Friday, May 14, 2010

Fishing Trip, Part 1: Roadtrip!

Hilsen fra Lillehammer!

Things are winding down here, but Kjerstin and I certainly wanted to fill you in on a few more of our adventures before we fly home to the USA. Over the next week we will talk about our relaxing and scenic fishing trip, my trip to Bergen, and of course, Syttende Mai (Norwegian National Day).

Because the fishing trip was full of new and exciting experiences, we broke our posts up into 3 pieces: the trip there (by van and car), our week at Gullstein, and our way back (including the short stop in Trondheim).

So, here we being with one of the cross churches we stopped to look at on our way to Tustna. I am not certain which town this one belongs to, but we stopped here because there is a memorial for British WWII soldiers (pictured below). The Norwegians have strong ties with the British, especially from WW II history.

Our second stop was in Lesja, where much of Birger's family came from. We saw his mother's farm, many tombstones of his ancestors, and the Lesja Cross Church, where a distant ancestor did all of the wood carvings.

Here you can see the intricate wood carvings done by Birger's ancestor. It was absolutely incredible.

The rest of the church was very pretty and colorful. I have to say that I never got sick of seeing churches over this semester, as each one had new and interesting styles to them.

The drive was incredibly scenic as we drove completely through the mountains. The only drawback was that it was not always so comfy in the back of a 10 passenger van on those mountain roads!
We stopped for lunch at Trollstigen, which is an area with a pretty impressive set of mountains. You can see why people would think that Trolls lived here....

Trollstigen again. In mid summer, you can actually drive up a ways into this area on some pretty windy roads, but we didn't make it very far before we felt it was safer to turn around.

We also drove by some pretty fishing communities. I think this photo was taken near Molde.

We also got to stop and get a lovely afternoon snack at the home of Arne and Laila, some friends of Uwe's. They were extremely generous, serving us homemade boller (buns) with a plethora of toppings and fillings, coffee and tea. Laila was kind enough to take out her bunad for us to see. It was absolutely beautiful.
Here is Laila talking about her bunad. For those of you that are less versed in Norwegian culture, a bunad is the traditional dress of Norwegian girls, usually made for them at their confirmation. However, for the rest of their lives, women will wear their bunad at celebrations, including weddings, baptisms, and holidays like Syttende Mai.

Here are some of the accessories that come with the bunad. Because everything is made with quality materials and usually hand-embroidered, bunads are very expensive. Laila said that in today's funds her bunad would have cost 40,000 kroner (that is almost 7,000 dollars!). But it is a huge part of Norwegian culture, and each region and family has different color and patterns of bunads.
Along our way we also got to stop and see the ocean, although as there are so many islands and fjords, there always seems to be something preventing you from seeing the "open sea."

This was very cool bridge we got to cross, although unfortunately I am not sure of the name.

And lastly, here is a photo of (L to R) Lauren, Kjerstin, and Abby on one of the ferrys we rode to get to Tustna.

Our drive was actually rather short by American standards, as we left at 7 am and got to our desination at dinner time. It was a very neat experience to drive through the country and get a better idea of what the rest of Norway could look like.

Stay tuned for Kjerstin's take on our relaxing 5 days at the cabin in Gullstein!

Ha det,
Shelby (and Kjerstin)

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