Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lysoen (Ole Bull's Summer Home)

I made it to Lysoen!What a strange house Ole Bull built for himself. It includes a Russian onion style dome, extremely intricate wood carvings on the ceilings, stars of David and Solomon, and altered Norwegian flags. Ole Bull was a strange person though. He was such a superstar that his maid would save his washing water, put it in viles and sell them to women! He went to Pennsylvania and tried to start his own state called Oleana. There was no arable land on this property because he chose land that reminded him of mountainous western Norway, which also has almost no arable land, so the state failed. He also nurtured the careers of Grieg and Ibsen and made several investments in starting Norwegian speaking theater companies. But most famously he was known as a violinist. He made his solo debut with the Bergen Philharmonic at the age of 8. He had four violins and also attempted (and failed) to invent some new pianos. The island the house is built on is absolutely gorgeous! There are lots of trails to walk around on and the sea is so clean and clear. Good trip.