June 23, 2007
We arrived in Amsterdam shortly after 8 am their time. I negotiated the Amsterdam terminals, which is a city unto itself. It had casinos, lots of Duty Free Shops, showers and locker rooms, along with every service imaginable. I had plenty of time so I walked from my Continental arrival gate to the KLM gate. It felt good to walk. I had to go through a transfer gate, several checkpoints, and of course be searched often because of my knee replacement. (They don't use wands in Amsterdam.:() I made it to the KLM gate with plenty of time. I was served a breakfast which contained a carrot soup with asparagus, and chicken (needless to say I tried it but most of it remained uneaten), and some little pancakes with pudding. We were once again late taking off but arrived on time, by now I was used to this little exercise in futility and not nervous anymore. I negotiated customs and Elinor was right there waiting for me with a sign that said Christine. I guess I was the one and only! :) She also had a young Norwegian teacher that was to be my counter part on the research cruise. We had a quick tour of Bergen by car where Elinor pointed out landmarks for me. However, I must have looked a little worse for the wear and I was quickly deposited at my hotel and given orders to take a shower and a nap. This was 12:30 pm their time, we are six hours behind.
Signe, Norwegian teacher, picked me up and we walked to the bus station to go to Elinors's for supper. My hotel was up on a hill that over looked the fjord that Bergen surrounds.
At Elinor's house I met Stein and David who are doing a documentary on Signe for PBS in Norway to explain research experiences to school children. Stein is from the University of Bergen and David is a retired Ocean researcher who now is a Professional Wildlife photographer. He took pictures for the BBC's Planet Earth series.
Most of the early evening was spent with Elinor, Stein, and David working with Signe on the film. I helped out in the kitchen to get supper ready. It was a nice evening so we ate outside. Elinor had told me that all is does is rain in Norway but they were having a string of nice weather. After supper we took a tour of Bergen by car, once again pointing out landmarks so I could navigate the city. The Norwegians celebrate the equinox and in this case a local village had a huge bonfire. We would have had to pay to get close to it so instead we climbed one of the mountains that surround Bergen. I made it to the top, thank goodness we drove half-way up, but to me it was a hike. Ironically enough there was an American tour group at the top-there is also a cable car that ascends the mountain. I took a picture of the sun going behind a cloud at 9:30 pm. It never really got dark, just a little dusky from midnight to 3 am.
They took me back to the hotel after and we made plans for Sunday. It took awhile to fall asleep because of the time change.