Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Syttende Mai

Syttende Mai means May 17th in Norwegian. It is their Independence day and do they celebrate! We started the day by securing a great spot to watch the parade. These are two locals in their traditional attire called a bunad. Local dignitaries.

The Norwegian navy. They have a very proud tradition going all the way back to the Vikings.
WWII vets, they received a unchecked round of applause as they rolled by.

More from the Navy. We had no idea that the parade would last over 3 hours and run both ways on the street. If they would have run it one way it would have lasted over 6 hours!

The flag was flying on every available pole.

A shot of the crowd. I expected a few people in Bunad but well over 50% were in their local traditional attire. Each Bunad is from a specific region in Norway and they are all different.

School children.

More school children. Education is free and excellent all they way through university and even graduate work if you are accepted.

We were in Norway during the time when high school age students are graduating. They all wear these very interesting pants/overalls and they are decorated. Each student wore them all the time to make it known they were a graduate.
Flags everywhere.

After the parade we climbed up to the cathedral in Bergen, here is a shot of the city from the steps of the cathedral.

The Bergen cathedral.

A cool Viking statue in Bergen. Note his wide stance, as if he was holding his balance on the open sea.

Yes! Motley Crue in Norway.

Finally we went to a party for the local youth. Our students had a great time. There was a DJ on a fake ridiculous viking ship with smoke and disco lights. This is the venue were I was introduced to the techno version of John Denver's County Roads.

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