Friday, December 3, 2010

Norway felt like home...

We arrived in Oslo late afternoon and it was already night time.  Our dear friend, Ole, greeted us and then we drove for an hour and a half to where he lives and works, Gjøvik.  We dined at a Chinese restaurant that evening; yes, we'd travelled to the other side of the World and ate Chinese food and drank Italian wine!!  However, the company was wonderful, as was the food and wine.

We excitedly jumped out of bed to see our first Norwegian morning.  The above shot is the view of Lake Mjøsa from Ole's apartment.  I foolishly stepped outside in my dressing-gown to take some photos and quickly got back inside; the temperature inside was just as we'd left Australia, around about an easy to live with 20C.

Michael toured the Mustad hook factory that morning and later on I joined him for lunch in the canteen.  We were then taken by Gai up the hill to an authentic 1700 Norwegian village.  The buildings were moved to the site and the village is open to the public on the weekends.  Unfortunately, we were there on a Friday but it didn't diminish the experience; we could still look in the windows of the buildings and see them set up as they were three hundred years ago.

Entrance to the Village
Looking down on the town of Gjøvik
and Lågen Mjøsa

Upper Gjøvik 1700

We walked a little further on and, as we approached a little bridge over a little pond completely iced over, we spied a little Mink sitting very still, hoping we'd just move on.  We took a few shots and then it scurried over the ice to the cover of bushes.  It's marvellous to know that they haven't yet been farmed to extinction!  Fur is huge in Italy at present; every fashion shop has it and it's not fake!

The next day we travelled four hours south to the town of Skien to stay the night at Barry and Agnes's home.  I felt very much at home in Norway; the countryside on the way down to Skien was very similar to the hills and open spaces back home, except the houses and trees were different.  Practically every home is made of wood and is painted either white, red or black and not a eucalpyt to be seen, mainly pines.  It's a very pretty country.  

View over Skien
from Barry and Agnes's dining room

Prior to our visit, we'd received an email from Barry with an amazing 3-Course Menu attached, promising wild game harvested by the family from the forest in Norway.  But that's another story.


steven said...

alaine! more, more, more!!!!! my most favourite picture of this set is the pond with the silver birches reflected in it. norway looks and feels just like the part of canada i live in. which sort of makes sense. i can't wait for more of your norway trip!! steven

alaine@éclectique said...

Steven...Thanks for visiting; it seems ages since we exchanged words! Unfortunately, the next day we rushed up to Oslo and were on our way to Milan, so I didn't get many more photos except for a few river shots. I should imagine it would look a lot like where you live; I really wish we'd had more time there.

Paul C said...

At first I thought that it was a beaver,.. in Norway? Then to see a mink, what beautiful fur.

Wanda..... said...

Loved all the weathered wood of the buildings and of course...the cute mink!

maggie's garden said...

Wow! what a fantastic trip...3's been a while. missed you...glad you're back safe and sound. Can't wait to here more about the trip. Norway reminds me of sardines! At first I thought that was a bear in the photo.

Maureen Walsh said...

Thank you for sharing your view of Norway. Never been there, but would love to check it out. Ireland is just stunning at the moment, covered in frost and snow. Feel rather guilty saying I love the present arcic wnter we're having, because of the dangerous roads and difficulties for feeding our animals etc and of course Ireland is just not equipped for this kind of extreme weather. However, I adore it and have takens some pics as late as today, which I hope are at least a quarter as beautiful as yours.
Thank you

alaine@éclectique said...

Maureen...I've just been over to see your snow pics...we've seen on the news that Britain is really snowed in, causing havoc at present.

I'd love to see these little Norwegian cabins covered in snow (which they are at present) and the view down over the town and lake would be stunning. Thanks for visiting!

Teri said...

How lucky you were to take such a trip Alaine. One of these days, I'm going to get to that part of the world. I have only been to Mexico and Canada and never to Europe. How nice you had places to stay while you were visiting. The ponds were frozen but no snow? I guess it must have really been cold! What's happening in your part of the world now? Summer just beginning?

alaine@éclectique said...

Teri....hi. We've just watched a documentary on Italy that's on every evening and we haven't seen any of it yet! There are so many beautiful places that I'd love to see, like the Cinque Terre, Sienna, San Gimignano, Portifiro, etc, etc!! It was great that we had places to stay with friends here and there and our train trips from Bologna to visit friends that Michael has met at various flyfishing shows around the globe.

The ponds were frozen and two days after we left Norway, the snow started to fall. Yes, Summer began on 1st December but we're getting so much rain and expecting up to 100ml over the next two days!!! Which is good, as we've been in drought for so long but we've been home two weeks today and already have mown the acres 3 times!! But, hard work keeps the 'temple' in good order!

Derrick said...

I've always thought it might be nice to visit Scandinavia but it has a reputation for being expensive and we know how cold it gets! So it's nice to see your photos until the real thing comes along!

alaine@éclectique said...

Derrick...hard to believe there's one place you've never been to!!