Singing the Blues / Cantando el Blues

SORTLAND, NORWAY IS often called the Blue City, because the buildings in a 17-block area were painted shades of blue in 1998 by local artist Bjørn Elvenes as a symbol of the city’s maritime and fishing heritage. To be honest, I found the Blue City quite beautiful when I first saw photos online, but not so beautiful when I saw it in person. Still, there are charming spots and the surrounding area often takes my breath away. After spending some days in Trondheim and then working our way north to Bodø, we finished our stay in Sortland, close to the core of San Geraldo’s northern Norwegian family.

We drove from Sortland back to the airport in Evenes 2 hours away and then flew to Oslo, where we spent 9 hours before our SAS flight to Málaga. Fortunately, San Geraldo also has a cousin in Oslo, and she and her husband met us at the airport for a leisurely lunch. Their enchanting company made the long layover worthwhile.

We’re already talking about how soon we can go back. Maybe we’ll even try a visit in the winter so we can see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). Spending days almost entirely in darkness might be difficult but our family make it seem like the sun is always shining.


SORTLAND, NORUEGA, A menudo se llama la Ciudad Azul, porque los edificios en un área de 17 bloques fueron pintados en tonos azules en 1998 por el artista local Bjørn Elvenes como un símbolo del patrimonio marítimo y pesquero de la ciudad. Para ser honesto, la Ciudad Azul me pareció bastante hermosa la primera vez que vi fotos en línea, pero no tan hermosa cuando la vi en persona. Aún así, hay lugares encantadores y los alrededores a menudo me dejan sin aliento. Después de pasar unos días en Trondheim y luego dirigirnos hacia el norte a Bodø, terminamos nuestra estadía en Sortland, cerca del núcleo de la familia noruega de San Geraldo.

Conducimos desde Sortland al aeropuerto en Evenes a 2 horas de distancia y luego volamos a Oslo, donde pasamos 9 horas antes de nuestro vuelo SAS a Málaga. Afortunadamente, San Geraldo también tiene una prima en Oslo, y ella y su marido nos recibieron en el aeropuerto para un almuerzo tranquilo. Su encantadora compañía hizo que la larga escala valiera la pena.

Ya estamos hablando de qué tan pronto podemos volver. Tal vez incluso intentemos una visita en invierno para poder ver la aurora boreal. Pasar días casi enteramente en la oscuridad puede ser difícil, pero nuestra familia del norte hace que parezca que el sol siempre brilla.

A view from the hotel breakfast room in Sortland. European football. Ole, Spain!
Una vista desde la sala de desayuno del hotel en Sortland. Fútbol europeo. Ole, España!
After crossing the bridge. Sortland is on the right.
Después de cruzar el puente. Sortland está a la derecha.
On the road to Evenes.
En camino a Evenes.
I THINK THIS is Svartisen Glacier, really two glaciers separated by a valley. They’re surrounded by a number of smaller glaciers and are all part of Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park, which borders Sweden.
CREO QUE ESTE es el glaciar Svartisen, realmente dos glaciares separados por un valle. Están rodeados por una serie de glaciares más pequeños y todos forman parte del Parque Nacional Saltfjellet-Svartisen, que limita con Suecia.
Outside Oslo, a great city we need to return to.
Fuera de Oslo, una gran ciudad a la que necesitamos volver.
SG’S COUSIN HAD just told us that even Norwegians get these two cities confused and make reservations for the wrong place. Then we saw this posting in the SAS lounge. Yes, it was 4:37 in the afternoon and our flight (below the KristianSAND listing) didn’t leave until 8:40. It was a long day.
LA PRIMA DE SG nos acaba de decir que incluso los noruegos confunden estas dos ciudades y hacen reservas para el lugar equivocado. Luego vimos esta publicación en el salón SAS. Sí, eran las 4:37 de la tarde y nuestro vuelo (debajo del listado de KristianSAND) no salió hasta las 8:40. Fue un largo día.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

21 thoughts on “Singing the Blues / Cantando el Blues”

  1. Deep blue, would describe my face, visiting that far north in winter. Pretty place, I love the water and mountains .

    1. David:
      Mine, too. Lots of layers. The lack of sun is the hardest. We were in Southern Norway (which gets more light than the North in winter, but still never more than dusk) one Christmas; SG brought along a light therapy lamp.

    1. Bob:
      It sure is. Would love to get out on the water… but I don’t think that’ll happen in winter!

  2. What an enchanting story you are weaving, Mitchell. I can see why you guys will be returning.
    A beautiful part of the world it is.
    Maybe a ‘longer stay’ is in your future?

  3. Very pretty and very cool! I seem to be a more tropical person when it comes to scenery, though. San Diego blood, what can I say? I LOVE ELLA!!!!! One of my fondest of memories is of my sisters and me singing The Lorelei along with my father’s album on the stereo. Six little girls, under the age of eleven, swinging our lack of hips while belting out “I want to bite my initials on a sailor’s neck”! We had no idea what we where singing about, but daddy (an ex-sailor) got a big kick out of it 🙂
    There I go again, whirling into the memorysphere. Anyway, Norway is beautiful .

    1. Deedles:
      I know what you mean about tropical scenery. Loved living in San Diego, too! After living on the Mediterranean Sea, the northern vistas are unusual for me. I grew up on Ella. We have every CD. Wish I could have seen “The Six Loreleis”! What a choice of songs! “She had the goods and how she could deliver…” And I’m now listening to Ella sing it!

      1. Growing up, we wore the needle out on Ella Live in Berlin! I recently found the cd online and now I rev it up (metaphorically) and sing along at the top of my voice! She does it better.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Some of the best shots through that little window. I discovered that on our first trip to Norway in ’98. We were flying from Oslo to Bergen and I saw my first glacier from the window (I think the pilot said it was Norway’s largest), so I snapped a picture and was shocked by how good it came out. Now I sit with my camera ready.

  4. Love love love these post. Such a beautiful country. All your photos are lovely but the farm photo is fabulous !

    1. Parsnip:
      Had the weather been better in Sortland, I would have taken lots of on-the-ground farm photos.

    1. Judy:
      Thanks as always. I’ve really enjoyed giving my guided tour. I may still have a bit more.

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