Norway 2007 · Sep 12, 06:24 AM

We spent eleven days in Norway this past August. The impetus for our visit was the first wedding amongst Christian’s Norwegian cousins. We decided to take a five-day road trip as well so as to make it a proper summer vacation. For the days we weren’t on the road, we were in Hamar, staying with C’s ever-hospitable aunt and uncle.

The pictures that C posted speak a thousand words, so I’ll try not to say much—just enough to give a flavor of where we were, especially for those who aren’t as into the Norway “scene”.

  • Røros, an old mining town that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is chock-full of lovely old wooden shops and homes, small but fun to wander around. It survival in its pre-20th century state seems to have been a combination of luck (no fires) and economic stagnation after the copper ran out.
  • The Rødven Stave Church was the best part about stopping overnight in Åndalsnes, an otherwise forgettable port town. Rødven is a fjord-side village of barely 150-200 souls, yet it has survived since the 1100s. The church has many intriguing features: pews specially set aside for pregnant women, and a hole from the entryway for the lepers to peer thru during services.
  • Trollstigen and Ørnesvingen, two roads that scramble up the sides of fjord-side mountains. Ingenious highway construction, chock-full of hairpin turns and 6-10% grades, which has resulted in tourist attractions. Beware the caravans (RVs)!
  • Ålesund, a coastal city whose old town is mostly in Art Nouveau style (the result of having been completely torched in 1904). We stayed at Hotel Brosundet, a renovated waterfront warehouse. It was really lovely, a nice balance of showing the building’s history (the central framing’s massive beams are exposed, the floors follow slanting angles); plus the beds are comfortable, and the breakfast buffet is fantastic.
  • We skirted the edges of Rondane National Park—amazingly accessible for hikers, and even from the road quite scenic.
  • Sygård Grytting, a 16-generation farm and guesthouse north of Lillehammer. It was the Peer Gynt Festival, so the only room available for us latecomers was in the 14th C sleeping loft (originally used by medieval pilgrims). We ended up sharing one of the 18th C beds in the room because the other one was not quite long enough to keep me from banging my head on the headboard. Luckily the bedding was modern—no medieval straw!


  1. happy anniversary!!!!!

    lorien · Sep 17, 07:34 PM · #