Notes from an Expedition in Norway: 2003
Inger Nilsson


Sunday June 15

After a long time of planning and preparations: The adventure was about to begin. We gathered at Arlanda, Åsa and I to take the six Torkelson siblings to Uppsala, and Johan Lager with his pick-up truck to drive Björn and Isabella and Martin and all the luggage. By a positively unbelievable coincidence they all arrived on the same Iceland Air flight. Isabella and Martin were the first ones out and we flew into each others' arms. Then I saw Faye and then everything was chaos and everybody talked and my memory fails me. I wondered what Faye's sisters' first impression of me must be, I knew Wally from earlier. The logistics worked fine and we drove north in fine summery weather, between fields and woods and the inevitable red farmhouses, always exotic to new guests. I explained the copper-based colour so common on Swedish houses, but must not overdo things, as I understood that Norway and not my country was the great interest of the Torkelsons.

Åsa, Per Arne and Emma were there to help in the kitchen. Pickled herring, potato gratin and smoked ham that could have fed a regiment. But they were all too tired, and the children were just wild and had the neighbours' two come in to join the fun. Well, we sorted out who slept where, got a little acquainted, and had an early evening. Björn and children left with Åsa to stay with them overnight. I prepared our lunch for the next day as far as I could. Sleep did not come easy to me. What did they expect from me? Would they accept me? Would I be able to direct them to the right places. I must not be too bossy, I must not be afraid to solve problems, if there were any. Zzzzzzzz.

Monday June 16

Up early, at least for me, lazy-bones, and Faye and I went into town to the Budget rental and checked out our brand new seven-seated Chrysler Grand Voyager, and she drove it home. We arrived to find the others all gathered on the porch with their luggage, ready to go. All the bags and the food fitted nicely in the back of the van and we were on our way to the Norwegian safari round 9 am. And the weather was fine.

We bypassed Uppsala and Enköping (where I sent a thought to my older son Åke and family) and got on the E18 westward-ho. The weather was fine and our bodies gradually settled into the seats, only we found that the two "outer" seats in the back were rather uncomfortable as you tended to gravitate to the centre all the time. There were lots of questions about the strange scenery along the way, but fortunately the traffic was low, so we cruised happily along. We stopped at a place by the road for drinks and snacks and to stretch our legs a bit. Near Karlstad, where I grew up(if indeed I have grown up) we left the E18, that could have taken us directly to Oslo, and got on route 61 to follow a more northerly way. By then our stomachs outrumbled the motor so we stopped for a Swedish type of picnic and to make use of the facilities. I felt a little sad just to pass all the old familiar places, but then I can always go there later. Arvika, Charlottenberg and then Magnor and the border, which never feels like a border at all. Just another tourist trap. We got out and lots of photos were taken and the group now entered the land of their origin. I could sense their excitement. But the other side did not look very different. Route 2 took us right through Kongsvinger over the Gloma river - the mightiest in Norway. To avoid the traffic Oslo - Gardemoen airport, we followed the 177 through Eidsvoll, famous in the history of the country for being the site of the first national parliament in May 17, 1814. "Syttende mai" (17 May) is still their grand national day, one that beats St Patrick's Day. The large lake Mjösa, very beautiful, was admired as we travelled along its western shore. After some detours and dead ends we found the Holte farm. A big white house with a large barn and an old annexe, and the pension is run by a young couple, who served us a very good dinner (Faye's note: We actually brought our picnic items in and ate from that around the dining room table) and gave us lots of information. The fine weather inspired us to spend some time in the garden and my friends were delighted with the surrounding nature. A solitary crane performed far out in a field, the smells of hay, manure and flowers put us in a mellow mood and we settled in our rooms in the two houses, rather tired after a long day's drive.

Tuesday June 17

We left the comfortable Holthe Gard after a nourishing breakfast, having packed the van, to locate Inger Johanne Holte near Kolbu (Faye note: Inger Johanne came to Holthe Gard just as we were finishing breakfast). She and Ole lived in a new house with a beautiful garden and equally beautiful view. We were invited in for refreshment and information. They had been to Svalbard three times and shared my fascination of these islands in the Arctic Sea. Then Inger Johanne guided us to the little hidden valley, where one of the ancestral homes of the family had been. It was no longer, having been torn down. The landscape of gently rolling hills was all farmed, and when they all exclaimed at the sight of the hills in the distance, Faye and I could say with the old cliche': You ain't seen nothing yet! After Inger Johanne had told us all she knew about the history of the place, and her connection with it (Faye's note: Peter Anderson Rosedahl's father was born at a Solberg farm and Inger Johanne was a Solberg, so she took us to one of the Solberg farms in case that was the right one -- however, we did not have enough information to know which of the several Solberg farms it may have been), we parted and took different ways. We proceeded along the lake north through Gjövik and sat on the E6 past Lillehammer.

Our next stop was in the Gausdal area where we were going to see Ivar Steine. I had been in touch with him earlier over the telephone, and when I had asked for directions how to reach his farm, he just said: go to Segalstad Bru and ask. Everybody knows where I live. We did - I went into the office of the county sheriff, was taken to a window and had the place pointed out to me, way up on the mountainside. We found it and also found it deserted. I called him on my mobile phone and very soon he came to meet us, and we were in for a memorable couple of hours. After politely greeting us he showed us where his cows were grazing, far down the hill (Faye's note: and out of sight). In a shrill voice Ivar called down to his animals, and they immediately answered and started to climb up. We watched entranced as they came trotting, accompanied by this extraordinary conversation, finally to be given water. Wally wanted to know why there was this huge barn at every farm, when the fields were so small. The answer was that they could cut hay three times in the summer and needed all that space.

Ivar and his two children live on this land, like generations of their ancestors have done before them. He served us coffee and tea and cookies, and in an easy manner told us about the farm Nordre Steine and the valley. He owns most of what we could see from up there, including forests and a sawmill. The place the forefathers of the American family had farmed was long since gone, but he showed us where it had been, on the opposite side of the valley, not far from the sawmill. He spoke English, so my services were not needed, and I could sit back and think about what it must be like to live in a place like this, to trip over your own roots all the time, to be inseparable from them. The house was a veritable museum, packed with old things and memorabilia, and we were shown round and saw old photos, tools, furniture, books. All of them, I felt sure, had an interesting story to tell. Ivar then tied a red bandanna round his head, pirate style, mounted his Harley Davidson as if it had been a war-horse, and guided us to the (Follebu) church. From there it is not far to the famous author Björnstierne Björnsson's house Aulestad - how I itched to see it. Björnsson hated Sweden and Swedes and led a campaign against the union, that was eventually broken up in 1905 after a hundred years, at a conference in Karlstad (!). However, while I was digesting this, the others had a look at the church and graveyard.

Leaving this place we were told by Ivar how to reach a smaller but more beautiful road to take us to Hundorp. We said goodbye and waved to him and started. Of course I promptly chose the wrong turning and we ended up going in the opposite direction. Turned, and there he was, having guessed my incompetence, to point out the way more clearly. And vanished in a cloud of dust. A remarkable man, as handy with serving coffee as with his pocket-knife and chatting with his cat.

At Tretten we hit the E6 again, and followed that and the river Losna, that had another name when I was young; the Gudbrandslågen. We cruised through Hundorp, and found a sign to the Sygard Grytting farm - a very ancient place that had been in the same family for six centuries! The houses, built round a square lawn, were all very old and rustic. One of them was a pilgrim hostel from the Middle ages and it was being put in order for service to travellers, the way it was used all those centuries ago. A venerable building indeed. There was some problem in the kitchen, so we had to wait rather long for our dinner, but they served coffe/tea and sandwiches to keep us alive, and Faye entertained us on the ancient piano. Mutton casserole and wine lifted our spirits. Then they had planned a grand tour of the farm for us, but we were much too tired for that and saw just a few things. A quick shower (scorching hot) and to bed.

Wednesday June 18

An early breakfast and we turned to the south on the E6 again, past Ringebu with its famous old church (I remember the village from way back in 1938), bypassing Lillehammer and doubling back to Gjövik. Where we changed to Route 4 for Hönefoss. At Hokksund we did some shopping, tanked up the van, paid toll-money for the road ahead, and looked for a place for lunch. Found one with a roof over the table, most convenient as it started to rain. We communicated with the driver of a lorry (Faye's note: Wally actually was the only one who talked to the driver) and waved goodbye to him. Got on the E134 to Kongsberg, an old royal silvermine. Royal, meaning that the Danish king Kristian IV took all the profits and the people got nothing.

I called Birger Øverby as we had decided by phone earlier. They are related to Liv Gladheim, the owner of the place Pontedalen, and with whom I had had a very interesting talk also by phone. I was sorry she could not be there to meet us. They were expecting us and he told us to follow the 40 up the Numedalen, through Rollag, where Faye, Oliver and I were in 2001 by that wonderful church and took photos, and to Veggli.

It was quite a long drive but we found the Øverbys by a crossing (Faye's note: Krosshaug was the name I believe) and were guided to their summer house. In their garden Birger had excavated the foundation of an old house, there was an old shed, a table (Faye's note: and chair), and some farming equipment from the Pontedalen farm, which Wally studied carefully. We were treated to coffee and tea with very tasty sandwiches and rhubarb pie in their comfortable house ( (Faye's note: Also lefse not made with potatoes. I don't remember the rhubarb pie. Do any of you?). With this we felt restored and undertook an expedition uphill and through the forest, climbing over rocks and roots till we got to where Pontedalen had been ( (Faye's note: Actually we climbed to Saelebote; Pontedalen was where the Overbys lived). We did not find a path and it had been a long time since the Øverbys were there last. In an old photo we had seen that in the old days the houses were built on a slope of open fields, now a dense forest. I gave a thought to all the sweat and toil that had been wasted on those fields and the bitterness of nature taking it all back. But in the end they found the remains of a barn, cowshed and house, the corners all in the log cabin fashion. As I turned round I spotted an old bucket and what had probably been the well - and fortunately also a path. Then we said farewell to this most accommodating couple and boarded the van.

We came out on the top of the world - Hardangervidda - with white snow, barren rocks and glittering waters. This is what we meant when we said: You ain't seen nothing yet, back there in Kolby. They gaped. In Geilo we registered in at the Geilo Apartment Hotel, where we had stayed two years ago. Very comfortable with extra beds and cooking facilities. I was yearning to go for a walk by the stream, but it was late so we spent the evening in the restaurant we remembered from last time. Something funny happened: there was whale meat on the menu for entre', and Ivette ordered one serving for us all to taste. The waiter brought us one each (I wonder - did he misunderstand on purpose, his English did not seem that bad). Well, on our plates were thin slices of bright red meat with a little vegetables and a drop of sauce, not enough to taste. Very, very expensive too, but I finished mine, being used to odd delicacies and I had tasted whale before in the form of sausage. It wasn't too bad. We shared a couple of bottles of wine and laughed like a nest of magpies in springtime. It was Björn's namesday and I called home.

Thursday June 19

We took it easy. Pam went up to the railway station to arrange for our trip to Bergen and we leisurely started breakfast and packing. She called and said we could not get on the late morning train as it was all booked, but we could get on one that left in about 15 minutes!! Well, we made it! We boarded the train together with groups of back-packers and settled down to relax. On my way to the cafeteria to look for refreshments, I found that one waggon was occupied by a "gaggle" of Japanese. I tried to take photos of the fascinating views from the window but the speed of the train ruined most attempts. The landscape was bare mountains with a little snow on them, numerous waterfalls and lakes with ice floating in them. Beautiful? No, but majestic. We also travelled through a number of very long tunnels.

Bergen - as I had warned my companions it suffers the greatest downfall in all Scandinavia, and true enough it was raining almost all the time we were there. We rattled along with our luggage westward from the station to the Bryggen (=bridge, key) and the Hotel Orion at the very end of it. This key is the oldest part of the city with a fine line of buildings from Hanseatic times, the Middle ages. The truth is that most of it has burned down a number of times and been rebuilt in the old style. Our stomachs complained and we found a restaurant for our lunch. After a while we inspected the fish market in the harbour, the tourist information centre and the tourist traps. We found a hamburger joint and had an evening meal of medium standard and laughed a lot. An American couple sat by the next table listening to us, and when they were leaving, the man came up to Wally and asked how he had managed to collect all these merry ladies. Which made us laugh even more of course. Rain all day. A beautiful sailing ship in the harbour, used for sightseeing.

Friday June 20

A massive breakfast buffe' and Ivette dug into the scrambled eggs. We went to the Info place and got the "Bergen Card" for the day, which was supposed to save us a lot of money. For my part it was not an economic success as one of the shops that promised a 20 % reduction on prices, I found out only offered it on one item: a copy of a Viking sword for $ 200!

A "must" in Bergen is the "Fløybanen" up to the top of the mountain, towering over the city. Last time I was there was in 1956. It was still raining. We admired the view, I took some photos of the siblings, meditating over the sight of water and mountains, and Faye met an American couple to exchange impressions with. Back in town we went separate ways: I spent half an hour in a bank to pay a subscription to the University of Tromsø, and while waiting had an interesting chat with a native lady about "Things Bergensic". True to my nature I located the biggest book store and browsed for a happy while. As I had sent Cousin Oliver a Swedish history, I was now pleased to find a Norwegian one for Faye. It had been issued that very day. A Norwegian detective novel by my favourite author in that field, completed my felicity and I strolled out on the fish market and got myself a very fishy lunch: salmon and cray-fish sandwich and _ lb of shrimps. I dragged my weary bones along the Bryggen, popped into some of the shops and fell for a cardigan and a Svalbard (Spitzbergen) calendar for 2004. Blissful heaven - I had my lunch in the hotel room and rested for a while. Then I went to see the Bryggen Museum, took a photo of the statue of Snorri Sturlason for "my Icelandic daughter" Valdis' sake, and went for a long walk past the old fortress and along the key to see another museum, which had just closed for the day. The group gathered again and went for supper in a place near the harbour, which Faye had spotted (Faye's note: Upon the advice of an American Wahna met in one of the museums). I enjoyed a glorious salad buffe' and fish soup. After all - we were in Bergen. Faye went into an Internet cafe' and communicated with home to find that everything was fine, Oliver, cats and all. It was Midsummer Eve at home. My mind was partly there.

Saturday June 21

We gorged ourselves early from the sumptuous breakfast buffe' (you never know when you get anything next) and then made use of our Bergen Cards to take a bus to the railway station. Everything went according to plan and we boarded the train at 10.28. Geri and Wally enjoyed the view, Wahna and Pam were tired and yawned. I managed to take a photo or two and the scenery kept us busy up to Geilo. Fortunately the van was still there, patiently waiting for us. It was rather like coming home.

We spent some time in the grocery store for picnic food, tanked up the van and proceeded north. It was quite an imposing passage over the high mountains with lots of green lichen on the stones, no traffic and much water. A big picnic, which was by now become familiar to my American friends, by a stream, made life bearable again. Via Gol, Fagernes and over the Valdresflyet to Otta for the next night. Otta was not quite like I remembered, so I misdirected them past it before we stopped and returned, right over the bridge. At the hotel, which was crawling with Japanese, there had been a slight misunderstanding, and we were only booked for one room! In the end they found us rooms in two hotels, two rooms free! (Faye's note: Faye showed the desk clerk copies of emails that had been exchanged regarding the reservations, and they then made arrangements in their partner hotel for two more rooms, free.) We discussed the concept of "gaggle", and we tried to remember other names for gatherings of animals, such as a "pride" of lions. It was Midsummer Day at home and I called the island. The family were all out there and having a feast on the verandah and I missed them. We had supper in a hamburger place and called it a day (Faye's note: It was a pizza place with American photos and memorabilia on the walls). The Norwegians celebrate Midsummer as "St Hans's Aften (Eve)" and as far as the hotel was concerned, the rites seemed to involve comprehensive slamming of doors and howling in the street.

Sunday June 22

Up early and had a sustaining breakfast and then gathered and started along the river Losna. We came through Dombås and drove up on the mountains. The Dovregubbens (gubbe = old man = a troll) Hall was bypassed by a modern road but the place looked the same as I remembered it from before the WWII and from 1948. The troll was replaced by a new one and there was a tourist trap to get souvenirs from. We stopped there for a while. We bypassed Hjerkinn and its little but famous botanical garden with high altitude flora, and headed for Oppdal. This was where we left the E6 and travelled along the Driva river in the Sunndal valley. The mountains crept closer and closer and there were innumerable "bridal veils" streaming down the sides. We found a picnic area by the water, with comfortable facilities, and feasted on left-overs. I kept coughing all the time and worried about the others getting it too. We reached Sunndalsøra and Faye and I recognized it from last time and found our way to the hotel. After settling in we called Kjell Ove Holsbøvåg and he came to the hotel and then guided us to an open air museum outside the town, Leikvin, where a local story was acted on stage. The same evening they were also giving an opera performance in town, and Faye and Geri decided they wanted to see it. We drove down to the fiord to admire the view and spotted the rotting carcass of a sheep that had obviously been there for a looong time. We had our supper in a Kurdish khebab place near the hotel, but had to wait so long that Faye and Geri had to leave and we got doggy bags for them (Faye and I were reminded of the giant family size pizza that Oliver had ordered for himself two years earlier). The evening was very fine, so Pam, Ivette and I sat for a while in a park by a water fountain with a statue of an elderly gentleman who seemed to be staring into the water. He was probably the founder of the local factory down by the water-front. While we shared his fascination of the pond, we discussed the phenomenon of bigotry, and life in general. Pam had left us long ago by then. I and my miserable throat went to bed early, but before I went to sleep Faye came back and delivered an enthusiastic report of the opera. I did feel sorry that I had not been able to join them and regretted not having bought the CD with the music.

Monday June 23

Another memorable breakfast accompanied by my very embarrassing cough. Well, we boarded the van and went to Tingvoll church which was first built in 1140 but rebuilt in the 1660ies, and it was decorated with mural paintings from the Middle ages. There was also this very small window with painted glass that I took a photo of two years ago.We found a man who let us in, I believe he was the same as the one who did us the same service last time. Unfortunately my camera had had enough, so I could not take any photos. We were told that a member of the Ormset family was working in the local bank, but we went out to have a look at the farm. Unfortunately there was nobody at home, but we had a look round and I dug up a tiny birch plant to take along.

Back to Sunndalsøra along the next fiord and over the mountains, through a narrow gorge with a stream down at the bottom. Kjell Ove was waiting for us and we all went to have coffee following an invitation from Per Anders Furu, the present owner of the Viken farm. In the companyof Per's wife Svanyaporn from Thailand, his mother Aslaug and sister Edel, we all enjoyed a traditional coffee table which included Vienna rolls, soft cake and cookies. One local delicacy, provided by Kjell Ove, was waffles with "Sunndals grøt", a kind of thick custard, but oh, so delicious! Aslaug, at the age of 89 was very agile and interesting and with her and her daughter Edel and Per and wife, we enjoyed a friendly conversation in the peaceful, summery garden. We were shown watercolours of Svanyaporn's hand and she also gave Faye one from the farm by the fiord, and needless to say Faye was delighted. We were told about the valley, where the water does not freeze in the winter and where the buildings are often threatened by avalanches, and indeed the mountainsides on both sides are almost vertical. After this generous treat we boarded the cars and Per showed the way to the farm - the ultimate highlight of the whole journey. In spite of some anxiety we went down a hazardous road, hardly more than a track, down the steep hillside. And there was the Storviken farm - a white two storey house and some smaller outhouses. Lots of photos were taken and the view over the fiord was at its very best and admired. A young man was cutting hay and putting it up to dry in an oldfashioned way, that I remembered having seen at home as a child. An old millstone where the mill once was, a mournful sandpiper on the rocks by the water, the stillness was complete and a trifle sad. What kind of a day was it when the old people left all those years ago, what did they feel, what did they afterwards remember?

We went back to town, everybody a little taken by this contact with their forefathers, and I gave a thought to Oliver's grandfather, also the brother of my own, who left home very young, went to sea, and ended up in New York. Axel came home once, in 1937. We tanked up the van, I had my camera fixed, and spent some time shopping. By then we found that Wahna was not feeling very well. We visited the same Kurdish restaurant, but she did not want to eat anything. So coming back to the hotel we got in touch with the medical centre of the town and made an appointment. Wahna, Pam, Ivette and I went in search of the place and after some looking round found the right door and were received by dr Grimheim. He diagnozed pneumonia to our great consternation, and remitted Wahna to the nearest hospital, which was Molde, some 65 kilometres away. We had a conference, put Wahna in the van where she could lie down, and wrapped her with what we could find. Pam very courageously came along to stay with Wahna in Molde and help her home. Ivette was the driver, and I joined to read the map. It was then about 10 pm and we waved goodbye to the others and were on our own. The road was winding round fiords, through tunnels and over hills and Wahna slept most of the way. We reached the hospital after midnight, after managing to lose our way in the town (my fault), and were immediately taken care of. After our patient had been properly installed, and Pam taken to a flat by the ambulance people, Ivette and I started on our way back. The nights on this latitude are very light and the landscape beautiful and at times we just said nothing and at times we talked a lot about life, experiences and expectations, and the bringing up of children. At least that helped to keep Ivette from falling asleep. I felt safe with her driving, and comfortable in spite of my irritating cough and even more irritating thought that I might have brought this on Wahna. We were in bed at 4 am which brings me to

Tuesday June 24

I woke up with a start at 8.30 and dashed down to breakfast, where I found the group in a gloomy mood. After a call to Molde to hear how Wahna and Pam were, they decided to carry on to Uppsala and hope that their sisters could get to Oslo and Reykjavik on their own with the help of the staff at the hospital. So we, the remaining five, left Sunndalsøra and travelled up the valley, through Oppdal, north to Berkåk and Ulsberg, where we turned to the east.

The old mining town Røros is another tourist trap and we split up in groups for some last shopping in Norway. I bought some pretty stones for the children and went into the handcraft shop my mother always used to visit, and from where many embroidered things at home come.

We stopped for a picnic by a mountain stream just before the border and then crossed into Sweden. There is not much difference between the two sides up there, and, apart from forests, hills and streams, not much to see. We were rather quiet, thinking about the two left behind in Molde and hoping they were taken care of.

In Tännäs we found our "Youth Hostel", a place where we hired bed linen and would have to tidy the rooms ourselves. We had a late dinner, entertained by a jovial and totally informal host and his charming daughter, and then crawled into bed.

Wednesday June 25

At breakfast we were served porridge straight out of the pot from the stove, but we had plenty to eat, and after checking out we travelled almost nonstop through forests, by lakes and rivers, and fields, bypassing towns, to a parking-place by a deep gorge, where I usually stop on my way to the north. This is a road I know very well. There was plenty of lichen on the rocks that I took a picture of. In Uppsala Åsa and family were waiting, we had a late evening meal and went to bed early.

Thursday June 26

This the last day of my friends' visit, we went to the ancient town Sigtuna, by the lake Mälaren, and walked along the water-front and the main street, that has been in the same place for a thousand years. We looked into some of the little shops, but sadly Ivette did not find the Kosta-Boda glass she was looking for. On the way home we dropped the three ladies in Uppsala to have a look round. They were picked up later by Björn by the central bridge. Åsa came to prepare dinner, which was fish from Tännäs, and Ann and Emma helped. There was a bit of commotion as Charlotte from Minneapolis and her husband Henrik and son Nils arrived on their way from Karlstad to Stockholm. Charlotte is one of my "adopted daughters" and a very dear friend of the family since the early 80ies. So dinner was very disorganized and lively and some wine was comsumed. Then - it occurred to us - the the van, our faithful servant during the long journey, had to be delivered back before 5 pm. Which Faye and Björn somehow did. A telephone call to Molde informed us that Wahna was much better and that they would leave Molde the following day. So the day ended with stories to tell, do-you-remembers, coffee, wine and laughter. Charlotte and family left and we prepared for the next day.

Friday June 27

We were up early and my guests packed and got ready to go. They pulled their bags along, with the wheels rattling like they did in Bergen, to the bus stop. We boarded the bus 802 for Arlanda and said the silly unimportant things that are always said when one's mind is already busy with the thought of saying farewell. We were early so there was not much of a queue at the airport and they checked in fairly easily, and I saw them off by the passport control. The last I saw through the door was Wally's cap bobbing along. I hate farewells. Besides I had a feeling that I had not really told them how much I appreciated their great generosity in taking me along on this fabulous adventure, with hotel rooms and food, all the jokes we had shared, all the things we had seen, their friendliness. They gave me something precious to remember: Wally, Geri, Wahna, Faye, Ivette and Pam.

(Then I settled down with a paper to wait for Charlotte and Henrik, who were to travel on the same flight. I knew they would be late and they were, and the amount of luggage they dragged along was staggering. I was prepared for that too. And, as usual, while they checked in, I took care of all the items they wanted in the cabin (that was not weighed in!). Henrik dashed along to leave the rented car and take the things Charlotte had forgotten. Well, I have known Charlotte for 20 years, and she will always be the same, bless her. We said goodbye for now and I saw them leave and stop to wave at me, and I felt sad and lonely).