Tag Archives: Bergen

Final Norway Blog: It’s Good to be Home!

I’ve been home a few days already, I’ve just been exhausted! It’s been mental, the 12 hour journey home from Norway on top of a crazy party the night before (4 hours drunken sleep!!), then straight back to work and college! ๐Ÿ™‚

The last few days in Norway we spent preparing for the Final Performance which was a roaring success. We performed music, dancing, drama, painting and sound massages.

Our final day in Norway was an evaluation of the CREAL Erasmus Intensive Programme which was quite insightful. The trip was quite inspirational and it was great to hear the small changes students would make if they were to take part again (next year it’s Belgium’s turn to host students!). I suggested an ice-breaker session for each college group before they travel… personally I didn’t know anyone (bar one or two!) from my college and meeting the entire 65 group was very over-whelming for me anyway! Nonetheless it was an experience to say the least!

This was followed by a nature walk through the forest on the coast… this was gorgeous!

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We walked back to Leirvick from the beautifulย Hystadmarkjo nature reserve.

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Straight back to the hotel, quick Facebook fix, I nipped to the amazing shop next door which sold gorgeous trinkets and pretty things and picked up a few things for my house ๐Ÿ™‚ Showered and grabbed the next bus back to Rommetveit to the party in the college!

What a night it was! There was a glass of wine on arrival (me, drink white wine?! yeah it was sweet, therefore drinkable haha!), a delicious meal followed by dessert, a small photo-shoot, a slideshow of fun photos from the trip then speeches, live music, more drink, DJ music and lots of dancing!

Photo-shoot! some of team Ireland :)
Photo-shoot! some of team Ireland ๐Ÿ™‚

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funny faces!
funny faces!
the Kantine
the Kantine

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Live music- Carrie McCarthy
Live music- Carrie McCarthy
Bohemian Rhapsody ;)
Bohemian Rhapsody ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Me and Luk my Belgian friend :)
Me and Luk my Belgian friend ๐Ÿ™‚
Yes I drank pear cider! (why was there no vodka?! haha)
Yes I drank pear cider! (why was there no vodka?! haha)
LMFAO
LMFAO

The party was organised by a committee of students from the IP and I have to say they did a great job! Taxis picked us up from 1am and by 2.30am I was back in my hotel room, out for the count!

We were up at 6.45am to meet for breakfast, we were getting the speedboat up the fjords to bergen airport at 7.50am. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

Sleepyheads get the speedboat...
Sleepyheads get the speedboat…

We got the plane from Bergen to London, a 3 hour stop-over (where I experienced a typical British dish, yum!) and then back to Dublin for 5.40pm. I was home by 7.30pm and in bed asleep by 9.30pm! Most of the Irish had hangovers (not this cat- I remembered to drink 2 bottles of water before hitting the pillow in Norway!).

I am sharing my audio portfolio from the trip also here… Have a listen, I’ve included sound massages, lapping of fjord water on the shore, Irish traditional live music, haunting Norwegian female vocal harmonies, dances and improvised music to paint to! Enjoy!

Back to college life at DkIT! ๐Ÿ™‚

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A Walk by the Shore in Norway

Very busy with the preparations for the final performance in HSH tomorrow… We’ve been working hard creating films, dramas, music, dances and art and crafts.

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Today we went to Haugesund which is on another island about one hour from Stord and had a performance for the students at that campus. Haugesund was very pretty too.

Yesterday I went for a little walk around the campus here and took some pictures and recorded the sound of the shore. I will be including this sample in my new song which I’m nearly finished ๐Ÿ™‚

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๐Ÿ™‚

My Weekend in Bergen, Norway :)

Apologies for not being online properly over the weekend! I was partying hard! Lol, not really, just had a poor internet connection in the hostel, I just about had enough connectivity to keep in touch with my loved ones back home! We’ve just arrived back in Leirvick, Stord tonight and I’m sharing the hotel room with Amy my classmate which works out perfect for us both! ๐Ÿ™‚ So I thought I should write about the highlights of the weekend and share some photos and audio.

Friday morning was slightly manic! We woke up late! We rushed to pack our suitcases and eat a small breakfast, saying goodbyes and thank you’s to our wonderful hosts who took such excellent care of us last week in their home. We were supposed to meet the IP students at 8.45am but we managed 9am, lucky for us, they hadn’t left for Bergen yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The sun was shining and the sky was clear, the sights really were amazing on the bus journey to the ferry. “OOOOH”s and “oh my god”s were exclaimed as we passed the many lakes and the sea with their beautiful reflections.

We made it to the ferry in good time and we all excited boarded, armed with cameras! I was delighted that it was such a beautiful day to go on the ferry, I couldn’t wait for the views.

Norway
Norway
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Heaven

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I like the ferry :)
I like the ferry ๐Ÿ™‚

After the ferry we got the bus to Bergen. The 2 hour journey didn’t seem to be half as long as when we first arrived arrived last week!

Straight away we went to the Grieg Academy where there was a presentation ย by masters students and lecturers, it was really interesting. We also performed for them- a sound massage and visual performances. I recorded the sound massage on my Zoom, listen to it below (don’t forget your headphones!):

After this our activities for the afternoon were cancelled because of the beautiful weather! The lecturers agreed that the sunshine was rare and felt it was important that we explored Bergen for ourselves a day early! Myself, Amy and Alex headed off for lunch and a walk around Bergen. Lunch was a warm salmon sandwich from a cafe on the harbour, very tasty!

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Yoga on a frozen lake! ;)
Yoga on a frozen lake! ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_0240We all met up in the evening for a delicious dinner in the Pasta Sentral restaurant. The atmosphere was great. I went for a walk afterwards and enjoyed the beautiful sights, listening to music and exploring the shops which were opened late.

Bergen by night
Bergen by night

I had another restless night, I fell asleep around 7am, but I watched the snow fall from 4am. Very beautiful…

At 9am I was awake and headed out on my own, feeling the need to be with my thoughts, I was actually feeling really homesick! I did some souvenir shopping and found the Floibanen- the train which goes straight up the mountain! I hopped on and was amazed…

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IMG_0298I thoroughly enjoyed my long walk in the forest which I mentioned in yesterday’s brief blog…

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the stream where i slipped on a rock and fell on my arse lol
the stream where i slipped on a rock and fell on my arse lol
walking down the mountain..
walking down the mountain…

I managed a good sleep last night, not just because of the long mountain walk down (no map… lol) but I realised sleeping with earphones in is a great idea! I fell asleep after 5 minutes of dubstep ๐Ÿ˜‰ I never woke once which was amazing considering 5 other girls came into the room at 4am after partying!

Up and checked out 10.30am this morning, the snow was coming down heavy. Myself and Amy headed out for a quick walk, we came upon an orienteering event in the centre, runners were sprinting around the city with maps in their hands as fast as they could… I never heard of this sport before!

Amy loves the snow :)
Amy loves the snow ๐Ÿ™‚
go!
go!

We met the rest of the group at 1.30pm and we attended the open rehearsal of an Italian opera.. it wasn’t what I expected at all and I was very pleasantly surprised! There were 6 musicians on stage yet the sound was huge, I was confused for most of it, what sound was “real” and what sound was tape?! I loved it! Even though it was in Italian and there was no translations of the text, the emotion was easy to follow and I hit the nail on the head with my confusion as to what was real and what was not because it was supposed to be like this!!! I would say the finial production will be superb!!!!

Legged it to the bus and we caught the ferry back to Stord and arrived at the Grand Hotel Lervick in the evening. We’re all resting and preparing for the final week of workshops and performances.

Photos will be uploaded tomorrow of the opera….

Quick Update From Bergen, Norway :)

Just a quickie to say that we’re spending the weekend in Bergen, the weather has been brilliant- sunshine yesterday and then snow which started at 4am! (yes I was awake… insomnia and all that!)

All IP students are sharing a hostel in the city centre, we’ve been asked by the lecturers to please leave the building standing at least! There has been a lot of partying going on but I personally haven’t been a part of this, I prefer to spend my money on things I can bring home ๐Ÿ˜‰ Drink isn’t exactly cheap here!

I’ve been taking loads of photos and I can’t wait to share them online. The internet connection is very slow and it took me 30 minutes to attach one to an email this afternoon! So expect photos perhaps tomorrow night or the next day when we are back in Leirvick!

Today was a “Steffy” day where I spent the day in deep thought at the Flรธibanen Funicular – a Bergen attraction….I took the train up the mountain (40kr one way) and up the top I took loads of photos, walked through the forest, slipped and fell on my arse unexpectedly, narrowly avoiding the little waterfall I was too busy looking at, haha! It snowed heavily up there, it was so beautiful. My inner child demanded an ice-cream back at the shop at the top of the mountain… so eating an ice cream in a snow storm was actually really cool!! I decided to trek down the mountain and listen to music. It was fantastic.ย All without a map!ย I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I have to go back next year!

Anyway enough for now! I’m starting to get a little bit tired now… ๐Ÿ™‚

Jeg vil ta deg senere/ catch you later ๐Ÿ™‚

Hej! Yoe! Well!!! Erasmus IP Trip to Norway Starts!

Hej! Yoe! Well!!!

Yesterday 18 excited students from Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland travelled to the beautiful island of Stord, Norway. The trip is a 2 week intensive programme (CREAL- Creative and Aesthetic Learning Processes) in which international relationships are formed through creative collaborations, workshops, group work, activities, cultural experiences and performances. Part 1 of the programme took place last year when the students from Stord Haugesund University College, Norway and Artesis, Belgium came to DkIT.

giddy in terminal 2, Dublin ;)
giddy in terminal 2, Dublin ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our journey was 14 hours long, starting from the bus that brought us from the college to Dublin airport. We got the plane from Dublin to London and transferred there to catch the 5.00pm flight to Bergen (the 2nd biggest city in Norway). I actually slept through most of that flight after a reading a few chapters of Hitchhikers Guide…, though I had some strange, half awake dreams!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

travel!
travel!

We arrived in Bergen “The Gateway to the Fjords” (some snow still there and crazy huge icicles clinging to the sides of the rocky hill walls that lined the roads) and caught 2 buses (one of which was called a flybussen! I like that word!!!). The 2nd bus journey was 2 hours long but it didn’t feel so long because we got the ferry to the island of Stord in that journey. We were allowed to leave the bus and walk around the ferry as we pleased! I haven’t been on a ferry in YEARS and I loved it! I loved the fresh, cold air, the wind would take your breath away… I loved the sound of the waves crashing against us, I only wished it wasn’t 11pm at night! It was so dark, all I could see was the dark water around us and an even darker island in the near distance ๐Ÿ™‚ Onboard it was warm and spacious! The ferry did sway a lot near the end of the journey and some students were looking rather green, I actually felt sleepy! I would have sat there for longer but we actually arrived at Stord after 35 minutes! (hopefully we’ll get the ferry again in daylight!).

Ferry! :)
Ferry! ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived in Leirvick just after midnight in the pouring rain and brought to the home were will we send the first week! I’m lucky to have my own room and share the house with Amy, my music production classmate! The couple we are staying with are soooooo lovely, they made us tea and light sandwiches and chatted with us until at least 1.30am! Their house is simply beautiful, I love Norwegian decor, so much timber and lovely angles and windows and little, soft lights! I want a house like this! ๐Ÿ™‚

Bergen at night (not a great snap but you can see the city on the mountain... amazing in reality!)
Bergen at night (not a great snap but you can see the city on the mountain… amazing in reality!)

After a good nights sleep, we met the entire IP group (Belgian students and Norwegian students) in the auditorium. Following the welcome talks and introductions we had a tour around the beautiful campus in small groups. The music rooms look super! (Personally delighted that the studio runs Logic Pro!) It was great to see the arts rooms (woodwork, ceramics, textiles to mention a few) and the students brand new gym!

We had lunch in the Kantine and then we had ice breakers. These were lots of little games so everyone could meet each other, there were many laughs as we lost our inhibitions while acting as cowboys and geisha girls! It was a different way to meet people, something I had never done before! Any worries or awkwardness that there may have been were washed away after all the little games!

Hej! :)
Hej! ๐Ÿ™‚

After that we had interesting presentations about our home countries and an energetic Zumba class!

My favourite moment was the icebreaker game when we made a little pretend film and performed it for the entire group! It was completely improvised! Everyone was laughing and smiling and there was a lovely, warm atmosphere. It was great to take part in a group and do something I wouldn’t normally do! (Let myself go!)

Having fun!
Having fun!
yep, thats me looking rather silly but it was good fun!!!
yep, thats me looking rather silly but it was good fun!!!

I also enjoyed learning the childrens nursery rhyme “Lille Petter Edderkopp”! Really cool to sing in Norwegian, hehe!

Tired now, can’t ย wait for the workshops tomorrow! I’ve made lots of new friends already and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!

Check this out:ย Bringar europeisk kreativitet saman – nyheter fra HSH.

Happy out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have You Heard the Voice That Belongs to Monica Heldal Yet?!

Monica Heldal 2012

I’m so excited to share this with you! This is a project that I have been working on for a couple of months and I’m delighted to introduce you to one very talented young lady- Monica Heldal.

Monica is a singer-songwriter from Bergen, Norway and at 21 years old, she has already taken the international music scene by storm and is one very busy lady! Her love for American country-blues and the music of Irish legend Rory Gallagher has brought her on a very busy musical journey so far. After playing the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ireland last year, Monica has been invited back to play again this summer during her busy Norway-Netherlands-France tour.

I have produced this song “Silly Willy”, a personal favourite from Monica’s original set. A delightful, bluesy, shuffling song which brings a smile to everyone’s face who’s heard it already! Monica exhibits raw, natural talent in her advanced acoustic guitar fingerstyle performance and in her alluring vocal on this recording and I think you’ll agree with me when I say that this lady is blessed with a gift!

Drums were performed by Daire Stanley, bass was performed by Sean Moher, electric guitar was performed by Darren Mc Eneaney and my recording assistant was Shauna Kearney. I recorded, produced and mixed the song and threw in some additional keyboard and electric guitars.

I really enjoyed this creative process and I’m pleased with the mix-down. This was my first full-band mix on Pro Tools (Logic Pro user!) and I hope you enjoy the song as much as we do ๐Ÿ™‚

You can find lots more Monica material on her Facebook artist page:ย Monica Heldal.

Monica Heldal
See Monica perform at the Rory Gallagher festival this month