Breakfast was being served from 8.30 to 10.30 a.m. Since we were already up quite early, even 8.30 a.m. seemed rather late, so Burkhard was one of the first to enter the breakfast room. It was on the ground floor and the slight smell of burning wood - there was an open fire - added to the special atmosphere of this place. Through the windows you could hear the occasional jingling of the bells of the sheep grazing outside.
After breakfast, we first took a walk through the park of the Barony.
Just a few metres away from our accommodation - the entrance to the park is close to the trees in the middle of the picture
As you can see on the pictures, the weather hadn't improved since our arrival the day before. Luckily, it hadn't started raining yet and it wasn't too cold.
At the entrance to the park
Throughout the park, there were some huge old photographs of women. I think they were part of an exhibition titled "Jovisst skal jeg frem!" about two female photographers. Burkhard read that this exhibition was part of Baroniet Rosendal's contribution to the centenary of voting rights for women in Norway.
Opposite side to the entrance to the yard; the slightly hidden door was the entrance to the room where the 3-course-dinner was being served after the concerts.
Same side, different angle
The kitchen and herb garden/the garden restaurant
Bumble-bee at work
After strolling through the park, we went to the centre of Rosendal where Burkhard bought some postcards and he also managed to get the "Skrik"-stamp which hadn't been available anymore at the post office in Sandnes. On our way, we also walked over a bridge crossing a little river.
View from the bridge
While walking through Rosendal, we saw a sculpture of a horse, allegedly the well-known Fjord stallion. (Sounds like a slightly misspelled car name, doesn't it?)
We also went down to the shore of the Kvinneheradfjord.
The Kvinneheradfjord (part of the Hardangerfjord)
Same fjord, different position
A gallery in Rosendal
Since we had a lot of time, we also visited Skaalurensamlinga, a ship-building museum.
Inside the museum
Inside the museum, there was, among many other things, a modern flat screen TV and we started wondering what it had to do with building ships until Dwarf came up with the explanation that while you were at sea, flat screen TVs could offer some distraction from the boring sight of water all around you or calm down passengers on cruise ships in stormy seas by showing movies like e.g. "Titanic" or "Das Boot". Therefore, a flat screen TV was an essential part of any ship being built.
Flat screen TV - saves you from getting bored on a ship
There was also a fire extinguisher. Dwarf also had an explanation for this. Since most ships in former centuries were built of wood, they could easily catch fire, e.g. if people started a campfire on the ship, because it was cold outside and they were freezing. This could, as you can imagine, easily set the whole ship on fire. On such occasions, fire extinguishers always came in handy. Burkhard, Bjørkisen and I found this all a bit far-fetched, but since Dwarf beamed with pride when elaborating what he held to be well thought-out explanations, we didn't want to hurt the feelings of this little chap and kept our thoughts to ourselves.
On our way back, we came past a shop which had written "Hardanger Sol" ("Hardanger Sun") on its windows. It looked closed - maybe that's why the sun wasn't shining that day.
Hardanger Sol - we could have used some of it in Rosendal
Walking further, we suddenly discovered a mysterious iron plate in the ground, which had - in huge letters - engraved the word "Ulefos" on it.
A mysterious iron plate
Since the last of the four concerts on our trip would take place in Ulefoss, we started wondering, if this was perhaps a secret passage to that place. Burkhard said: "It can't be that secret, if it's openly visible for everyone and saying where it's leading." "You got a valid point there!", admitted Dwarf. Furthermore, it said "Ulefos" and not "Ulefoss", so maybe it would lead to a totally different location with a similar name, though considering the zillions of Norwegian dialects and each of them having their own spelling, this slight difference didn't have to mean anything. Since the plate seemed to be connected to the ground so solidly that it couldn't easily be removed and Burkhard's car wouldn't have fit in anyway and since we would be driving to Ulefoss from Haugesund, we decided that this mysterious plate didn't require any further investigation.
Back in our room, Burkhard wrote some postcards to relatives and friends.
Then he was getting hungry and decided to check out the Hagecafé (the
garden restaurant). He looked at the menu and opted for "kylling curry"
(chicken curry), which turned out to be a (nearly) fateful decision. Well,
the rice was nice and the chicken was presumedly chicken, as far as you could
tell by the all-overshadowing taste of what - allegedly - was curry. What
Burkhard still doesn't know, because he had been too polite/shy to ask when
returning the rest of his meal, is whether
a) he is so bad at speaking Norwegian that when he ordered "kylling curry", the waitress understood "and with an extra dose of salt, please!"
b) the one who wrote the menu is dyslexic and doesn't know the difference between "curry" and "salt"
c) the cook is dyslexic and doesn't know the difference between "curry" and "salt"
d) someone of the staff of the garden restaurant likes a good practical joke and thought it was a funny idea to put a good dose of salt in the box which had "curry" written on it or
e) in this part of Norway "curry" is a synonym for "salt"
Since Burkhard had been wise enough to return most of the salty chicken and to drink five glasses of water afterwards - yet unfortunately not wise enough to complain and ask his money back or at least a part of it, in spite of the fact that the price had been about as salty as the chicken -, no serious consequences ensued.
Back at our accommodation, just when Burkhard was about to open the door to his room, he ran into Kari's guitarist Hallgrim, who obviously had a room on the same floor and who seemed to be on his way to meet the others at the manor house for the sound check for today's concert. Burkhard and Hallgrim had a short conversation. Back in our room, Burkhard decided to relax a bit and read some of the Norwegian comics he had bought.
At about 5 p.m., we went to the park of the Barony again, because Burkhard wanted to take some more pictures.
View to the right on our way to the park/Looking back at the home farm
When Bjørkisen sat down in the grass he said he felt like being one with the grass and moss below and the trees surrounding him, it felt like home ground, like being deeply rooted in this country. Considering that this is the country he originally came from to Germany about 7 years ago, this doesn't come as a big surprise.
The wooden hut near the entrance to the park of the Barony with grass on its roof looked like the perfect dwelling for some fairytale-like creatures. "Maybe trolls?", Dwarf ventured and added: "Though it doesn't look like it has got internet access." "Why should it have internet access?", asked I. "Well, without internet access, they wouldn't be able to write all those silly/stupid entries you find on internet forums, would they? But perhaps they intentionally hide in such places where no-one would suspect them to hide."
A place for trolls?
A bit further into the park, Bjørkisen, Dwarf and I sat down on a bench to relax by a little fountain.
A little fountain in the park
Somewhere else in the park, we suddenly made a strange discovery: a little tree carrying headphones.
A tree with headphones - a new secret scientific experiment?
Burkhard said this reminded him of an article about a scientific experiment by Chris Beardshaw he had read a while ago on the website of NRK (the Norwegian broadcasting service) . The setting was as follows: There were four greenhouses with the same plant. In three of theses greenhouses, the plants were exposed to different types of music (Cliff Richard, classical music and Black Sabbath), while there was no music being played in the fourth greenhouse. According to this article, the plants exposed to Cliff Richard were all killed, whereas those exposed to Black Sabbath were the shortest, but had the best flowers and the best immune system.
We didn't put on the earphones to find out which music was being played, but maybe we were just being witnesses of a new top secret horticultural experiment? I mean, it might be a bit difficult to grow trees in greenhouses once they have reached a certain heigth, so maybe someone had come up with the idea to expose trees to Heavy Metal by using headphones. Of course, it might seem easier to simply put up a huge PA somewhere in the center of the park and turn up the amps to 10 or - in case you should manage to get hold of the amps of Spinal Tap - even to 11. However, I think in this case every visitor of the park would start asking questions what this was about, which probably would make it impossible to keep the experiment secret. Furthermore, many visitors as well as people living nearby who don't like to be exposed to Heavy Metal 24 hours a day might start to complain. OK, this is mere speculation, but it could be true, couldn't it?
Two interesting trees
Do you spot Bjørkisen?/Bjørkisen being on his home turf
Dwarf Vader and I
After our stroll through the park we went to the manor house to listen to Kari's sound check which hadn't finished yet.
As soon as the gate opened, Burkhard went in and, once again, sat down in the first row, though this time right in front of Bengt's keyboards. The setlist was exactly the same as on the day before, but Burkhard said that he had the impression that the songs never sounded exactly the same - well, maybe some of them do -, especially not the solos being played, so it never gets boring. (Thinking about it, even if we listen to our favourite albums over and over again, it doesn't get boring, though the songs in this case exactly do sound the same - well, the perception might be different.) I think it was when the concert began that it also started to rain, but thanks to the tent-roof above us, the rain didn't bother us.
Kari is not just an excellent singer and lyricist, but also a (sometimes very funny) story-teller/entertainer. At each of her concerts, she explains what some of the lyrics are about and/or tells anecdotes somehow related to them. The lyrics of her song "Mann på rommet" are e.g. about a woman who has had enough of being treated badly by men and decides to turn the tables, in a way. So one day she picks up a man and takes him home with her. But when he's about to leave, she locks him up in a room in her house, because she wants to teach him what real love is about, even if she has got to spoonfeed it to him. He gets something to eat and water and, since she is a kind woman, she also gives him some downer in order to keep him calm.
Kari can be very funny and
has got mimic talent
Mona, æ har funnet mæ en mann
Dwarf and I were hiding in the pocket of Burkhard's jacket, but Dwarf suddenly said: "I must have a look!" Remembering what happened in Küsten 8 years ago, when he just had look at a picture of Kari, I said: "I don't think that's a good idea." But he wouldn't listen, so he crawled up the pocket, opened the lid and all I heard was "What a scorch !", before he fainted and slowly sank down. "I told you so!" I suppose the sight of Kari simply overloaded his senses - or what would be his senses, if he actually had some -, poor chap! In his defence it has to be said that Kari did in fact look absolutely stunning - as she always does.
Kari smiling and laughing
Trist? Not really.
Talking about repentance and singing about it
vannet her e stille og forlatt
Helge's drum solo
and Kari and Tor Egil seem to be enjoying it
Skrik - 1st guitar solo
mine venner gikk videre
Skrik - 2nd guitar solo
Mitt hjerte hamrer og hamrer
Back on stage for the encores
Some of the best moments of Kari's concerts are those when something unforeseen happens. I don't remember the exact wording and I hope I'm not mixing this up with another song, but I think it was during Kari's introduction to "Hurtigrute" when she said something like " and we could have needed " and made a short pause, upon which Helge added: "A boat." Whatever it was, this earned him a reproachful look from Kari, who reprimanded him: "Helge, you are the drummer. You are getting paid to play the drums and not to interrupt the singer while she is talking!"
Alle vet jo det
It goes without saying that this concert was at least as good as the concert the day before. Once again, the sound had been absolutely perfect.
This time, Burkhard didn't immediately leave after the concert, but waited until he finally got the chance to have a little conversation with Kari and hand over the presents to her he had brought along. At this occasion, the claw-shaped jewel Kari was wearing on her right hand proved to be a very useful tool for opening wrapped packages. She was very kind and also signed some nice pictures he had taken at two of the concerts on her German tour last year and a postcard Burkhard later on sent to a special fan of her. When Burkhard told her that once he was back home again from this trip he would need some holidays to recover, she had to laugh. Burkhard was very happy that he managed to do the entire conversation in Norwegian - it seemed that the Norwegian courses he had taken since autumn 2011 eventually paid off.
Then Burkhard had to leave in order not to miss the 3-course-dinner. Afterwards, before we went back to our accommodation, we made a final walk through the park. Somewhere near the garden restaurant, we spotted a hedgehog in the grass, probably looking for something to eat.
A hedgehog on night patrol
The picture is so dark, because Burkhard didn't want to scare this little creature by using flashlight. To compensate you for the bad quality of the picture above, I'll show you a picture of an encounter of a hedgehog and me in Sweden on our holidays in 2005:
My encounter with a hedgehog in Sweden (in 2005)
We took a final look at the yard where the concert had taken place - all the instruments had already been packed away -
and outside, affixed to a table, there was a wet and slightly torn poster announcing the two beautiful concerts we had witnessed at this very special place.
One last look at the manor house:
The next morning, when Burkhard had nearly finished breakfast, an older lady who had also attended Kari's concert the day before addressed him and they got into a conversation about Kari and her music. Just a few minutes later, the door opened and Kari's sound engineer Asle Karstad entered the room. In spite of the fact that Burkhard sat right opposite to the door, Asle didn't notice him - maybe because he didn't expect him there - until Burkhard said "Hei, Asle." The older lady now also addressed Asle and it turned out that they knew each other from before.
Another few minutes later, Kari's guitarist Hallgrim entered the breakfast room, then bassist Tor Egil and finally also Helge came in. They all sat down at our table, which was a very special situation. I mean, it doesn't happen every day that you share your breakfast table with some of your favourite musicians. They are all very kind and friendly people and Burkhard got into a conversation with stand-in bassist Tor Egil about one of his favourite topics: music, or to be more precise, the music he likes most. It seemed that Tor Egil hadn't heard of Burkhard's favourite Norwegian metal bands, Atrox (with Monika Edvardsen on vocals) and Madder Mortem, but he knew Gåte, Bergtatt and Mari Boine. He also knew Kari Rueslåtten (former lead singer of The Third And The Mortal, another one of Burkhard's favourite Norwegian bands) and Burkhard told him how she had sparked his interest in Norwegian way back in 1997 with her folk-inspired solo debut album "Spindelsinn", how disappointed he had been when she switched to singing in English afterwards and how happy he had been when he eventually discovered Kari Bremnes and her music in 1999. Burkhard also managed to do this conversation in Norwegian as nearly all his conversations on this trip.
He would have liked to continue the conversation with Tor Egil, but at about 10 o'clock, we had to leave. When we left Rosendal, it was raining, but on our way to the ferry in Utåker, the rain stopped
On the way to Utåker
and when we reached Utåker, the first spots of blue sky became visible.
Waiting for the ferry in Utåker
Since we were about half an hour early, we got out of the car and sat down by the shore of the Skånevikfjord.
The shore of the Skånevikfjord
On the ferry to Skånevik, looking eastwards
Since it was only 130 km to Haugesund, our next destination, Burkhard didn't make any further stops, so we already arrived at our hotel, the Radisson Blu, at about 2 p.m. On our way to Haugesund, the weather had become better and better. When we arrived there, the sun was shining from a blue sky. That's the weather we also should have had in Rosendal!
After checking in, we drove to the center of the city, because Burkhard wanted to have something to eat. After he had had a pizza, there was still some time to check some of the book stores. In one of them he found what he had been looking for, namely a book of one of his two favourite Norwegian comic series, Kollektivet by Torbjørn Lien. It was volume 7, "Helg I Solnedgang", a collection of comic strips previously released in the monthly comic magazine Kollektivet, which -unlike this book - also contains comics and cartoons by other authors. In the same book store, Burkhard also discovered something else which he bought immediately: The graphic novel "Munch", by Steffen Kverneland, which is - you already guessed it - about the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. It's some kind of biography, which also includes excerpts of some of Munch's lyrics.
We returned to our hotel, only to be soon on our way to the third concert which would take place at Falnes Kirke in Skudeneshavn, which lies at the south of Karmøy, an island which you can access over a bridge. We had to drive about 30 kilometres from Haugesund to get there. The last 15 or 20 kilometres we had to pass several of those automatic toll stations which you often find when driving through Norway. Burkhard found it a bit weird that there were so many of them - at least four of five - over such a short distance. After about 40 minutes, we eventually arrived at Falnes Kirke. Since we were quite early - as usual - there was still some time to walk around a bit and take some pictures.
We climbed onto a little hill on the other side of the church and sat down in the grass.
When we turned around, we could see the church, but since the grass on the hill was very high and Dwarf and I are so small, we both had to climb up one of the plants growing on that hill in order to be able to see the church.
Falnes Kirke seen from the opposite side
Same place, different angles
The concert was to begin at 7 p.m., but again started a few minutes later. As regards the songs being played, there were two changes compared to the concerts in Rosendal. The first one was that "Gåte ved gåte" was replaced by "Hvis du kommer tebake igjen". This choice was probably made because the concert was taking place in a church and in the lyrics of "Hvis du kommer tebake igjen", Jesus (without his name being explicitly mentioned) is asked what he would do, if he should return one day, and e.g. what he would say about the war going on about the one and only true belief. The second change was that there was only one encore, "Hurtigrute". Still it was a great concert.
Bengt is smiling - because in case of emergency he's the first to get out? ;)
trist når du får tenkt dæ om
Kari and Hallgrim enjoying themselves
and so does Bengt
ønske at æ også kunne fly
Solo-time for Helge once again
and Kari obviously likes it
You know this song, don't you?
Of course, it must be "Skrik"!
Mitt hjerte hamrer og hamrer
After the concert
Helge is his own roadie
What Kari saw from the stage
The mixing desk - but it would be nothing without an Asle
On our way back to Haugesund, we made a quick stop at the church in Avaldsnes to take some pictures.
The church in Avaldsnes
Bjørkisen, Dwarf Vader and I on a bench
Back in our hotel, we unfolded the map to check how to get from Haugesund to Skien, which was the final destination of our concert-trip. It would be a long car ride, about three times as long as the one from Rosendal to Haugesund, and it would lead us over the Haukelifjell which we already knew from our holidays in Norway three years ago. To give you an idea about the distance:
The way from Haugesund to Skien (the latter is on the backside of the map)