Afghanistan. We returned the favor by performing in Italy for him at their Welcome Home Celebration and then I saw him again in Belgium when I visited Gary Sinise. Can’t believe I’ll be that close to him and not have any time to see him. Boat docks at Stavanger and we immediately get on our tour bus for another 4 hour drive. Going to be really tight getting the show up and running on time tonight.
The boat travels really fast and skims along the top of the water (hydrafoil) and the coastline is craggy and beautiful, dotted with small fishing villages, ships, mountains….absolutely breath-taking. And, they have free wireless internet on the boat. LOL! The seats were also very comfortable – reclining – and I made up for the lost sleep last night. It was a 4 ½ hour drive and our tour bus (very nice one) was waiting for us at the dock. We transferred our luggage, made a quick stop for “take out” food and began the drive from Stavanger to Arendal. The Seven Eleven stores in Europe ROCK. You can get just about any type of “lunch” food possible and it’s fresh and good. I had a Panini with mozerella and pesto…yummy!
The bus ride was a little over 4 hours and the hotel is beautiful. The show takes place right outside the hotel tonight. It’s obviously a very old hotel and has beautiful dark wood throughout. There is an elevator – sort of! J It’s more like one of those handicapped wheelchair lifts. You have to stand in the lobby and hold down a button to make it come down from the upper floors. Then you have to hold the button down once you are inside to get to your floor. The ceiling and floor moves, but not the walls. David made the mistake of leaning against the wall and discovered that detail. Wally was taking his luggage to the 2nd floor and I had walked up to my room on the 3rd floor to drop my backpack and then walk back down to the lobby to use the lift when he finished. As I walked past 2nd floor, he called me from the glass elevator. He couldn’t get the door open. I tried everything I knew and nothing worked. We had to go get the receptionist who had to get a maintenance guy to spring him. I told him we’d just get him a wireless and let him play the show from the elevator if we couldn’t get him out. Glad it was him and not be because glass or not, I do not like being stuck in an elevator. I made sure someone kept an eye on me when I had to take my luggage up.
My room has a balcony that overlooks the grounds. The hotel was out of fans but thankfully it’s really nice as long as I keep the balcony doors open. The Bellamy’s rooms overlook the area where the concert will take place. They are thinking they could just use a wireless and stand on the balcony and perform. J
As you know, the most important thing to me at a hotel is internet connection. They promoter assured us that the hotel had wireless in every room. Maybe so, but not today. It only works in the hallways! I complained and the hotel called their technician but he wasn’t able to fix it! Really sucks to be sitting out in the hallway at almost 1 am answering emails.
This is a really nice “spa” hotel but the dinner was definitely not up to par for an exclusive resort. It was a buffet with very little on there I could eat. Very disappointing. Good way to lose weight though.
The show was right outside the back of the hotel and was great. But, these Norwegians were drinking heavily. I sat in the back to help Susan sell merch and she pointed out a guy who she said she could tell was going to come over and talk to us. She was right. He had hundreds of questions which we answered nicely but without encouragement. Didn’t keep him from trying to get Susan to dance with him though. He lost my vote when he asked if I was Susan’ mom! I asked him if I looked old enough to be her mom. You should have heard him back-pedaling. LOL
Audience really enjoyed the show and don’t think they felt the cold nearly as much as we did because of their alcohol consumption. It turned really COLD when the sun went down. Got to check the weather for tomorrow because we are heading North. Glad I brought some long sleeve shirts and jeans with me this trip. Even Switzerland is going to struggle to get into the 70’s next week.
Guess I’ll go to bed and get up and run around the lake tomorrow morning. Should be a nice jog. We drive from Arendal to Lyndal tomorrow – only a 2 hour trip.