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.