A NORWEGIAN visitor to Montrose had a ‘magical’ experience during her stay last week.
By a happy coincidences she found herself centre-stage during the visit of the St Bernard Club of Scotland to the statue of the famous Sea Dog Bamse, as described in last week’s Review.
Anne Marie Soerensen, from Tysse near Bergen, decided to take her summer holiday in Montrose because she is a great fan of the story of Bamse and she wanted to visit the statue and the grave site, and walk the walks that Bamse used to take during the war years.
She first picked up on the Bamse story in a Bergen newspaper in 2005 and subsequently read the best selling book Sea Dog Bamse in English and then in the Norwegian Translation.
At Christmas 2010 Bamse featured as a quiz question on a popular Norwegian TV show accompanied by some attractive film footage of Montrose – and at this point she decided to make Montrose her holiday destination.
After checking into the Carlton Hotel she set out on the Bamse walk, and in Ferry Street she fell into conversation with Moira Ross.
As it happens Moira is part of the Bamse story – she was a baby in a pram that an inquisitive Bamse almost tipped over when he peered in!
Moira’s family then adopted Bamse as a friend, and after his death it was her mother who tended his grave for many years. In this chance encounter Moira was able to tell Anne Marie that something special was happening at the statue on the Sunday.
So Anne Marie found herself a centre of attention among the throng attending the St Bernard Club visit to Montrose. She said: “It is like something magic has happened to me with all this going on. It is such a coincidence that I have taken my holiday in Montrose at the same time.
“I came here to find out more about Bamse, and now I have this. Montrose is a really beautiful town to come on holiday – everyone is being so friendly to me - I will be back!”
There was some poignancy to the day, however, as everyone was very conscious of the tragic events which had overtaken Norway just two days before, and Anne Marie was very moved by the one minute’s silence observed by the crowd.