Friday we woke up to another glorious vista with blue sky and sunshine peeking through the ever present clouds. We wrote a note to our Bed and Breakfast host, had our breakfast, then headed for the airport to return the rental car about 9:00 AM. We then took the express bus to Downtown Bergen and caught our bus to Haugesund. On the map, Haugesund is about halfway between Bergen and Stavanger in Fjord land.
We had to choose between 2 busses. We chose the one that came earlier. We had to register online to pay for the ticket. It was half the price as paying the bus driver after boarding.
|June 2015 Norway Trip|
|Click on the date to see the post|
We got settled on the bus and were on our way to Haugesund. Most of the trip I slept because we had gotten up early and what else do you do on a bus? At one point we took a ferry so we got off the bus and went upstairs with the people.
We have taken several ferries on this trip: an adventure for me since I have never driven a car or bus onto a boat. We chose this from among many pictures of the ferry because it shows some important things we learned. In the top left is another ferry, showing how important ferries are as part of the transportation system. They even bear the name of the road that is connected over the water. On the map, it looks like 39 ends at the edge of the water, is followed by a dotted blue line (the ferry route) connected to another segment of 39 where dry land begins again. In the top center of the picture you see an Oil Drilling boat with a helicopter platform on front. In our boat, there were busses, trucks, RVs (called “Caravans” in Europe) and vacationers’ cars with gear and bikes on top.
Because of some misunderstanding about our destination, the folks at the bus station put us on the wrong bus, but we soon made it to our host’s home (3 on the map) to drop off our luggage and head into town. Siv Joanna, our host, is a massage therapist and had time to give each of us a therapeutic massage. She gives Aryuvedic massage and Reiki. It felt so good to have that done after all the traveling we have done. She also gave us some good advice about what to see, especially mentioning the Harald Hårfagre or Harald Fair Hair Obelisk park (2 on the map).
Harald Hårfagre (c. 850 – c. 932) was remembered by medieval historians as the first King of Norway. Apparently Harald’s girlfriend wouldn’t marry him unless he made her Queen of a credible country. There wasn’t a convenient country, as, at the time, the land around Haugesund for hundreds of Kilometers, was divided into fiefdoms. Harald vowed not to cut his hair until he could make her queen of Norway, so he went about with some valiant friends and unified the country and made her queen. The obelisk in the center is for Harald and the surrounding monuments are for the provincial princes who came in under his banner. So besides founding a country, Harald is remembered for his beautiful long fair hair.
The main point of our stop in Haugesund Norway was to see the ancestral home of Hans Opheim Haggen (1 on the map) on the island of Risøy (Rice Island). We had heard stories of how grandpa Hans Haggen had to row his boat to school, or strap on his skis and ski across the channel in the winter. It’s a short journey from the island to the mainland, but the location of the house corroborates the stories. Many of the homes we saw on Risøy appear to have been around for centuries, dating to the late 1700s and 1800s. Today the island is where many deep sea Oil Drilling Platforms are serviced and repaired. The actual construction takes place up the coast between Haugesund and Bergen.
Here is the video clip we took of the place Hans Opheim Haggen lived. Below is a picture from the bridge connecting the island to the rest of Haugesund.
We had spent some time with my uncle Ed before we came and he was able to tell us the place grandpa lived. As we walked across the bridge, we saw many old homes. We walked to the area it was. My grandpa Haggen died before I was born I think we knew each other in heaven. I have always felt a connection to him. Maybe it’s just because of all the stories my dad told of him. My dad was the youngest child in his family and so he spent much time alone with his mom and dad. Anyway, One of the stories I remember was that my grandfather lived on an island in Haugesund. To get to school, he had to row a boat in the summer and ski across the channel in the winter. Being on Risøy island I saw that yes indeed this is true. There’s a bridge to the mainland now, but not in the late 1800’s when he was going to School. He was trained as a watch maker. My dad said that when they lived in Lovell, he always had several watches on his wrist to make sure his repair worked. From what I’ve heard, and from journal records, he immigrated to the U.S. when he was fairly young. His sister Hannah had immigrated earlier and he went to live with her in Meteetse Wyoming. Meteetse is near Cody Wyoming. This is probably entertained at Bill Cody’s parties. The folk lore of the family says that he wrote The Burglar Boy and was one of the songs he sang. He taught my dad the song, My dad taught me and Joe and we taught our children. He worked as a shepherd and as he tended sheep he would play instruments. He could play any instrument he picked up. We already mentioned at the beginning of this blog where he met and wooed my grandma. It was great to be in the place where all the stories started. We ate at Bighorn Steakhouse because my grandpa ended up in The Bighorn basin in Lovell Wyoming.
On the bus to Stavanger, we got a picture of Haugesund showing the Massive Oil Drilling Platforms they repair there. The yellow one in the distance is on Risøy Island.
As we walked back from the island, we were surprised to arrive in the Big Horns. Of course, Grandpa Hans Haggen settled in Lovell Wyoming in the basin of the Big Horn Mountains. We couldn’t resist so we had our dinner in the Big Horns in memory of Grandpa Hans Opheim Haggen. It was delicious and ironic all at the same time. The irony was that the restaurant décor included longhorn cattle horns instead of the curly big horn sheep horns. We saw a similar place in Haugesund, same name and logo, so it must be a chain.
Our host, Siv Joanna, is a German-born woman who has lived all over the place, including South Africa and other interesting places. She was very generous in telling us her story and about her family. Ann really connected with our host Siv Joanna. She is a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. She has 4 children and we discovered her children and 4 of our children were born in the same year. We made a quick connection with her and I suspect she and Ann will correspond with each other. She is very pleased about her thriving garden plot behind the house, and at a garden project she’s working on for the city.
We would have liked to stay in Haugesund a little longer. Karmøy Island (4 on the map) is close to Haugesund and my grandma Haggen’s people came from Skudeshaven, but the island is huge and it would have taken us a couple hours each way to reach Skudeshaven on its southern end. We had to leave for Stavanger. Next time we will stay longer. We finally settled in for the night well after 11:00 PM, our normal bed time.