Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ole Bull and Lysoen museum, Bergen

 Lysoen museum on Lysoen island was the summer home of famous Norwegian composer and violinist, Ole Bull. (pronounced oolah) It wasn't easy getting there because of the summer holidays, bus services are reduced. I had to take the light rail from Bergen to Lagunen, transfer to bus 62 for Buena quay and then a little ferry takes me across to the island.
 The transfers took hours. I waited 2.5 hours for bus 62. It was a good thing there was a nearby mall that I could hang out in because it was raining and I was freezing. A little waffles helped with cream and strawberry. I love their waffles and pancakes. They do make good ones.
 Towards the end of his life, Ole's first wife died, so has 4 of his 6 children. He married a second wife, an American who was 40 years younger and built this place on the island. He had become so successful that a single concert paid for this place including 174 acres of wilderness. He had another summer home that he gave to his remaining children by his first wife. This was left to his American child who later gave this property to the Norwegian government and is now a museum. Ole loved the USA, he tried unsuccessfully to establish a Norwegian colony in the US.
 The house is whimsical, both inside and out. Its an amalgamation of all the things he had seen abroad. He spent time in Paris and Italy before returning to live the rest of his life in Norway.
 Some of the decorative interiors evoke memories of the Alhambra. He called this place his little Alhambra. The windows were German in style, the front faces the bay and the back ones faces the wilderness in the back.

Even though it took me the whole day to get there and back, I'm still glad I went. It was well worth the trouble. I'm inspired again.

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