Friday, October 18, 2013

Molde - Gateway, Modern Mix, War Bombing Retrospective

Molde: Ancient Gateway, Modern Music, Bombing Reconstruction 

With every town in a beautiful setting, plan sites according to practicalities. With the huge fjords, mileage is not enough. Ferries over huge waterways take waiting time and fees. Watch carefully.  Molde is a fine destination with the least extras needed to get there and away again. Plan the site with the next site in mind.

Recurrent theme:  how huge are the fjords.  These are big waterways, and tricky weather.  Norse navigation skills; some towns had no access by land at all, except by nearly impassible mountains.

The Molde International Jazz Festival began in 1961 -- enjoy it every July. Herbie Hancock was here, and Jamie Cullen.  Acronym: predictably MIJF.  This is Norway's largest celebration event for jazz, with a perfect location for drivers, cruise shippers, locals and footers.

At any port town, stroll down the waterway and see what you see.

Down the wharf is the church whose steeple dominates the area. The Molde Cathedral, consecrated late -- 1957.  It is number three here: The 1661 wooden church burned, the 1887 wooden church was bombed in 1940.  World War II is not at the forefront of tourism's lures in Norway, but should be given more prominence. As an occupied nation, it maintained a strong resistance and prevented greater incursions into Europe and Scandinavia.  Sweden benefited most, perhaps, asserting its ongoing neutrality while allowing German ingress and providing armaments to avoid bombing on its own territory. Who's to judge?

Viking navigation skills.  Children's books show waterways that look easy and manageable. Those are not the huge fjord system in Norway, with great arms of water reaching inland, no little fingers. Great cruise ships, including the translatlantic liners and not just the Hurtigruten port-hoppers (those are also big), slide into what look like inland ports. Here, admire the width.  What enabled orientation?  Mountain shapes, sunstones?

Trips to find The Necessary.  Bathrooms are often a level below the first floor, even at a stylish hotel where you are having a coffee on the patio by the wharf.  They are sometimes amid storerooms, or where empty meeting rooms are located.  Even so, once found, the door identifiers can be worth the trip:

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