Tourists take in 'breathtaking scenery' of Scandinavian countries

NEIGHBORS

August 22, 1994|By CINDY PARR

It wasn't too long ago that our faces were glued to our television screens as we watched the wonder of the 1994 Winter Olympics unfold in Lillehammer, Norway.

Not only did we enjoy the excitement of the Olympic competitions, but we were able to view the beauty and splendor of the quaint Norwegian town and the charm of its people.

Fortunately for the Rev. Ron Reaves of Westminster, NTC Lillehammer became a real-life experience this summer.

Mr. Reaves, who is pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Frederick, led a 15-day Scandinavian tour that included a visit to the famous Olympic Village in Lillehammer.

Departing from Dulles International Airport July 27, Mr. Reaves and 28 Carroll County and Pennsylvania residents set off on their summer journey.

The tour, which highlighted the countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, was organized by Mr. Reaves and NAWAS International Travel Co. of Darien, Conn.

"This [making the Scandinavian trip] was always something that I wanted to do because of my family background," said Mr. Reaves, whose father's family came from Sweden. "There were other people in the community that were interested in going as well, so we got the information from NAWAS and I began planning the trip about one year ago."

Mr. Reeves said he and his traveling companions saw some "breathtaking scenery" and observed a few unexpected happenings.

"We had a real surprise in that we went in the middle of the worst heat wave Scandinavia has seen since World War II," he said. "The country is notorious for being much cooler because it's so close to the Arctic Circle, but while we were there the temperatures reached an unseasonal 94 degrees in the day and dipped into the lower 70s at night."

As the group made its way through the Scandinavian countryside, they were enchanted by Norway's snow-capped mountains and fjords, the rolling hills, the enchantment of Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, and the glitter of Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

"My most favorite ride was through the Norwegian mountains. It is the most scenic country that I have ever seen," Mr. Reaves said. "I also enjoyed Lillehammer. We saw the building that was used for the ice hockey competition, and we also saw the building in Hammer where Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding skated.

"We saw the housing that was built for the 100,000 people who came in for the Olympics. That was really something -- how they created a modular community that could be dismantled and put away."

In addition to the beauty of Scandinavia, Mr. Reaves and members of his group were able to become more familiar with the social structure of the countries.

"We were able to see Norway's socialized medicine program firsthand," he said. "A member of our group needed medical care while we were there. The member saw a doctor and had the necessary medication within an hour.

"The medicine was free, and the doctor's visit was a nominal fee. Their system was very efficient. This was interesting to me, especially at a time when we are debating health care in our country."

Mr. Reaves said he would like to make a return trip to Scandinavia and take time to focus on specific areas of the countries.

*

New exhibits will be on display during September and October at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

Allen and Liz Passman of Finksburg will showcase their lifetime collection of antique toys and trains, including prewar Lionel trains, O gauge and standard trains.

This collection, known as "Keeping Track," will be showcased in the large hall at the Farm Museum.

The second display, "Milk and Cookies," is courtesy of Marion Beveridge of Sykesville.

From her cookie cutter collectibles, Ms. Beveridge will exhibit a variety of items from the 19th and 20th centuries.

This collection will be on display in the dining room of the farmhouse.

Information: 876-2667 or 848-7775.

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