After a 7-hour train trip through gorgeous countryside (I made sure I travelled in the fleeting daylight) I arrived in Bergen. I found my flat with the help of a taxi driver who somehow negotiated the little hillside (Can we call it a mountainside? Having only lived in flat parts of the world, this qualified as a mountain to me...) streets that probably were not built with the automobile in mind. Just a couple of streets from the top of the inhabited part of the mountain was my accommodation; a lovely apartment with an incredible view over Bergen. Although my visit was during the darkest and rainiest time of year, the beauty of the place constantly thrilled me...as is evident by my heavy use of Instagram during those days.
As Bergen was Grieg's birthplace and is situated near his home, Troldhaugen, there was much to see and do there. I worked on some of Grieg's songs with soprano, Hilde Haraldsen Sveen, at the Grieg Academy, spent many hours at the Grieg Archives at Bergen Public Library, where I, among other things, looked at some of Grieg's manuscripts. Very moving. And of course, a "pilgrimage" to Troldhaugen, for another look at his house and the Grieg Museum, and to meet with a couple of the people I had met when I visited in 2010.
The end of each day involved a very steep climb up the mountain, which became only slightly easier with every ascent. I was grateful for the constant rain and above-freezing temperatures, wondering how in the world one would negotiate that steep walk in ice and snow.