After the arrival in Bergen, on the 24th of October, we first brought the pigeons for the PIPA auction to the loft of Mr Stein Thorsen. He would take care of the pigeons until the start of the auction. Lars Corneliussen (PIPA agent for Norway), his father Tom Corneliussen (former president of the Norwegian Pigeon Federation), Mr Stein Thorsen and Mr Arvid Myreng (also former president of the NPF) handled the pigeons and were really impressed with the quality.
In the evening we enjoyed a great dinner with our hosts Mr Svein Thorsen and his wife Benni.
On Friday, the 25th of October, we took the ferry to the island of Askøy. After visiting the boat club and an old boathouse, we drove to the loft of Mr Arne Ingvaldsen. His loft is situated at the house of his father, with whom he races together. He showed us his most important pigeons and told us a lot about the problems Bergen pigeon fanciers have to face. While racing along the fjord, the pigeons are attacked by several hawks. The number of hawks has increased so much, that it really became a problem for the pigeon races. That is why the Bergen pigeon fanciers now prefer to race shorter distance races and not in August or September when the amount of hawk attacks is higher.
At lunch time we went back to the loft of Mr Stein Thorsen. About 10 fanciers gathered there to have a look at the PIPA pigeons. After having a great lunch, the pigeon fanciers got together for an independent meeting. They discussed the Norwegian results in various one loft races of the last year. Let's hope we will see more and more Norwegian pigeons in the one loft races for the coming years.
On Saturday we first attended a meeting of the National Racing Pigeon Judges Club. Lars and Tom Corneliussen are pigeon judges themselves and we were able to meet 2 other judges, Mr Gunnar Hatlelid and Mr Jan Inge Våge. Afterwards we visited the museum of Mr Alf B. Knutsen. This man started collecting everything regarding pigeons a long time ago and stored everything in the first floor of his house. His collection is now really impressive, including pigeon rings and pigeon magazines from all over the world, starting from the beginning of the 20th century. Anyone who can help Mr Knutsen expanding his collection, can contact him on email@example.com .
After lunch we visited the loft of Mr Kenneth Silkebækken, the provincial champion of Bergen 2013, both with old and young birds. Kenneth was very happy to show us his loft and his pigeons. For him it is important the pigeons stay a hobby, so he prefers not to keep too many pigeons. He lives in an apartment and participates in a governemental project that rents small lofts to fanciers that do not have a garden. Kenneth often takes the bus with his pigeons to let them out for training. He is the living proof that fanciers with a small loft or a smaller amount of pigeons can also become a champion!
On Saturday evening the auction took place in a local restaurant, Nøsteboden. First, the pigeons for the auction were shown to the fanciers, and afterwards Lars started his task as auctioneer. There were 12 pigeons from Casaert-Senechal, 3 pigeons from Ad Fortuin and 11 pigeons from Dirk Deroose sold in the auction. Many fanciers from Bergen, but also from other Norwegian cities, came to Nøsteboden to join this event. After the auction, we enjoyed a dinner and some speeches from the local organizers and presidents.
The end of the auction was also the end of our trip. We would like to thank again our hosts and all pigeon fanciers that received us with a great hospitality.