Magical Music and Fantastic Fjords

A few months back I was asked if I would like to play a couple of shows with Ruthie Foster on a cruise ship heading out of Rotterdam and then spending 5 days exploring the fjords of Norway.

Rather unsurprisingly, I said yes 😉

I’d never been on a cruise ship before, never mind played any music on one – so I really had no idea what to expect.  I heard multiple horror stories from various folks eager to share their experiences (which seemed to mostly involve getting motion sickness and then hurling somewhere or another).  This didn’t exactly fill me with confidence – but thankfully all was totally fine….

…..with the exception of the last night of the cruise – which I’ll tell you about later.

The cruise lasted a total of 7 days and a couple of those were spent being out in open water.  Not seeing any land did feel a little odd at first, but once I found the very top deck and could look out across miles and miles of absolutely nothing but beautiful blue sea it was wonderful.

My shows with Ruthie were on the second day of the cruise and were (of course) SO much fun.  I played mostly drums but also bass on a couple of tunes.

Here’s a few clips.  Sorry we appear to be in miniature (we are regular sized people I promise). I thought this would be a good spot for my GoPro camera to sit. You may need set of opera glasses….

 

 

After the shows were finished, all I had to think about was exploring Norway.

Heck yeah.

I woke up the morning after our show believing we were still moving across the ocean….but I drew my curtains and was greeted by 2 giant fjords and a small cluster of characterful houses of all shapes and sizes dotted around the hillside.

We had arrived in Eidfjord, a beautiful village in the arse end of nowhere, with a total of 250 inhabitants.

Apparently the quaint village of Eidfjord has to contend with around 500,000 tourists descending upon their little oasis every year….coming from a seaside town, I know how that feels – but nothing like on that kind of scale.  Helpful to the local economy yes, but extremely overwhelming I’d imagine.

The first place I went to check out was an Iron Age Burial Ground, located at the very top of a rather nasty hill which almost killed me.

(A part of me did wonder if as a joke the locals picked a spot on the top of a very steep hill, put a pile of rocks together, covered it in moss and told the tourists it was an ancient burial ground) 

Other than the epic hill towards the end, the walk to the above burial site was absolutely lovely….as the footpath took me right through the middle of a forest. I kept thinking how much my doggy Molly would’ve loved to have gone on this walk with me ❤

My favorite forest find was a lake located just off to the right of the main path.

It was surrounded by fjords, waterfalls, trees and nature.

I could’ve stayed here a while.  A loooong while.  And in that moment if you’d offered me a cup of tea and a guitar I definitely wouldn’t have gone anywhere.

Another building I wanted to check out was an old stone church dating back to the 14th century. Along with the church was a beautiful old cemetery (yes, I like looking at old graves…I’m weird and I don’t care who knows about it) and with the fjords as the backdrop it really was a beautiful sight – even on a cloudy day.

So having taken a ba-zillion and one photographs on my lovely cameras – I headed back to the ship….which looked enormous moored up in the tiny little village dock.

I very reluctantly said goodbye to beautiful Eidfjord.  What a gorgeous place.  History, hardly any people (well, except the hordes or tourists), tons of nature and zero phone or internet signal.

Heaven.

Surely this was the highlight of the trip – it can’t get any more beautiful than this, can it?

Oh! Hello Geiranger 🙂

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Hello Stranger….

Hey there you!  Long time no see.

How’s things?

I know it’s been a while since my last post.  I’ve been busy….but I promise to be more consistent from now on, ok?

My current status is getting over jet-lag in lovely Austin TX after an amazing 9 day experience…..which was:

I went to freakin’ Norway…..on a Holland America cruise ship.

Awesome fact No.1 = Norway has been the top country on my Katie’s Places she wants to Visit list.

Awesome fact No.2 = ever since I moved to Austin 4.5 years ago, I’ve always hoped that one day I’d be able to play a show with Ruthie Foster.

Guess who asked me to go to Norway with them?

Yep, Ruthie Foster.

Excited, grateful, nervous…I was all of those and lots more.

And I had every

intention of telling you aaalll about it as the journey unfolded – but….as I’m sure you’ve already noticed, I didn’t.

I could list off a bunch of half-truths / lame-o excuses, such as ‘my internet connection was crappy’ (it was) or ‘I had too many other things to think about’ (which I did), blah blah blah etc etc.

The truth is – I had a really deep desire to be present.

I wanted to be in each and every moment as much as possible.  I chose to be selfish and let my heart and soul take in everything I was experiencing.  Absolutely everything.  From all the spectacular scenery and wonderful music…..to the super mundane, such as people watching in one of the cruise ship restaurants while eating way too much food far too late at night (but holy crap that food was SO good).  When visiting one of the many cute and characterful Norwegian villages I wanted to be able to pause and take photos of beautiful sights on my ‘camera camera’ (not my damn phone), or just simply stand there in awe and let my mind take some stills.

So I’m sorry if that meant leaving you out of the picture for a little while….BUT – if you’re into it, I’d love to tell you all about how it went.  It really was an amazing experience, one of the best I’ve ever had.  I learnt so much about myself, and Norway was…..

RAD.

…..and I’ll tell you all about it next time 🙂

Thanks as always for reading to far, I’ll write more very soon (pinky promise).

KM x

* all the photos that are featured in my blog posts were taken by me, please ask first if you would like to use them anywhere 🙂