“Afjording” Norway

Posted on February 7th, 2018 by

By Charlie Barnhouse ’19

As a junior member of GWO, this is my third tour with the group. I have been fortunate enough to perform in cities such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Boston. Now, I can add cities like Stockholm, Oslo, and Bergen to the list. While I greatly value all of the tour experiences from my time in GWO, the past couple of weeks have been the most life changing – and most expensive – tour yet.

Over the past several days, we have made our way from the Minnesota-esque landscapes of eastern Sweden to the stunning and humbling mountains and fjords of Norway. Traveling westward on long stretches of two-lane highways, we passed through countless tunnels (the longest of which was over 15 miles long!). Each time we exited a tunnel, it was like experiencing the mountains for the first time all over again – my memory of the views just doesn’t do justice to the real thing.

Yesterday, we were fortunate enough to travel through a fjord by boat. The views seen during this two-hour voyage were almost enough to help me forget the $8 I had just spent on a hot dog. After the boat ride, we boarded the historic Flåm Railway, which offered even more breathtaking views.

Throughout the tour, I’ve often wondered if the wonder of the Norwegian terrain becomes “normal” for the locals. I posed this question to a museum employee, who said “I don’t believe I’ll ever feel ‘natured out.'” Having now experienced the landscape for myself, I completely understand.

Overall, this time spent travelling and performing has been invaluable. I often joke that I only cry once a year: at the last tour concert. This year, I’ve already cried four times – I’ll let you decide how many times have been because of the music, and how many times have been because of my wallet.

Sometimes you give a little to get a little. Sometimes you give a lot to get a lot. In this case, I think the latter applies, and I can say with confidence that it’s all been worth it.


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