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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beacon Bits -- Beacon to Bergen and Back

Two months, too long. I've missed blogging about Beacon! I traveled most of May, but jet lag and re-orienting to the Hudson Valley took a bit more of my time than expected. I did arrive home in Beacon in time for the Beacon Sloop Club's annual Strawberry Festival; 

Homemade shortcake in a solar oven with fresh whipped cream and sugared berries
Clearwater sails by the festival
and in time to witness the dedication of Riverfront Park in honor of Pete and Toshi Seeger; 

A most fitting tribute to Pete who spearheaded the creation of Riverfront Park from a garbage dump and a fitting reminder that 'behind every great man is a great woman', in this case,Toshi

and to see that the installation of Beacon's 3D Project had come to fruition.


As for my travels, I went to Bergen, Norway and then traveled up the fjords of Norway on  the Hurtigruten cruise line to Kirkenes at the Russian border and back to Bergen. It was an amazing trip filled with spectacular sights of fjords, waterfalls, reindeer, sea eagles, the midnight sun and the best local sea food north of the arctic circle.











As much as I loved every minute of this dream trip, I felt grateful to return home to the Hudson Valley--something I felt after returning home from trips to Scotland, Wales and the English Lake Districts. Home is where the heart is and the Hudson Fjord is every bit as beautiful to me.
The "Hudson Fjord" from the MTA train heading south
However, while in Bergen, other than the 200th anniversary of the constitution celebrated on the national day on 17th May, the highlight of the visit was a trip to the top of Mt. Floyen on the funicular known as "Floibanen". My first trip on the railway that goes to the top of the mountain for a view of the city and the fjord below and hiking trails along the mountain ridges that surround Bergen was on a trip to Norway as a child -- but the thrill of climbing the mountain and descending on this railway has not changed a bit albeit my third visit.
Queuing up for the funicular




"Don't sit inside when all hope is outside."

Small restaurant on top of the mountain 





So you know that my thoughts of Mt. Beacon and the Mt. Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society (MBIRRS) were not far from my mind as I rode the railway and took a hike in the woods..

Food for Thought: The blessing of this trip taught me a lot about about having a dream and the patience to realize it. I know that is how the founders and all the members and officers of the MBIRRS feel about realizing the dream of returning a railway to Mt. Beacon. I have another dream after this last visit to Bergen: learning about how to become sister cities with an international city that is gateway to the wonders of nature, and home to history, arts and culture, great food, open markets, and diverse individuals. The MTA to Grand Central does not only link Beacon to NYC -- it links us with the world. And the trip up the river to climb Mt. Beacon - a popular outing at the turn of the 20th century - may just become the best Hudson River Valley destination trip (next to Walkway Over the Hudson) in the near distant future. Why not Beacon - Bergen?? Perhaps my picture is worth a thousand words!!

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