Tom-Ivar Bern and Hilde Roald

Trondheim - Norway

26 November 2009

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I met Tom-Ivar and Hilde at Davids Guesthouse and we set off on a cultural tour through the Cape Winelands


Tom-Ivar and Hilde at Plattekloof with Table Mountain in the background.


Hilde dwarfed by the Afrikaans language monument


Enjoying king proteas at the Afrikaans language monument


Tom-Ivar and Hilde with the monument behind them


Hilde, Lily and Tom-Ivar in Kayamandi outside Lily's home


Lily poses for Hilde


Saying goodbye to Lily

We travelled to the Ikamva Lethu Center where we enjoyed watching and joined the dancers during their dancing practice.







With Elvis from the Abakondisi Brothers choir at his home


Sibongisene, Elvis's wife, Hilde, Tom-Ivar, Elvis and Siya outside Elvis's home


Taking photographs in Zone J


Having fun with the kids in Zone J



Looking in at a church service in the township


Ending our day with a great traditional Afrikaans dinner at the Volskombuis





We started our day with an ascent of Table Mountain


In the cablecar


Atop of Table Mountain


Hilde points out where Oslo is on the Cape Peninisula relief map


Doing the Table Mountain shuffle. JJ


Taking the Watertaxi from Kalk Bay to Simonstown


After disembarking from the Watertaxi we saw King Harald and Queen Sonja arriving in the harbour on another boat. Tom-Ivar and Hilde then went over to converse with Queen Sonja as the below pictures show






With Just Nuisance in Simonstown


At the penguin colony on Foxy Beach - The Boulders





At Cape Point with the Cape of Good Hope in the background



At Cape Point


At the most south western point of Africa


We ascended Chapmans Peak and had a wonderful time enjoying the Cape Town sunset




Please click on the above picture to see Tom-Ivar performing sabrage on a bottle of Champagne


Sunset on Chapmans Peak




We travelled via Hout Bay and Camps Bay to Sea Point where we met Bette and went off to Gold Restaurant for a great evening of caberet and dinner.







We left Davids Guesthouse at 10h0 and started out on the road to Knysna.


We stopped in at the Peregrine farmstall near to Elgin


We drove through Riviersonderend, Swellendam, Heidelberg, Albertinia, Riversdale, Mossel Bay, the Wilderness and Sedgefield befoire arriving at Overmeer Guesthouse in Knysna at 18h00


Enjoying a great dinner at the Simola restaurant






At Plettennberg Bay



Look who visited Thyme and Again outside of Plettenberg Bay


In the Natures Valley forest 
Please use your arrow keys to see this panoramic photograph


Having fun on the Natures Valley beach




Lunchtime meal at Fynboshoek with Aljhe van Demeent












Tom-Ivar having fun in Alje's wonderful garden



Hilde, Alje and Tom-Ivar after our meal


At the Bloukrans bridge - Highest bungy jump in the world


Dinner at Serendipity in the Wilderness






At the Heads


Wood purchases made from Botha and Barnard in Sedgefield



Buying boerewors rolls in George


Enjoying roosterbrood on the way to Oudtshoorn


Finding out about Klapperbos on our way to Oudtshoorn


We arrived in Oudtshoorn and moved on to ascending he Swartberg Pass as can be seen from the photos below.















Enjoying carrot cake, coffee and Don Pedros at the Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert


Crossing the bridge at Meiringspoort


Enjoying the fabulous scenery at Meiringspoort



Having fun at Meiringspoort JJ


Ostrich steak dinner at Mooiplaas Ostrich farm an guesthouse





To start the day Hilde and Tom-Ivar joined Hanlie Viljee on a tour of Mooiplaas so as to find out more about ostriches. The next couple of pictures show what happened on the tour.


Hanlie, Hilde and Tom-Ivar in front of an ostrich pen on Mooiplaas


Hilde in the breeding room at Mooiplaas


Tom-Ivar having fun with some small ostriches


Feeding ostriches



Shopping at the Ostrich co-op in Oudtshoorn



We stopped in at Ronnies sex shop along the way to Barrydale


Hilde tries a new form of transport at Ronnies Sex Shop JJ


Enjoying venison bobotie at Clarkes of the Karroo in Barrydale.


We travelled on from Barrydale via Montagu. Ashton. Robertson and Worcester to Cathebert Country House near Franschhoek where after our arrival I bade farewell to this wonderful Norwegian couple.



After Tom-Ivar and Hildes return to Trondheim they sent me the following pictures taken at Cathbert Country House.

























 Thats the only way I can decribe what it was like for me to tour Hilde and Tom-Ivar through Cape Town and on the Garden Route. They both made for wonderful company at all times while on tour and took a huge interest in all that we did. We saw some of the most amazing scenery along the way and both Tom Ivar and Hilde could not stop commenting about the wonders they were witnessing in the Western and Eastern Cape. All in all a most wonderful journey that will remain in my memory for a long time and most certainly a tour that I was extremely sorry to see the ending of.



May I also thank you for your very kind commitment to want to sponsor a child in Kayamandi with regard to his/her education.

Received 7 December 2009

Dear Bette and Selwyn,

After our sad summer in Norway, we hoped that the trip to South Africa
could provide some warmth, sunshine and a postponed summer holiday. It
turned out far better: The views, the sights, the enthusiasm and your
pleasant company have been an energy bomb that have injected new
optimism into our hearts. Thank you.

Through our conversations, we have also talked about Norway. Let us
again invite you to Norway. By starting planning early, we can surely
work out a good itinerary. While you stay in Trondheim, you are invited
to stay at our house (But please don't wait until the house is teeming
with grandchildren :-)

For Bette, I will recommned which is the homepage for the
University in Trondheim.

For Selwyn, take a peak at for
the coastal cruise along the coast from Bergen along the coast, ending
in the far north Kirkenes. and are also interesting places
to start the planning.

Pictures of the activities in The Norwegian Ramblers Assosiation (DNT)
are found at

More about Hilde's work, you will find at I
hope the translation program is capable of handling the entusiasm of her
and her colleagues.

Enclosed are some of our pictures from Cathbert. Please select according
to taste and editorial policy :-) ..

Best wishes from 
Hilde and Tom-Ivar


Received 7 December 2009

Dear Selwyn,

Sitting by the pool and in the wonderful garden of Cathbert Guesthouse,
we decided to suggest some closing remarks to the travel report you made
on our excursion around Cape Town and along the Garden Route:

Closing Remarks

We were obviously acting under a lucky star, when we made initial
contact with you during planning our work/vacation to Cape Town and
South Africa. Your knowlegde, enthusiams and experience in supporting
travellers also during the planning process came right through, and
within two or three e-mails we got into a relationship that only
improved as we got along. Your suggestion of using the Protea North
Wharf hotel as accommodation, although the seminars were to take place
at Westin, was indeed a good advice. North Wharf proved a home away from
home, with a nice room, pleasant staff and ideal location in the centre
of the business district. With rooms, the hotel and staff are also
capable of striking a repose with its guests.

As always, the Hop-on Hop-off bus is a splendid way of getting an
overview of the city in question. The wind was the only reason why we
decided against a sunset dinner at Camps Bay.

Then for some days there was work to be done for me. Hilde was lucky to
meet a pleasant young lady from Pretoria at the hotel, spending time
together by the pool, for breakfast and even a bit of shopping. My
chores, on the other hand, was connected to the statevisit of the
Norwegian King and Queen. The business dedlegation following their
majesties was about 100 business managers and representatives from
Norway. Several parallell seminars took place, providing insights, new
contacts and refreshing old partnerships.The arrangement was ended with
a concert with the Abakondisi Borthers from Kayamandi performing
together with the Norwegian artist Mari Boine. After the performance a buffet
dinner was served under the theme: A Taste of Norway.

Acting on your recommendation, we moved from North Wharf to David's
Guesthouse on Thursday and had a mind provoking trip to Robben Island.
The size of the prison complex, the presentation of the conditions of
the convicts provided us with a glimpse into a darker patch of the South
African history.

When Friday came we met for the first time and no formalities were
necessary. Based on our interactions on the net we were "old friends" and
could dive directly into action. The trip up to the Afrikaans Monument,
the brief introduction to the history you provided us, over rooibos team
and pancakes under the tree, gave us a good foundation on which we could
build the rest of our trip and the things we were aboy to experience. The
explanation of the monument, started a deepening of our understanding of
the South African society and culture. The visit to Lily, the lunch and
history she served, the performance at the Kayamandi Childrens Centre,
and the walkabout we had in the various sections of Kayamandi continued
this deepening understanding. This was certainly a mind provoking and
emotionally distrubing day that we heartily recommend to anyone planning
to go to South Africa. There is a time for surfing the waves, climbing
the mountains and biking in the wilderness. But for sure, there is also
a time to have a reality check and a time for reflections. Please
forward our gratitude and admiration to the people of Kayamandi:
Gratitude for allowing us a glimpse into their reality and admiration
for their ability to smile and strive for a better life for themselves
and their family. And this can be extended to yourself, who rather than
looking into another direction, has plunged forward and initiated
projects and processes to contribute to this development.

The improvised meeting with Elvis, The Abakondisi Brothers manager, was
both fun and interesting. This also was the case for the two initiation seremonies
we only saw the start of.

 Table Mountain, Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope are of course a must
on all itineraries around Cape Town. These were covered on Saturday,
with a running commentary on what we saw.  Tom-Ivar is already
challenged by friends in Trondheim needing some champagne opened with sabrage.
The sunset at Hout Bay is both documented and a vivid memory. An evening to
recollect if (when) the weather turns dreary in Trondheim. The dinner at
Gold Restaurant  together with you wife Bette, completed a fabulous day on a
high note.

Then from Sunday until we split on Wednesday, there is a chain of memory
pearls each almost outshining the next. Most of them are presenteted in
the pictures above, but let us give some added remarks:

All the places were we stopped, whether for lunch, dinner, sights to be
seen or farmstalls showed a new piece in the mosaic making up the rainbow
nation. Selwyn had also made himself  the promise of always presenting a 
new dish that we did not get in Norway. However, the continuous flow 
of Biltong, dried sausage and dried fruit in the car kept us happy and going.
While on the road, in between sights and other places, we had lively 
discussions on a long list of interesting subject. Compliments to Selwyn on 
his ability to divide up his knowlegde so we never had the impression of 
having to drink from a fire hose. After 11 to 14 hours in Selwyn's delightful
company, we never had problems of falling to sleep. We simply keeled over.

Coming to Mooiplaas gave us a wonderful  "Out of Africa-feeling".
Likewise, the last to days at Cathbert Country House in Franschhoek,
provided the tranquility and relaxed athmosphere we needed to start
digesting and sorting the "wilderness" of the different experiences and
memories we have had.

We have seen with our own eyes, that we are in a group of very few who
enjoys a well paid and stable profession, freedom of travel, security,
schools and education for our kids, health care and housing according to
our own whishes. We are within a privilegded group, in particular
comparing to the majority of South Africans.

We are aware that we have only seen a part of South Africa as we have
stayed in sunny Western Cape. We are similarily sure, that there are
more sights to be seen and experiences waiting around the next bend.
But we have had a wonderful stay. A warm thanks to Selwyn and all "his"
hosts and the staff along our route. You have made our exursion into
South Africa an experience we will try to share with family and friends,
and we will recommend the destination for others with Wanderlust.

All the best

Hilde Roald and Tom-Ivar Bern


Received 7 December 2009

Dear Selwyn,

It is we that should THANK YOU for making such a nice trip to us!
As our plane landed Saturday night at Trondheim Airport, I said to Tom that if also we will get our luggage now this has been a 100 % perfect trip to South Africa. Unfortunately our luggage was not there and we still have not got it (60 kg all together), but we have been told that one "piece" is found in Johannesburg. Hopefully we will get it today and we hope that all 3 are there.

Last night, while Tom was in Oslo, I was out walking (dark and icy, but with the moon on a clear sky) together with a friend for two hours and she was an eager listener to all my stories from our fantastic tour in South Africa!!!! Originally she and her husband thought of taking the trip together with us, but due to the swine-flew and her heart-problems they changed their minds this time. I told her that we really enjoyed your company and are happy to hear that you enjoyed ours. We really hope that you and Bette will come to Norway to visit us and our country!

During this week we will send you a packet with some "goodies", I hope.

PS! At the airport in Cape Town we bought some dried fruit and chocolate for our colleagues and specially the dried fruit is so popular! I told my mom about the very good dried sausages but unfortunately there was nothing left for her to taste as I ate it all! They also had some of the sausages at the airport, vacumpacked, but it did not look good so we did not buy any.
Please say hello to Betty!

Love from Hilde

Hilde Roald Bern
Norsk kulturskoleråd
tlf 73 56 20 00
mob: 977 90 524